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Michael

Volvo XC90 T8

i think my car must have sent an alert to let the Volvo service department know I'd been to a Land Rover dealership as when it went in for its first year service yesterday they parcelled me of in a top of the range petrol hybrid XC90. What's more they even fuelled it, well put petrol in, the battery pack was somewhat depleted.
Handsome devil, isn't it?


First thing to get out the way is that this car, specced up as it is cost over 75k. There is no way to ignore that is massive amount of money that would buy any number of other cars but also buy any number of car combinations. For example, brand new Land Rover Discover 4 Landmark with enough left over to spend 20k on an Elise. That combination would net you ten cylinders - the Volvo has four but thanks to hybrid magic it has 400bhp.


The last XC90 I drive was a diesel and I concluded it was a nice car let down buy a lousy drivetrain. The T8 addresses the latter with the addition of an electric engine on the back axle. The prop shaft goes and the space left over is packed with Duracell. The only telltale of the technology is a tiny badge on the back and an additional fuelling flap in the wing.


Compared to the last one I had this version was a lot more luxurious. With the brown leather, panoramic roof and (1200 optional) leather topped dashboard it felt a very nice place to be. The heated and cooled massage seats worked a treat and generally it's a place you'd be happy to spend a lot of time. The dashboard does look better in reality than the pictures though the gloss black plastic they use around the sat nav and switchgear looks and feels cheap. This had the 3k Bowes and Wilkes audio with speakers everywhere.

You can select a range of drive modes that decide how the car will be propelled but by default it's on hybrid which was fine with me. It pulls away on electric, hardly any noise and at some point the petrol cuts in. It's nearly impossible to tell when as the whole set up is beautifully integrated and seamless.

Floor the throttle and everything chips in to deliver instant go and it really does. The car does not hang around but such is the refinement that they impression of speed is diluted. You can catch the system out, though. I accelerated out of a T junction and mid turn got a weird jolt as power was transferred abruptly between the axles. It actually unsettled the whole car mid corner.

Of the myriad of options this car did have the one it lacked was air suspension.
Instead you get leaf spring at the rear by way of this composite you see here in green.



On 21 inch wheels the ride was a bit crashy and it struggled to disguise it's heft. I'd be keen to see what the air suspension would change.

After a day with it I was left impressed. The drivetrain is brilliant, generally, and the fact it's only a four pot actually doesn't matter. It doesn't sound cheap like the diesel does the power is there. For most people I think that's all they'll care about.

It's a great car, I did enjoy driving it but it's not for me. First of all the cost is something I can't get my head around. The four cylinder aspect doesn't come into this as even with a petrol V8 it would be far to expensive for a Volvo. This is the only drivetrain I'd want in an XC90, though I'd want it for at least 20k less.
TreVoR

I can't get over the slab front - I think they are ugly. Drivetrain sounds interesting though.

Did you not like the Disco?
Michael

I love Discoverys. New one will be revealed in a few weeks.
TreVoR

I suspect the new one will be a larger Disco Sport and lose the rugged appeal of the outgoing model.
Twelfth Monkey

Ugly and very expensive,  but sounds like it does the job well.
Roadsterstu

The price! But I think the XC90 is a great looking car. I was perusing V60 D6 Hybrids on the 'Trader, yesterday. Way out of my budget, even fairly well used, but there's some appeal to 215bhp D5 ('cos that's what it is) plus some added electric shove, decent mpg and zero road tax - oh, and a 5.8 0-60 time.

As for the next big Disco, I look forward to seeing it. I keep seeing disguised F-Pace cars and assume they are Disco test mules.
Michael

Disguised F-pace are likely the electric Jaguar. The next Discovery is about with hardly any disguise. I think it will look like a bigger Discovery Sport but it will be interesting to see how the boot compares with the existing. If it's as big but with a sliding rear bench to increase the size further it would be a very useful car.
PG

Impressive, but as you say, not 70k impressive.

I bet there are some good deals on run out models of the current Discovery?
Roadsterstu

Michael wrote:
Disguised F-pace are likely the electric Jaguar. The next Discovery is about with hardly any disguise. I think it will look like a bigger Discovery Sport but it will be interesting to see how the boot compares with the existing. If it's as big but with a sliding rear bench to increase the size further it would be a very useful car.


I'm surprised I've not seen any then. Unless they look very similar to Disco Sport and I ignored them. In fact, I need to Google the new Discovery, as I seem to have missed magazine photos too.
Michael

The Discovery:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news...tures-show-suv-almost-undisguised
Tim

XC90s are incredibly common round here which is a bit of a surprise given the cost (I don't mean that as in this is a poor area!).

Maybe they're more affordable on PCPs?
Nice Guy Eddie

Michael wrote:
The Discovery:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news...tures-show-suv-almost-undisguised


Judging by those pics, I'd be getting into the current one whilst you can
JohnC

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Michael wrote:
The Discovery:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news...tures-show-suv-almost-undisguised


Judging by those pics, I'd be getting into the current one whilst you can


That's what I thought too. The new one does little to excite.
Racing Teatray

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Michael wrote:
The Discovery:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news...tures-show-suv-almost-undisguised


Judging by those pics, I'd be getting into the current one whilst you can


Indeed. It looks very much like a bad Chinese fake of a Range Rover Sport with shades of SsangYong thrown in...

I've never particularly cared for the current Discovery but it is at least distinctive and well-proportioned.
Michael

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Michael wrote:
The Discovery:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news...tures-show-suv-almost-undisguised


Judging by those pics, I'd be getting into the current one whilst you can


That's sort of my line of thinking but I think the Disco 5 might look good in the metal.
Bob Sacamano

There was one of these new XC90s parked in Newcastle the other night and in the flesh it's quite attractive, not slab sided at all and certainly better looking than the Audi Q7. The price is an issue but I don't think looks and quality are.
PG

Michael wrote:
Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Michael wrote:
The Discovery:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news...tures-show-suv-almost-undisguised


Judging by those pics, I'd be getting into the current one whilst you can


That's sort of my line of thinking but I think the Disco 5 might look good in the metal.


Agreed re hope it looks good in the metal.

I was pretty worried when I saw the first spy shots, but it does look better now that some of the disguise has come off. Especially that they have maintained the upwards kink in the roof over the second and third row of seats and the back looks more upright that the earlier shots.

It does seem to have lost a bit of its function creating form style. But then maybe that is what the new Defender will look like when it arrives - an updated Discovery 3?
Boxer6

Michael wrote:
Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
Michael wrote:
The Discovery:

http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news...tures-show-suv-almost-undisguised


Judging by those pics, I'd be getting into the current one whilst you can


That's sort of my line of thinking but I think the Disco 5 might look good in the metal.


I'd hope so too, but I'm not at all a fan of the "rounding off" of the corners they seem to be foisting on new LR/RR products recently.

The Disco 3/4 is quite boxy and angular I know, but it suits what I feel to be the character of the car's (alleged) slightly rural ethos. (OK, OK I know most are used in the City, but that's another tale for another day).

Much more to the facelift than mere appearance too I expect, though I didn't look that closely at it!
Tim

Bob Sacamano wrote:
........and certainly better looking than the Audi Q7.


Agreed. I didn't actually mind the original Q7 but the Mk2 looks quite old fashioned to me.

Must be a VW group thing though as the new Tiguan appears to be much squarer as well.
JohnC

I think we are going to see a lot more of these on the roads soon. In the last 2 weeks I have had 3 separate requests from clients on the tax impact of getting a car like this and the one I got last night was for two of them, to replace an Evoque and a 3.0TDi A6 Avant.

With CO2 emissions of only 49g/km (someone's really done some magic there on such a big car), 100% write off of the whole cost of the car in year one and a benefit in kind of only 7% this year, there isn't much to touch it.
The only down side is the cost of the thing in the first place. The 7% BIK percentage looks good but when multiplied by 75K it still becomes a reasonable figure (remembering that it will be 9% next year, 13% the year after that and then 16% as the tax man sucks all the life out of the market again). However in the shorter term with only 7% BIK it is probably worth taking a BIK for private fuel again - 22,200 x 7% = 1,554 x 40% tax = 621 actual cost for all your private fuel to be paid for by the company.

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