Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine interior & comfort

The Volvo XC90 T8’s interior is nicely trimmed and offers individuality alongside quality, technology, comfort and seven-seat practicality

The Volvo XC90 (and the T8 as part of that) 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, but the XC90 is spacious, high-quality and boasts great infotainment.

Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine 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.

Equipment, options and accessories

Sat nav is standard on every XC90 trim level. 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. Climate control, 20-inch alloy wheels, heated part-leather seats, plenty of advanced safety technology and LED headlights are included.

R-Design trim gets sportier styling and some different trim panels inside, while R-Design Pro adds 22-inch alloys and adjustable air suspension – you’ll need it due to those big alloys. Inscription is the top model, with power-adjustable leather seats that offer even more support, different interior materials again and some upgraded ambient lighting inside, while the Pro version of this model features air suspension, 21-inch wheels and adaptive headlights.

Infotainment, apps & sat nav

Along with sat nav, the Volvo’s Sensus Navigation features some useful. 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. Otherwise, the infotainment is one of the best systems around. There are positives and negatives to the touchscreen. It’s not as easy to use as a setup with a rotary controller, especially on the move, but it’s also quicker to navigate around the menus.

Only occasionally does the screen lag behind your inputs. Mostly, it’s responsive and therefore easy to use. The sat-nav map’s graphics could be a little sharper, but having directions displayed on the digital panel right in front of you is a nice touch.