Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 hybrid interior, dashboard & comfort
The XC90 Recharge T8’s interior is nicely trimmed and offers individuality alongside quality, technology, comfort and seven-seat practicality
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.
For 2022, the infotainment system was upgraded to Google-based software, which is a big plus for smartphone connectivity. It includes apps like Google Maps, which now work as the XC90's integrated sat nav, plus voice recognition that easily recognises most sentences.
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. Google integration means it's easy to find destinations without having to know their full address or postcode, and traffic is clearly shown on the map.
Entry-level Core models get heated partial leather seats with power adjustment, four-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights and 20-inch alloys. Stepping up to Plus trim gets you a panoramic sunroof, adaptive headlights, LED foglights, larger 20-inch wheels, a 360-degree parking camera, and an uprated Harman Kardon sound system. If you go for the Ultimate trim you get Nappa leather upholstery, adaptive air suspension and head-up display as well. The comfort options that you'll most likely be tempted by include the retractable tow bar and integrated child seat for the middle row. Dark-tinted rear windows are also available for extra privacy and to keep the rear of the car cool.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The Sensus infotainment system fitted previously in the XC90 has now been replaced with a setup using Google Automotive software. This is good news for anyone familiar with apps like Google Maps, as the operating system will be more user-friendly and intuitive.
While in-car voice commands have been notoriously hit-and-miss over the years, Volvo's latest incarnation can recognise commands like "Where's the nearest public charger" or "the car is too cold" in an instant. However, features like this do tend to require a phone signal, so may not work as well in rural areas.
In This Review
- 1VerdictThe Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 is a plug-in hybrid SUV with decent performance, seven-seat practicality and over 40 miles' electric running capability
- 2Range, MPG, CO2 & chargingThe Volvo XC90 Recharge offers useable electric range and therefore strong efficiency. Charging is simple, too
- 3Running costs & insuranceThe XC90 Recharge isn't cheap by any stretch, but for such a powerful luxury SUV, it promises fairly low running costs
- 4Performance, engine & driveThe Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 delivers strong performance and comfort, putting it up there with the best in class
- 5Interior, dashboard & comfort - currently readingThe XC90 Recharge T8’s interior is nicely trimmed and offers individuality alongside quality, technology, comfort and seven-seat practicality
- 6Boot space, seating & practicalityThe XC90 Recharge T8’s huge boot and versatile seven-seat layout makes it one of the most practical plug-in hybrids around
- 7Reliability & safety ratingThe XC90 Recharge T8 combines the dependability of a regular XC90 with Volvo’s traditional focus on safety, so it makes for reassuring transport