It’s Clobbering Time For The Updated Volvo XC90
The 2019 Volvo XC90 is updated. Finally, at last, not before the end of time, better late than never Volvo has introduced the first of a range of mild-hybrid powertrains. Mild hybrids are like the semi-skimmed version of milk. A mild hybrid engine is not a full-on hybrid, it’s like a watered-down version of a full hybrid. Mild hybrids are better for the environment, and it saves car companies from being penalized for breaking emissions regulations. But hold on, Volvo has made notice of its intention to phase out diesel engines. So we’re a bit confused as to why the company is offering a diesel engine mild hybrid system. What of the environment, the baby seals, penguins, and polar bears?
One could be cynical and say profit motive comes before baby seals, penguins and polar bears. Despite outwardly proclaiming to have environment concerns Volvo plugs on regardless. The new mild-hybrid diesel is designated ‘B5’. The mild-hybrid system comprises of a 2.0-litre 235hp diesel engine with a 48-volt battery, a KERS kinetic energy recovery system and an integrated starter generator. Volvo claims fuel economy is improved by up to 15 percent in real-world driving – and produces lower NOx emissions than the outgoing D5 XC90 it replaces.
The system works by capturing latent residual energy by the KERS system when the car brakes or decelerates. This energy is stored as electricity in the battery. This is used to supplement the engine’s performance when accelerating and to power ancillary functions such as the headlights and audio system.
The real bugbear here is that this technology should already be available in Volvo’s petrol engine line-up. Consumers are moving towards petrol engine cars and mild hybrid petrol cars should be the standard now, not next year. We were considering getting a long term Volvo, but with no mild-hybrid petrol variants Volvo you can wave goodbye to our participation,
Nevertheless, the B5 also gets an updated automatic transmission, which brings improved fuel efficiency and superior gearshift quality. Acceleration from a standstill is sharper, too, thanks to a greater torque capacity in the lower gears.
Volvo has also uprated the proper Twin Engine petrol-electric plugin hybrid. Battery capacity has been increased from 10.4 to 11.8 kilowatt-hours. This increases the car’s electric-only driving range from up to 21.7 to a maximum of 28.6 miles. There is an issue with the claimed electric range.
These plugin hybrids always have an overstated driving range, often based on laboratory extrapolations. In other words, the marketing departments add more electric range than the vehicle is capable of achieving. Having tested numerous plug-in hybrids the real-world range is always half the stated amount.
That said, 2019 Volvo XC90 has also introduced styling upgrades to the exterior and added two extra USB ports to the interior. Pricing starts at £52k, just head on over to your nearest dealership if you want to find out more, we’re not car salespeople we’re just normal human beings.