The Volvo XC90 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid version of the brand’s XC90 midsize luxury SUV. It’s handsome, strong, sturdy, and packed with features of the sought-after persuasion.
With a plug-in hybrid powertrain, the Recharge delivers what other XC90 models do not: breakneck horsepower along with great fuel economy. But Recharge also stands apart in another direction: a $15,900 higher base price. $72,995 versus $57,095.
The XC90 Recharge has three trim levels: Core, Plus, and Ultimate. Every model comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.
I drove a 2023 XC90 Recharge Ultimate whose base price was $80,495 including a $1,095 destination charge.
Volvo’s tasteful design gives Recharge a stately presence. My test vehicle had flattering Bright Theme exterior trim, giving it bright integrated roof rails, bright chrome grille bars, and bright chrome window surrounds. Bright and Dark (high-gloss black) exterior themes are new for 2023.
Powerful acceleration comes courtesy of the hybrid’s combined output of 445 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. Combined fuel economy is 58 MPGe, and Recharge can travel up to 32 miles in fully electric mode.
While I enjoyed Recharge’s quiet and comfortable ride on unruffled pavement, I also appreciated its intermittent mild jiggling when traversing short rough patches because that behavior is reminiscent of a more traditional SUV. Twenty-one-inch wheels and all-season tires on the Recharge contribute to the effect.
There’s a lot of room inside the Recharge seven-passenger interior, but the third row is tight. Since I have no need of a third row, I dropped those seats down first thing and made great use of the resulting gigantic space for cargo carrying during the week.
Since I have no use for leather, I especially liked the contemporary look and high-quality feel of the tailored cloth blend seating surfaces.
The 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, standard on all Recharge trims, has a tablet-like appearance and function. For the most part, it’s a friendly device with just a couple of little shortcomings and not deserving of condemnation.
2023 VOLVO XC90 RECHARGE ULTIMATE
Base price, including destination charge: $80,495
Price as driven: $85,495
Mary Lowry is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. She lives in Snohomish County. Vehicles are provided by automotive manufacturers as a one-week loan for evaluation purposes only. Manufacturers do not control content of the reviews.