Ian Lamming doesn’t get his wires cross as he drives Volvo’s plug-in V90.
IT’S got a wire but no need to worry.
If you are like me and can’t be bothered to plug in the latest batch of rechargeable hybrids for the extra 30 miles of electric-only power they offer then this particular Volvo is the car for you.
The V90 Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid AWD Inscription Automat – phew that’s a long name – is fitted with an natty device so you need never use the three pin at all. Swipe left on the dashboard touchscreen and among the millions of items on display is one that says ‘recharge’.
Press it and the V90’s 2.0 petrol engine instantly starts up and one of its functions, apart from the obvious one of moving the car, is to recharge the hybrid system, which it does in surprisingly rapid time. There’s a gauge on the dashboard that tells you when it’s full and you can either repress the same button or wait until the next time you start the car when it will default to hybrid mode.
When it does you’ll find yourself creeping along in spookily quiet fashion on electric only, which is cool and stops you guzzling gas and pumping out the noxious stuff. When the two work together you can expect low 30s when it comes to average miles per gallon.
While this doesn’t sound overly impressive as an eco-bus you need to consider this – this very large estate car will hit 60mph in 5.8 seconds thanks to an impressive 310hp on tap from the turbocharged 2.0.
It is a wonderful combo offering the ability to whisper through town, storm along roads where you need oomph to overtake slow movers and cruise on the motorways in a calm fashion.
Add to this excellent suspension, sharp steering and a great automatic gearbox and you have a car that loves to be driven by anyone who loves to drive. In cold greasy conditions the V90 boosts your confidence even further with startling levels of grip thanks to all wheel drive.
Even if it wasn’t so great to drive the V90 would still be a lovely place to inhabit. Even on a dark dank day the cabin is light and comfortable, with every toy imaginable just a dab away on the comprehensive touchscreen; anything from brilliant infotainment to heated seats and steering wheel.
Then there’s the load area which is absolutely vast and even more gargantuan when the rear seats have been folded nicely flat.
Seats back in place, rear seat passengers get first class flight amounts of legroom and similar levels of luxury. V90 is positively plush and a very nice place to reside should you fancy being chauffeured for the day, especially after putting on the heart-warming heated seats. Just sit back, snuggle down and stare at the sky through the panoramic glass sunroof.
And by the time you get home the electric hybrid system has been recharged and there’s no need to worry about plugging the wire into the mains.
Volvo V90 Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid AWD Inscription Automat
Engine: 2.0 petrol
0-60mph: 5.8 secs
Top speed: 155mph
Combined MPG: 32.5