In-depth reviews

Volvo XC90 SUV - MPG, running costs & CO2

T8 Twin Engine hybrid is the running-costs star of the new Volvo XC90 range, but cheaper B5 mild-hybrid diesel will be satisfactory for most buyers

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews
MPG, running costs & CO2 Rating

4.0 out of 5

All Volvo XC90 engines are relatively fuel-efficient when you consider the performance they offer. Though expensive, the plug-in hybrid is completely exempt from the London Congestion Charge.

Volvo XC90 MPG & CO2

All models have four-wheel drive as standard controlled through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Among the most affordable versions is the 2.0-litre B5 diesel engine, which returns up to 41.5mpg and CO2 emissions from 178g/km, but it's in the top Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) bracket for business car users. Replacing the outgoing D5 model, the mild-hybrid B5 recoups energy under braking, which is stored in a small battery. This power can then be used to boost acceleration and power the car when it's coasting or stopped in traffic.

It's almost exactly the same price as the B5 (P) petrol but efficiency figures of up to 32.4mpg and around 200g/km of CO2 mean it'll prove slightly more expensive to run.

The XC90 B6 petrol is faster than the diesel but also pricier to buy, less economical and more expensive to tax. The B6 manages up to 30.7mpg and has CO2 emissions from 210g/km, placing it firmly in the top BiK bracket. The decision to choose one of the petrols is one best taken once you’ve weighed up your expected mileage against how much performance you actually need.

The XC90 Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid - which we've reviewed separately - claims to return up to 100.9mpg – but our experience with other plug-in hybrids (including the Volvo V60 Plug-In Hybrid) suggests you’re unlikely to achieve this figure in everyday driving. Our fuel consumption increased markedly when the battery was charging in our test car, and those who live in urban areas and make many short journeys will likely see more benefit than those who often drive long distances. On the plus side, the T8's CO2 emissions from 63g/km mean a low BiK company-car tax rating and exemption from the London Congestion Charge, so long as you don't pick a version with the largest alloy wheels.

Due to the XC90's starting price of more than £40,000, all petrol and diesel versions set you back £475 a year in road tax during the first five renewal years, starting from the second year. Hybrid versions will cost slightly less: £465 a year.

Insurance group

Insurance groups for the Volvo XC90 range from 33 to 43, so premiums are worth researching if you're coming from a car that has been inexpensive to insure.


The standard Volvo warranty runs for three years or 60,000 miles – whichever comes first. That’s the same amount of cover you get on an Audi Q7, but there's no mileage limit on the three-year warranty offered with the BMW X5.


Volvo offers service plans that are designed to spread the cost of your car’s ongoing maintenance with monthly payments. For cars up to four years old, plans can be taken out for two, three, four, five or six years. The price of these plans will vary depending on your anticipated annual mileage and the exact specification of your XC90.

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