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Interactive Review: 2020 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription


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Next up for an interactive review is the most expensive Volvo I have driven, the 2020 XC90 T8 Inscription - as-tested price of $86,790 with a $995.00 destination charge. Sadly, there is no kitchen sink to find, but this vehicle is loaded. It has four-corner air suspension, 21-inch wheels, a Bowers and Wilkins audio system, massaging front seats, heated steering whee, captain chairs for the second row with heat, panoramic sunroof, and 360-degree camera.

Power comes from the T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain that I tried in the V60 Polestar a few weeks back. While not as potent as the Polestar, the XC90 still posts some impressive numbers of 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet.

Here are some initial impressions

  • Despite the hefty pricetag, I don't get the feeling of luxury that the Inscription is supposed to bring. I have to wonder if its due to the black leather and dark wood trim being used.
  • Did I mention that this comes with a crystal gearshift?
  • Ride quality seems to be ok with the 21-inch wheels, but there is a fair amount of tire noise on rough pavement.

I'll have more thoughts as the week goes on. In the meantime, if you have any questions, drop them below.

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WOW, crazy as I have to agree based on the picture that the dark interior does not say uber luxury.

Questions:

  • Is the crystal shifter like the one in Cadillac? Looks a bit like it.
  • How is the comfort of the Drivers seat?
    • Is the massage feature distracting while driving?
  • Quality of the camera system?
  • Interior size for large people, any draw backs observed?
  • Does the bottom front section of the drivers seat pull out for longer legs like other autos has on some seats?
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On 9/25/2020 at 7:23 PM, David said:

WOW, crazy as I have to agree based on the picture that the dark interior does not say uber luxury.

Questions:

  • Is the crystal shifter like the one in Cadillac? Looks a bit like it.
  • How is the comfort of the Drivers seat?
    • Is the massage feature distracting while driving?
  • Quality of the camera system?
  • Interior size for large people, any draw backs observed?
  • Does the bottom front section of the drivers seat pull out for longer legs like other autos has on some seats?

I can answer a few of these questions at the moment.

2: Strikes a good balance between comfort and firmness. Did a couple of hours behind the wheel and ran into no issues.
2.5: Did not find it to be really distracting, but I think this may a be a case by case thing.
3: Very good camera system, although I wished that it was easier to get to the 360-degree view when parking.
5: There is a power adjustment for this.

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These are a truly beautiful day to day ride, size, and luxury.

But:

1) Do not do the 21", etc. wheels. Adds an odd noise, etc. that isn't needed, and roughness vs. the others. Still rides well, but too big (on anything) doesn't work ideally, ever.

2) Highest Inscription, etc. models are not sellers. For good reason. This in the $55-70k range is killer, and oozes luxury and refinement vs. something like a Cadillac Acadia aka XT-whatever.

The seats...well...every other automaker should just make deals with Volvo to buy their seats, and skip the development costs. The best.

Edited by caddycruiser
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On 9/25/2020 at 10:21 PM, smk4565 said:

$87k for a Volvo is bonkers crazy.  

Yep. Pretty much done with most European cars. Still like some basic VW's but for Luxury vehicles, no thank you please.

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The $6300 Inscription package seems like a big waste of money, especially since part of it is a stereo upgrade when there is $3200 then added on for another stereo upgrade.

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Final Update on the XC90 (Was hoping to get this up yesterday, but got busy with other things).

  • Average MPGe landed around 50.2 for the week. Around 60 to 65 percent of my driving was done on electric power alone. It would have been higher had I not checked if I had fully plugged in the charger into the connection the first night I had the vehicle.
  • Overall electric range came between 20 to 22 miles.
  • Recharging the XC90 T8's charging time, it is the same as the V60 Polestar - 8-10 hours. You can use a 240V outlet to charge it via an adapter.
  • To answer @David question on space for tall passengers, there is plenty of headroom due to the boxy shape. Legroom is fine, provided there isn't a giant sitting up front and has the seat set all the way back. Don't even think about trying the third row - pain to get in and barely any legroom if the second-row captain's chairs are moved all the way back.
  • No problems with Volvo Sensus in terms of freezing or crashes. 

When it comes to write the full review, I'll likely be doing a "Here's what I would cut from the Inscription" to make the price tag slightly more palatable. Spoiler, the 21-inch wheels are the first to go.

I should have a new interactive review up later today.

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