Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge 2023 UK first drive

Volvo XC90 T8 Recharge 2023 UK first drive

Its ride and handling are respectable enough, although here you might regret a little not getting your order absolutely spot on. As a result of Volvo’s latest equipment line tweaks, only top-level Ultimate cars get four-corner adaptively damped air suspension; it’s not even an option on lesser trims. But 21in wheels like those of our test car can be added as an extra on a mid-spec model, and the combination of those wheels with the XC90’s passive suspension won’t be a desirable one if you like an especially comfortable and quiet-riding car. 

The XC90’s ride is just a shade less well isolated than you find it in the very best full-size SUVs, slightly noisy over coarse bitumen and a little bobbly, fidgety and excitable over complex surfaces. Body control is far from poor, but it does evidence the car’s size and mass at quicker B-road speeds or if you hurry around corners in a way that better-handling rivals now don’t.

I can’t believe that XC90 owners would want a more dynamic driving experience than this, to be fair, but they might well like a marginally more relaxing one – and if so, the best advice is “go big or go home” by buying Ultimate trim. Do that and, short of waiting until 2024 for the EX90, you won’t find many more competent, pleasant, smart-looking or quietly gratifying seven-seater family cars. And that’s no bad way to bow out, is it?

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