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Refreshed Volvo XC90 debuts with mild hybrid power

Volvo's big SUV gets a range of updates, including new electrified powertrains and design changes

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Volvo has revealed a facelifted version of its flagship XC90 model, which will make its public debut at next week’s Geneva motor show.

A newly-developed mild hybrid system has been added to the seven-seater SUV, which will be available on both petrol and diesel engines, along with a series of exterior tweaks designed to help keep the car looking fresh after three years in the marketplace.

The new mild hybrid system uses regenerative braking, which recovers energy when slowing down and converts it to electricity. This is used to power the car’s ancillary electrical systems that would otherwise be driven by the internal combustion engine.

This allows all of the engine’s output to be used for moving the car, which results in better fuel economy and lower emissions levels. The system will be linked to Volvo’s existing petrol and diesel engines, and will be rolled out across the range in coming months.

The new mild hybrid engines will wear new designations, which denote a Volvo car with an electrified powertrain, to replace the existing T (petrol) and D (diesel) badges. These will join the existing T8 plug-in hybrid as the electrified versions of the SUV.

Volvo B5 mild hybrid badge | The Car Expert
“B” means mild hybrid, although it could be petrol or diesel. “5” means faster than “4” but slower than “6”.

Minor exterior tweaks freshen up XC90 styling

Volvo has been subtle in applying styling revisions to the outside of the car, which is not surprising since the XC90’s styling still looks fresher than many newer rivals.

New wheels, exterior colours and a refreshed grille help to differentiate it from the older version. However, recognisable Volvo styling features such as the car’s ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights remain.

Though the XC90 always offered Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, it hadn’t incorporated Android Auto – until now. This latest model benefits from the technology, giving Android users the ability to link their smartphone to the car’s system.

Since its release in 2015, more than 320,000 examples of the current-generation XC90 have been sold worldwide. This updated version is due to go into production in May, and will be available to order in the UK from March.

UK pricing and specifications for the facelifted Volvo XC90 range have yet to be disclosed, but will be announced closer to the car’s launch.

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Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.