- Volvo launches plug-in hybrid version of the XC90
- 27-mile electric range and CO2 emissions of 49g/km
- Spacious and luxurious SUV for just £100* per month
The new plug-in hybrid T8 has joined the Volvo XC90 range and it's great news for company car drivers.
Combining the four-cylinder 2-litre petrol engine found in the T6 with an 86bhp electric motor, headline figures include CO2 emissions of 49g/km and an official combined fuel economy of 135mpg – although the latter should be considered a benchmark to compare other hybrids with, rather than a real-world fuel economy indication.
The T8 slots into a five percent BIK tax band for the current 2015/16 tax year, with P11D prices starting at £60,400. A 40 percent tax payer could be forking out just £100 a month, rising to £141 from April when the band rises to seven percent.
Despite the seven-seat SUV's size, this car is quick on its feet. Its 401bhp and maximum torque of 640Nm enable the T8 to sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.6 seconds.
Like D5 and T6 models, you can choose the T8 in three trims: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription.
Standard kit on all XC90 cars includes the Sensus infotainment system, which includes sat-nav and internet browsing and a nine-inch colour touchscreen. Other features include keyless entry, leather upholstery, automatic boot opening and dual-zone climate control. T8 models also get a panoramic sunroof and crystal gear shift lever as standard.
Entry-level Momentum cars are currently the most popular XC90 choice, however the sportier R-Design trim joined the range just a few months ago and is expected to take a large proportion of sales too. Styling upgrades include a horizontal-barred grille design, silver wing mirrors and twin exhaust pipes.
All T8 cars are all-wheel drive and come equipped with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The electric motor powers the rear wheels while the petrol engine drives the fronts.
You’ve got seven different driving modes to choose from including an all-electric setting, a Power mode for performance driving and a Save mode which allows you to preserve as much of the electric range as possible for when it’ll be most efficient – like when you enter a city.
Charging the battery up to full again will take three-and-a-half hours from a standard 10amp household socket.
Currently one of the safest cars you can buy and EuroNCAP’s Best in Class for 2015, the XC90 features loads of safety tech including seatbelt pretentioners in all three rows, the firm's city safety system (low-speed automatic braking) and lane departure warning on all cars.
Last year Volvo sold over half a million cars globally – the firm's best performance in its 87-year history. The XC90, introduced in the latter part of 2015, is only going to improve on this.
At just £100 a month for a 40 percent tax payer up until April, there’s a lot to shout about here. The XC90 is a luxurious, practical, comfortable and impressive all-rounder. Even when tax costs rise over the next few years, few premium cars even half the size of the XC90 can't compete with this plug-in hybrid's monthly BIK bills.
*Tax costs are based on a 40 percent tax payer for the current 2015/16 tax year