Volvo XC90 Hybrid interior
Really cool design and lots of neat touches, but infotainment isn’t the slickest.
The Volvo XC90 plug-in hybrid has a stylish, minimalist interior. The heating and ventilation functions are controlled through the slick 9-inch portrait infotainment screen so there’s no need for a myriad of switches and knobs on its slick centre console. A single rotary dial that controls the stereo volume and a few buttons for the heated windscreens are all the physical controls you’ll have to fiddle with.
The brushed-metal trim and soft-touch plastics on the dashboard and doors feel suitably upmarket but a few hard plastics around the gear selector feel a little less sturdy than those in an Audi Q7.
Even entry-level XC90 T8 Momentum cars come with metal dashboard inserts, mood lighting on the doors and dashboard and a set of plush, supportive leather seats. Sporty R-Design cars come with sports seats, gloss-black dashboard trims and a black fabric roof lining while Inscription versions have classy walnut trim instead.
Inscription models also come with multi-coloured mood lighting, plusher carpets and even softer Nappa leather upholstery while high-spec Inscription Pro cars add massage seats, a head-up display and a heated steering wheel – just the thing for chilly winter mornings.
Every Volvo XC90 T8 plug-in hybrid comes with a 9-inch portrait infotainment screen mounted in the dashboard. Its menus are logically laid out and swiping from side to side to access different features feels just like using an iPad.
All cars come with satellite navigation, and it’s clear and easy to use thanks to its large, colourful icons. Unfortunately, Volvo’s system can’t automatically complete a postcode as you enter it like many units in cheaper cars and it takes longer to calculate a route than the sat-nav in an Audi or BMW. Entering a waypoint is pretty simple, however, and it responds quickly if you pinch to zoom in or swipe across the map.
This central touchscreen also houses the controls for the Volvo’s heating and ventilation. This is usually a source of huge frustration, but at least you get a set of large, clear controls at the lower edge of the screen so you can quickly tweak the cabin temperature or heated seats without having to sift through any confusing menus.
Every Volvo XC90 T8 also comes with a second digital display in place of conventional dials. This 12-inch screen is bright, easy to read and the graphics are clear but it’s not quite as sharp, nor as customisable, as Audi’s similar Virtual Cockpit system.