Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 hybrid interior & comfort
The Volvo XC90 started the revitalisation of the Swedish firm’s line-up and set the template for the brand’s latest design language inside. Volvos always used to be practical, but their interior layout and technology could feel a little confused. The XC90, however, is spacious, high-quality and boasts great infotainment.
Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 hybrid dashboard
All XC90s get a nine-inch portrait-style tablet touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dashboard. It’s joined by nice metal detailing, while the plastics and leather covering the rest of the interior mean that, when you factor in the hybrid technology as well, the T8’s price tag starts to make more sense.
That display is joined by a 12.3-inch digital dial panel, which adds to the hi-tech feel. It’s not as configurable as some rival systems, but there’s enough functionality on offer here that you certainly won’t feel short-changed. One drawback of the system is that the climate controls are integrated into the touchscreen. It’s a small point, and while it means the dash is free of buttons and clutter, you have to use the screen to adjust the temperature and fan speed.
At least there are shortcuts for these points, so it’s not as bad as some systems that work in this way, while it means the XC90’s interior is clean and free from clutter. The steering-wheel controls that adjust the digital dashboard and control radio presets and volume, the adaptive cruise control and semi-autonomous driving systems where fitted work well, too.
It's just disappointing that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are optional, and the screen itself can be slow to respond and lags behind more advanced systems found in BMWs and Audis.
Equipment, options and accessories
Sat nav that shows you where the nearest chargers are, as well as all the usual nav features, is standard on every XC90. The touchscreen operates like a tablet, so you pinch to zoom and swipe to scroll, and as it’s portrait in orientation, you can see more of what’s ahead of you on the map.
Heated leather seats with power adjustment, four-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights and 20-inch alloys are standard on all XC90s, or if you go for a 'Pro' model you get adaptive air suspension and head-up display as well. The comfort options that you'll most likely be tempted by include the panoramic glass roof and heated rear seats.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
Along with sat nav, the Volvo’s Sensus Navigation features some useful additions. Spotify is included (it needs a data connection to work, though), but if you want Apple CarPlay or Android Auto connectivity, you’ll need to pay £300 for Volvo’s Smartphone Integration pack. This seems a little steep given how much the car costs and the level of technology that’s otherwise included.
Overall, while the system is one of the easier to use on a day-to-day basis, it has to be said that the screen doesn't respond as quickly as you might want it to and the systems now on offer in rivals from Audi, BMW and Land Rover offer more advanced functionality.