- Diesel offers best real-world fuel economy
- T8 plug-in most efficient when plugged in
- T5 and T6 petrols can be juicy
No car of this size will be truly cheap to run, but some versions of the XC90 will have manageable fuel costs – namely the D5 diesel and the T8 plug-in hybrid.
The headline figures come courtesy of the T8 Twin Engine hybrid, which – according to Volvo – is capable of a claimed 108.6mpg (113mpg on smaller wheels).
That’s not exactly an accurate estimate during real-world driving, though in certain circumstances it’s possible you’d get close if 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, but only if you drive a few miles between destinations – say home and work – and can charge the car at both ends.
Everywhere else, you’ll more than likely see around 35-40mpg, which is still good for a bulky car like this and the power on offer.
Similar to this is the D5 diesel – claiming 45.6-47.3mpg combined. As with any car, this will vary depending on driving style, so expect something in the late 30s/early 40s.
You’re probably wondering what the point of the hybrid actually is, then. Well it’s going to be seriously attractive to company car drivers, who pay Benefit-in-Kind tax based on the car’s CO2. And with CO2 emissions of less than 60g/km, it’s far cleaner (in theory) than any other XC90, and the tax bills will be equally low.
The T5 and T6 petrols are the thirstiest of the lot on paper, with claims of 34.9-35.8 and 34.1-35.0mpg respectively, but we found in everyday situations it’ll be more around the 30mpg mark if you’re not too enthusiastic with your right foot.
Estimated fuel cost per year
|Fuel type||Pence per litre||Estimated cost per year *|
|Unleaded||128p||£1,616 - £1,711 *|
|Diesel||131p||£1,215 - £1,323 *|
* The estimated fuel cost figure is based on an annual mileage of 10,000 miles and is a guide to how much this model will cost in fuel each year. It's calculated using the model's average MPG (calculated from both town centre and motorway driving) and the average fuel price from around the country. Actual fuel costs will vary based on driving style and road conditions.
Ongoing running costs
|Servicing period||12 months/18,000 miles|
|Warranty||Three years/60,000 miles|
|Road tax (12 months)||
£0 - £465
See tax rates for all versions
33 - 45
How much is it to insure?
Vehicle excise duty (VED) varies according to the CO2 emissions and the fuel type of the vehicle. For cars registered before 01 March 2001 it is based on engine size. For cars registered on or after 01 March 2001 the VED or road tax is based on the car's CO2 emissions.
If you can stump up the cash or afford the monthly payments, you’ll find the lowest Volvo XC90 emissions come from the hybrid. It pumps out just 56-59g/km, which will be of particular interest to company car drivers.
The rest of the engine range – unsurprisingly – come with higher CO2 emissions. The D5 emits 158-162g/km, the T5 184-189g/km and the T6 187-192g/km.
These figures can vary slightly depending on the size of the alloy wheels. The bigger they are, the higher the CO2 output by a few grams per kilometre. Check the specs when you buy in case this knocks the car into a different tax band.
Highest and lowest CO2 emissions
|Engine||CO2 emissions||Road tax (12 months)|
|Petrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid||49 g/km (Min)||£0 - £455|
|2.0 T6 Petrol||192 g/km (Max)||£465|
- 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.
In fact, it’s been the subject of eight recalls in its life so far, including ones for software updates, the seatbelts, airbags and steering systems.
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 problems.
Car checklist problem points
|Body||No problems reported|
|Engine / gearbox||No problems reported|
|Other||No problems reported|