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Regal Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge is business class on wheels

Winding down the high road from Johannesburg to Kwazulu-Natal to Margate in the Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge for my dad's celebration was like business class on wheels, writes Prashirwin Naidu.

Winding down the high road from Johannesburg to Kwazulu-Natal to Margate on the south coast in the Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge was an eight-hour journey in style.

It was business class on wheels as my dad, Edwin Naidu, and I began a quick adventure to wind down his birthday week at our idyllic getaway spot.

The kilometres flew by fast, perhaps due to the ambience and beautiful noise of the 19-speaker Bowers and Wilkens sound system, which made one feel in luxury heaven.

Staunch and Muscular: dubbed the most powerful Volvo ever, the 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels of the XC90 with black accents deliver a rather imposing appearance. PHOTO: Prashirwin Naidu

The Nappa leather seats felt buttery smooth, almost hugging the occupants. On the long, open road, with enough room to experience this beauty, we opened the taps a smidgen enough to realise this vehicle was no slouch.

The XC90 combines a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0l four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. It is also paired with a slick eight-speed automatic transmission. This Hybrid SUV delivers a total output of 340kW and 709Nm, making it Volvo’s quickest XC90. Did I mention it can do a 0-100km/h sprint in 5.2 seconds?

But to dial it down, one can put it into hybrid mode, which makes the drive more economical. This plug-in hybrid offers a claimed maximum electric range of 77km, ensuring you can cover significant distances on electric power alone. You can return a 1.2l/100km consumption when operating in hybrid mode.

Charging is seamless. It can be done at home with a 220V household socket or taken to a fast-charging station. It took about 2 hours to get fifty percent of the charge, and it depends roughly on the charging station.

The battery also charges through regenerative braking as you drive. But once the electric range is exhausted, you must rely on petrol power; the Volvo averages 9.7l/100km—a respectable figure for this large SUV.

The XC90 was a smooth sailor, effortlessly gliding on the open road and handling the imperfections with great ease and tact.

On looks alone, the Swedish Delight captures the hearts with its regal and charming demeanour. Its pronounced front grille, modern LED headlights, and 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels with black accents deliver a rather imposing appearance.

This SUV’s stature is quite staunch and muscular. Coated in a rich vapour grey hue, it is a flavourful recipe for delivering a timeless look. Our test unit also had the dark package draped in glossy black detailing on the front, sides, and rear.

Stylish visual elements :Volvo XC90 comes with black leather trim on the steering, dash, and side panels. PHOTO: Prashirwin Naidu

It is a giant companion to the XC60, boasting seven seats to accommodate plenty. With the rear seats down, you have 680 litres; stow the third and second, it is 1,874 litres. Besides the space, ours also had an automated tailgate.

Cabin-wise, Scandinavian minimalism is evident in the design language. It features black leather trim on the steering, dash, and side panels. And not to mention the hand-crafted crystal gear lever, which adds to the luxe appeal. Everything blends seamlessly; most of the co-figurations in the XC90 can be operated via the infotainment screen in the middle—powered by Google Services.

Our test unit boasted the Ultimate package, which included a panoramic sunroof, glass-tinted windows, a head-up display, wireless phone charging and heated and ventilated seats that can be electrically adjusted for front occupants.

In addition to the stylish visual elements and tech features, it also featured active air suspension, adaptive cruise control, rear collision warning, adaptive power steering, seven airbags, lane-keeping aid, oncoming lane mitigation, cross-traffic alert with emergency braking and park assist front, rear, and sides.

The XC90 T8 Recharge starts at R1,755,000, more than the double the price of its smaller cousin, the EX30. It can be purchased with the Plus or Ultimate package, which the one we drove had. With all the niceties, it was priced at R1,825,100. Comfort comes at a price, but it is undoubtedly worth every cent.

*This article is exclusively written for NOWinSA by motoring contributing writer Prashwin Naidu. Â© Higher Education Media.

Prashirwin Naidu
Prashirwin Naidu
Aspiring scribe, Prashirwin Naidu is a writer focusing on cars and the arts.
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