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2015 Volvo XC90 T8 – World’s Best High-MPG Performance SUV

2015 Volvo XC90 T8 - Who says you can't have performance and versatility AND fuel economy?
2015 Volvo XC90 T8 – Who says you can’t have performance and versatility AND fuel economy?

The 2015 Volvo XC90 T8 is a one-of-a-kind sport utility vehicle (SUV), with space for up to seven passengers and sports car performance, and fuel economy rivalling even compact cars!

Usually, here at The Green Optimistic, we look with disdain on sport utility vehicles, especially when people get excited that the latest version gets an astonishing 30 mpg. Thanks to plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) technology, however, the days of 30 mpg SUV’s being “the best” we can hope for are long gone. Enter the 2015 Volvo XC90 T8, a 400 hp 472 lb•ft crossover SUV that can accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in 5.9 seconds.

Normally, associating a 400-hp six-second sprint time with fuel economy results in, “You’re kidding me, right?” For example, the 2015 Corvette Stingray is powered by a 6.2 ℓ V8 engine and does the 60 mph sprint in 3.8 seconds. Did we mention it only seats two people and might break the 30-mpg fuel efficiency mark? Welcome to the 21st Century, folks, because the Volvo XC90 T8 does far better with a more powerful, and more efficient, PHEV powertrain.

The Volvo XC90 T8 has Pure Electric Mode range of up to 25 miles, which covers most American’s daily driving needs, before switching over to the default Hybrid Mode. Other modes include Power Mode, in which the full power of a dual-charged 2.4 ℓ internal combustion engine and two electric motor-generators (MG) are utilized, AWD Mode, which engages the rear MG for all-wheel drive traction, and Save Mode, which maximizes hybrid battery charge for later use in Pure Electric Mode. In default Hybrid Mode, including 25 miles electric, the Volvo XC90 T8 is estimated to achieve 59 MPGe, although this is on the more lenient NEDC (New European Drive Cycle), so that number might need a pinch of salt.

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  1. The 59 MPGe result is from the US EPA test and is significantly lower than the car’s NEDC mpg. And Volvo claim 5.9 seconds to 100 km/hr or about 62 mph, not 60 mph.


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