What’s new?

Volvo has updated the XC90 4×4, and the plug-in hybrid model gains a bigger battery for a longer all-electric range, while the diesel models are now mild hybrids. This means they use a 48V starter-generator to assist the engine, and recapture energy during braking and deceleration that would otherwise be lost.

This clever tech allows the latest XC90 to emit less and stretch a gallon of diesel further than before. The model we’re testing is the B5 AWD R-Design.

What are we looking for?

Does the mild hybrid drivetrain make a difference to the driving experience, and how efficient is it while towing? Have the updates to the Volvo kept it at the forefront of the large SUV class?