2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge Plug-In Hybrid In Denim Blue Metallic.


REVIEW: 2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge Ultimate

Written By: Amy Plemons | Jan 26, 2023 8:41:33 PM

This week I bring you a gorgeous SUV, the 2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge plug-in hybrid. This is the larger sibling to the 2022 Volvo XC60 Recharge  PHEV I reviewed last year. 

New for 2023, the XC90 is offered in three trims, Core, Plus and my test vehicle's top-of-the-line Ultimate trim. 


The XC90 looks gorgeous in Denim Blue Metallic. The Ultimate packages "Bright Theme" elements add to its allure.   They include Bright Chrome bars in the silver matte front grille, Bright Chrome integrated roof rails and the Bright Chrome window surround.  The 21-inch Diamond cut alloys are stunning.


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Also of note, the XC90 Recharge Ultimate is equipped with Volvo's most advance LED headlights designed to avoid dazzling the drivers in oncoming traffic. They also turn with you in curves to improve the vision ahead. Note that fog lamps are not included for the Recharge models.

Ultimate features also include Recharge illuminated tread plates.


Wow. The XC90 Recharge can move!  It's powered by Volvo's latest 2.0L turbo-charged plug-in hybrid system that delivers a combined 455-horsepower and an impressive 523 pound-feet of torque. These are great performance numbers, adding up to great acceleration both off the line and in highway driving,  with the XC90's eAWD system contributing to the great torque number. The engine is mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission with stop/start. 

Battery and Range

This XC90 PHEV model is equipped with a 8.8 kWh extended-range battery.  Volvo says it offers up to 32 miles of range in extended range Pure mode. A dual voltage cable can connect to 110V (Level 1) and 220V (Level 2) charging.    


The XC90's cabin exemplifies clean, modern, and contemporary Scandinavian design. It's not opulent, but elegant and excellently crafted. You can see the attention to detail everywhere.

The Ultimate cabin features a mix of materials and textures including wood inlays, a notably soft-touch dash and sustainable upholstery on the seats and door panels.



My model features the Recharge's optional and exclusive tailored Wool Blend seat upholstery. It's a sustainable option, made from 30 per cent responsibly produced wool and 70 per cent polyester with contrasting white piping.  The Comfort seats with side bolsters are well-designed with ergonomics in mind. While certainly comfortable, don't expect plush.  The power cushion extender for the driver is always a welcome feature. 


From the driver's seat you grip a heated steering wheel (that can get quite hot I must say!) and gaze up at a bright, easy to read 12.3-inch digital driver display with two display modes and integrated navigation.   IMG_8437Volvo's gorgeous crystal gear shifter lights up the center console at night. It's the main attraction of the console that also houses the engine start knob, parking brake and auto brake hold.   Stitching on the center console is impeccable. What's also cool is that a storage area in fits the Volvo key perfectly.


This XC90 model seats 7, but there are also 5- and 6- seat configurations. It's roomy in the first and second rows with plenty of headroom under the Nubuck textile headlining and expansive dual-pane panoramic sunroof.

Second row passengers have heated seats, their own digital AC controls and sun curtains for the side windows. The third row seats remind me of airplane jump seats.   They fold flat but are not power operated.  Their operation was a little difficult to figure out actually.


An adjustable height, hands-free,  power tailgate opens to a large cargo area.  

Other features in the XC90 include an advanced air purifier system and four-zone climate.


A nine inch tablet-style multimedia touchscreen is responsive and swiping between pages is easy.  Note, this is where you'll access most of the vehicle's functions, like drive mode selection, power headrests, the air suspension and steering feel.  The screen also houses one of the best back up cameras and 360 systems in the industry, in my experience. The resolution is incredible.

Notably, too, Google Built -In with Google maps, Gogle Play and Google Assistant is new to the XC90 this year.  It also gains over the air software updates.


My test model's optional 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound System is just incredible. The speakers - including a tweeter on the dash - look incredible too.

In terms of connectivity, you'll get 4 USB-C ports split between the front and 2nd row seats.

Ride and Drive

I enjoy the comfortable ride and drive of the XC90 which is equipped with optional 4-corner air suspension. There are multiple drive modes:  Hybrid, Pure, Power, Constant AWD and Off-road, Power being my favorite. 

The XC90's handling is confident, acceleration powerful and the highway ride is smooth.  My dad reported that, to him as a passenger, the ride felt on the firmer side (in city driving.)

Despite being a larger SUV, the XC90 was easy to maneuver and I love that you can firm up the steering feel in the multimedia system.


Volvo is well known for it's outstanding safety technology. The 2023 XC90 is equipped with Volvo's latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).  Its Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system is one of my favorites.   I like the Drive Away feature which alerts you when the driver in front you of you starts moving forward. The Ultimate package also comes with a graphical head up display.

Ultimate Package

The Ultimate package is loaded with goodies. They include the Bright Chrome features on the exterior, an integrated center booster cushion, the tailored wool blend seating surfaces, unique wood inlay, those gorgeous diamond cut alloy wheels, crystal shifter, heated steering wheel and rear seats and more.

What You'll Pay

My test model has two options: the Bowers & Wilkins audio system ($3200) and 4-Corner air suspension ($1,800). Add it all up and you'll get an MSRP with destination of $85,495.


Volvo's luxurious and elegant Scandinavian design inside and out continue to impress as it evolves the brand into a more sustainable future.

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  1. What I liked most:   Exterior looks,  Ride and Drive, B&W Audio system, Pilot Assist.
  2. What I would change:  Easier 3rd-row seat operation.
  3. MSRP: Base price: $79,400; As equipped: $85,495.
  4. Fuel Economy: 27 MPG combined/58 MPGe. 
  5. Odometer reading when tested:  50 miles.
  6. Weight:  5,075 pounds.
  7. Spare Tire:  Temporary spare.
  8. Length-Width-Height:  195” long/ 79.1" wide/ 69.9” high.
  9. Fuel Tank Capacity:   18.8 gallons
  10. Official Color:  Denim Blue Metallic (Bright Theme.)
  11. Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds.
  12. 2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge in a few words:    A luxury SUV with outstanding performance, safety tech and craftsmanship.
  13. Warranty:  48 month/50,000 mile Limited Warranty Coverage/ 144-month corrosion protection/ Volvo on-call roadside assistance. Complimentary factory maintenance for 3 years/36,000 miles.
  14. Final Assembly Location:  Gothenburg, Sweden.
  15. Manufacturer's website:  Volvo






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