Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription

Liang · Jul 23, 2022 09:00 AM

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Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 01

Basic Information

2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 01

Reason why I bought this car

I have an ancient Toyota Estima and I have been using that as my workhorse and family car for more than 10 years. Power door is starting to fail and starting to give other problems. Still a good car though. My son likes cars and always has been following automotive news. One day he approached me with this XC90 and told me it's a very worthy car to consider.

Car selection process

  • I was looking for a brand new car

  • I wanted a full size SUV to carry my family around (4-5 person)

  • Other models on my mind include Lexus RX350, NX300, Mazda CX8, Mini Countryman

  • My budget was in the Rm300k to Rm400k range as this is around the price of a full size SUV

At the Volvo dealer, I was almost tempted to get the XC60 because I know I will rarely use the last row in the XC90. In the end I went for the XC90 because compared to the XC60, I'm getting  a lot more for around RM40k.

User Experience

I have already done 10,000km 

 

Performance 

Under the hood is Volvo’s top of the range T8 set up, this includes a 2.0 liter twin charge engine (Turbocharged + Supercharged) matted to an electric motor. The engine pushes out 320 hp and 400 nm of torque powering the front wheels and the electric motor pushes out 87 PS and 240 nm of torque powering the rear. All are paired to an Aisin 8 speed automatic. This car has a combined figure of 407 hp and 640 nm sent to all four wheels. 

 

Fuel Economy

Although I have the car for around a year now, I haven't spent a lot of time with it yet as this is used as a family car and not my daily driver. But I have been averaging 4.0L/100km. Which I find quite impressive for a 3 ton Large SUV. Not to mention, this is a PHEV, so a big chunk of the distance traveled in this car did not use up any petrol

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 02

The battery takes about 5-6 hours for a full charge using the included 3 pin plug. The official page says the car can go up to 40+km on pure electric range, but I’m averaging a little over half of the claimed figures. This is due to the hot weather in Malaysia I guess but still sufficient for driving around town, back and forth from work on battery power alone. The car also never felt sluggish to move even when the battery was fully depleted. 

 

The Drive

There is no messing around with 400 hp and 640 nm torque. This huge car weighs 3 tons and still manages to propel itself in 5.6 seconds in the century sprint, that is faster than almost all hot hatches in a giant 7 seater SUV. On paper 3 tons is very heavy but thanks to the instant torque delivery, it hides its weight very well. On the down side, I know I have a lot of power at the disposal of my right foot, but this car is not meant for going through tight bends and corners. Don’t get me wrong, it still gives you a lot of confidence and stay planted during the corner. Just that SUVs can't compare themselves with sedans and hatchbacks in handling corners. Guess there is still no running away from physics. 

 

Comfort

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 03

What lacks in the bends are made up in comfort. The T8 inscription comes with air suspension and it is super comfortable to ride in, like riding on a cloud. The suspension soaks up all the broken brittle Malaysian roads like it was never there. Road noise and wind noise is also very minimal in low and high speeds. 

Volvo seats are also among the best in the business. All seats in the XC90 come with soft yet supportive nappa leather upholstery. The front driver and passenger features 14-way powered seats including powered adjustable side bolsters and 3 memory seats. I doubt anyone can find a seating position that is not tailored to them. 

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 04

There is no need to fight for AC in the XC90, rear passengers don’t only get air vents from the center console, air vents are found on all pillars, including the last row! This is really amazing for what Volvo has done. 

 

As I said this car is not made for the bends, do remember to slow down during corners, otherwise rear passengers will have lots of body roll. 

 

Middle Row

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 05

The middle row is a 3 seater bench which does not provide as much support compared to the front but with that said, it is still a very comfortable place to be in. Seats in the middle row can move front and back, and recline for individual preference which is super convenient. I usually use the car as a 5 seater for bigger booth space and added comfort which gives middle row passengers ample space to even cross their legs. One down side of the middle row is the seat belt receiver quite protruding, there's the occasional jab to their butts when passengers shuffle across the middle row.

 

Last Row

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 06

The last row is a 2 seater, usually the seats in the last row are the worst, but it's actually not that bad in the XC90, I’m 175cm and I have no problem travelling long journeys if the middle passenger could just move their seats slightly to the front. The last row is also raised a little to give that theater feel and a better view angle. Unfortunately, no adjustment whatsoever in the back, but it shouldn't be anything to complain about when you have your own storage compartment and cup holder for each passenger in the last row. Fun fact, the cover of the compartment has a spider just to entertain kids.

 

Interior 

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 07

You are greeted with a very nice Scandinavian design when you enter the car. The open pore  wood trim contrasts the black interior so well, like sitting in a wine lounge. Leather Upholstery and wood trim extend all the way to all 4 door panels as well. Lower part of the door panel and center console are wrapped in leather as well, I dare to say there is nothing cheap to be found in the interior. 

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 08

The Orrefors crystal is the party piece in the front of the car. Looks very clean no matter day or night. 

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 09

While rear passengers get a nice view of white sky blue clouds or starry night. The panoramic sunroof also makes the car feel very airy and most importantly taller adults still get ample headroom. 

 

Space

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 10

As I said earlier, I use this car as a 5 seater most of the time, so with the last row folded down. KLIA trips 

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 11

Fold down the middle row and you get a completely flat bed. The luxury SUV instantly transforms into a luxury moving truck for your Ikea trips. 

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 12

The booth also has nice features like this divider to separate your shopping bags and groceries. There are also hooks to hang stuff and elastic belts to secure loose items.

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 13

The under floor storage is nothing much, I use it to store my charger and the original carpets and that's about it

Infotainment System

Owner Review: A beast of a family car - My story of 2019 Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription 14

Infotainment is quite easy for me to use. Everything on the right screen is on/off switch of the car’s features such as lane keep assist, camera toggle etc. Left side of the screen are things like car status, apps, fm radio etc. I particularly like the 360 camera, as it is clear and shows indicators of how close you are with other objects. One down side of the vertical screen is that it is not so nice when viewing maps, but those are just small issues.

Pros

  • For less than Rm400k you are getting a lot of car and features for the money. I don’t think other brands can beat this in terms of value

  • Very luxurious and comfortable interior 

  • I can never finish a full tank of petrol in a month

  • 400hp and 640 nm torque is an overkill

Cons

  • Very big car, hard to maneuver around tight spaces can’t fit the whole car in one standard parking box

  • The car can sometime too safety and too conservative, occasionally beeps at the slightest danger making me flinch

  • More ambient lighting would make the car look more atas

  • Body roll for rear passengers, not sure if its because of my driving habits


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