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2020 Volvo XC90


The top rank among the Volvo SUVs is the XC90, which is very logical because it has the highest number after XC (as opposed to the 40 and 60 models). And like its SUV relatives, there are multiple power and fuel economy choices. But on the 90 version, seating is of the 3 row variety with two choices…either 7 seats or new for this year, 6 seats.

Power can go to either the front wheels or all four wheels depending on the engine choice of which there are three. The common denominator is a 2-liter 4-cylinder powerplant. The base turbocharged engine develops a fairly powerful 250 horsepower. For more power, there is a turbocharged and supercharged version that has 316 horses. And for those who want super power with excellent fuel economy like our test model, a plug in hybrid with an electric and gas motor resulting in a powerful 400 horsepower. The transmission choices are simple…an eight-speed automatic.

Styling for the 2020 model year receives a redo mostly upfront with a revised grille and front bumper, but the changes still clearly says Volvo with its rounded cornered rectangular grille. Also new are the alloy wheels, which are quite striking. The side view maintains the rectangular look. The rear area presents huge taillights that go to almost the top of the roofline. Large rectangular exhaust pipes are present and integrated into the rear bumper. Honolulu residents commented favorably on the overall look.

Approaching the SUV with the key present results in the side mirrors swinging out, and the doors being unlocked. Starting the motors is simple by twisting a dial on the center console. Two large video screens dominate the interior. A 9-inch screen is in the center of the dash and is controlled by touch, some dials and buttons. In the dash pod is a 12.3-inch screen. With the pushing of buttons on the steering wheel, data can be shown including fuel mileage and other information. In reverse, a rear camera shows a rear view or with a 360-degree view around the SUV. Included is a huge tinted sunroof that can be opened with a push of a button.

Leather is spread around the entire interior. With the 6-seat arrangement there are two captain chairs in row two…meaning two separate seats with a fair amount of space between them. Four air vents are found in the back of the center console and the two door pillars. There is a fair amount of room in this area, and the two seats can slide back and forth. With the wide separation between the middle two seats, getting to the third row of two seats is easy. But the room in the third row is really best for small adults and for keiki. All the rear seat backs can be lowered and flattened for carrying large items. The liftgate is easily opened with a button on the dash, the key, or a button on the liftgate. A medium sized storage area is presented. Under the rear floor, however, is a large additional storage puka.

On the road with this hybrid model, silence is the normal. When the gas engine is on it can be heard, but it is not loud by any means. But with a 313 horsepower gas engine and an 87 horsepower electric motor acceleration is swift with a 0-60 time of 5.1 seconds. Added to the equitation is a fuel mileage average rating for electric and gas engines combo of 55 mpg. The auto transmission shifts seamlessly. And there are 5 driving modes to choose from… off road, power, hybrid, pure (eco), and constant all wheel drive. A heads up display in the windshield shows your actual speed and the legal highway speed. Half a dozen driving safety systems (i.e, collision avoidance, lane keep, adoptive cruise control, etc.,) are standard equipment. Like many, however, the transmission can be shifted by moving the lever down, and then move the stick up or down to shift the gears. Because of its overall height, there is good view of road traffic and conditions. Steering is direct and controlled. The ride is good and absorbing, and corners are easily taken.

With this luxury SUV, power and good fuel economy are found together. Added is the federal tax credit and treatment as an electric vehicle (free public parking and use of HOV by a single driver).

Tech Specs

Model: SUV 4 door, 6 or 7 passengers.
Price: $48,350 (Base model), as tested hybrid $71,590.
Powertrain: (Hybrid model) 2 liter, turbocharged and supercharged 4 cylinder, electric motor hybrid with 400 horsepower. Eight speed automatic transmission. All wheel drive.
Fuel mileage: (Hybrid model) 55 mpg average for hybrid operation, 27 mpg average with gas engine only.
Performance: (hybrid model) 0-60: 5.1 seconds.

High Beams
Power and with excellent fuel economy.
Easier to get into row three seats
True luxury interior.

Low Beam
Rear view partially blocked by third row headrests, but headrests can be titled down when not in use.

SUV courtesy of Cutter Volvo Ala Moana Blvd.

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