Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 3.9 - 5.0 mpp
Diesel engines 5.0 - 6.5 mpp
Plug-in hybrid petrol engines 11.1 - 35.2 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.
Based on "Weighted" mpg; figures depend on the proportion of miles driven in pure electric mode and may vary widely

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 26.2 - 33.6 mpg
Diesel engines 34.0 - 44.1 mpg
Plug-in hybrid petrol engines 74.3 - 235.1 mpg
  • Diesel offers best real-world fuel economy
  • T8 plug-in most efficient when plugged in
  • Petrols can be thirsty

How much is it going to cost to run?

No car of this size will be truly cheap to run, but some versions of the XC90 will have manageable fuel costs – namely the B5 diesel and the T8 plug-in hybrid.

MPG and CO2

Figures for fuel economy and CO2 emissions are as follows under the latest WLTP regime:

Petrol:

  • 2.0 B5 250hp eight-speed automatic: 31.7-32.5mpg, 197-206g/km
  • 2.0 B6 300hp eight-speed automatic: 30.1-31.0mpg, 207-214g/km

Diesel:

  • 2.0 B5 235hp eight-speed automatic: 39.2-40.9mpg, 207-214g/km

Plug-in

  • 2.0 T8 390hp eight-speed automatic: 85.5-100.8mpg, 63-76g/km

The headline figures come courtesy of the T8 Twin Engine hybrid. Don't expect to get close to those lofty mpg ratings in real-world driving. In certain circumstances it’s possible you’d get close if the battery was fully charged and you were very careful with your right foot. 

The main way to achieve this is by running on electric power alone, and then recharging whenever possible so the petrol engine never kicks in. In theory, it’s doable (the WLTP test makes sure of that) but only if you drive a few miles between destinations – say home and work – and can charge the car at both ends.

We saw an indicated battery range of 21 miles on a full charge, which is less than the Range Rover Sport PHEV’s 28 miles, but the Volvo has two advantages – the Hold function which retains battery charge actually works, plus, you have the option to charge the battery with the engine.

Once we selected the latter, we saw an indicated 27mpg on the motorway – which is typical of a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine in a car of this size. Once we’d come off the motorway onto country roads, this crept up to the low 30s. On a day of mostly motorway driving, we saw an indicated range of approximately 460 miles with the 70-litre fuel tank brimmed and a full battery charge.

For fuel economy that's less likely to fluctuate (once you run out of battery in the PHEV you'll be in the 20s for fuel economy), you'll want the B5 diesel. The B5 and B6 petrols are sensible enough if you don't do a lot of motorway driving.

Servicing and maintenance

Volvo offers one year of Volvo Assistance free of charge with new cars. This includes 24/7 breakdown cover. Volvo also offers software updates for free. 

Like with most other car manufacturers, Volvo can include servicing and maintenance in your monthly finance payments. But Volvo also offers its own subscription service. This bundles together items like servicing and insurance into one payment.

What is a Care by Volvo subscription?

How reliable is it?

  • Eight recalls for the XC90 so far
  • Check the recall work has been carried out
  • It does feel solid and dependable, though

Volvo is famous for building hugely resilient cars which stand the test of time brilliantly, and while the XC90 looks and feels suitably solid and well-built, it’s not perfect.

Since its launch in 2015, it has been subject to seven recalls. You can check the latest status on the gov.uk website.

The good news is that if you’re buying a used model, recall work should have been carried out by the manufacturer. Check the paperwork that this has been done. And if it’s a new car, these problems should have been ironed out, and your warranty will cover you for most issues.

We spent six months with a T8 version. We found it to be reliable from start to finish. The only fly in the ointment was an infotainment system malfunction that stopped it from working. Admittedly, it was fixed by turning the car on and off.

Volvo XC90 long-term test

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0 - £490
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 33 - 45
How much is it to insure?