A lot Of Gas A Little Electric For Now

2017 Volvo XC-90 T8

This electricity stuff is all the rage in the auto industry. Volvo recently announced that all of their models will be fully electric or hybrid starting in 2019. Welcome to the future of the automobile.

I just got a little taste of what’s to come for the Swedish brand owned by Geely of China.

Feast your eyes on the spectacular looking and driving XC-90 T8 Twin Engine Plug In Hybrid.

The electric part is a 46-hp motor. The old school engine is a turbocharged inline 4-cylinder power plant that makes 316-horsepower. The combined tech will get you from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. If you play the game well, you can drive 13 miles on electricity before the gas power plant kicks in. Not a lot of range, but you can see where Volvo is heading. EPA combined mileage is 53MPGe/25MPG.

 

Enough tech talk for a moment. This Volvo is one of the most beautiful cars I’ve ever driven.

Our neighbors own an XC-60. We picked them up on our way to happy hour and they were blown away at how gorgeous the interior was. It’s like going to a high end Scandinavia furniture store with an unlimited budget. All the materials are first rate. The Nappa leather seats on my tester came with a massage mode. And they heat and cool. I could get used to that. They are super comfy and supportive. Volvo has always made some of the best furniture for your tush in the car business. Check out the gear shifter knob that controls the 8-speed transmission. It’s made of crystal and no two shifters are alike. Nutty, but cool. And it lights up at night. The wood trim is first rate too.The large touch screen is a mixed bag for me. It takes a while for things to boot up and the response of the screen lags at times. And I hate all of the fingerprints that really stand out when sun hits the interface screen. But I can not say enough about the craftsmanship of the interior. I could look at it for hours.

Second row passengers get individual seats and the third row get a bench. Everything folds flat if you dare to haul things that may mess up the pristine cargo area.

The exterior is a thing of beauty, at least for an SUV. Notice the headlights pay homage to Thor with a Thor’s hammer. It sounds corny but there’s nothing else on the road that looks like it. From the headlights on back, this big Swede is a looker.

And good news! It drives great too. And it can drive itself with the with the optional tech offered.

Handling is crisp. The brakes with electronic assist modulate well. The great ride is aided by the optional air suspension that lets you chose between five modes. I could go on forever listing all of the features, standard and optional. Head to Volvo’s website for the full meal deal, not including Swedish meatballs.

My tester had just about every available option which put this white in shining armor near the $90,000 range. I know, a lot of money. But this Volvo is a lot of car. I don’t care about the plug in feature. Better range is on the way. In the meantime, this car will get you where you’re going better than just about anything on the road today.

 

Mike West

CBS

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