2021 Volvo XC90: Is it worth the price?

2021 Volvo XC90: Is it worth the price?

It was only last month that Volvo Malaysia gave a mild model year update to the XC90. It included several small changes in the car’s equipment list and the biggest change being the dropping of the mid-range TB Inscription variant. Further, the T8 plug-in hybrid retired the Twin Engine branding in favor of the Recharge moniker. However, back then prices were still in the midst of approval, so we couldn’t analyze the car’s worth. But now Volvo Malaysia has confirmed the 2021 XC90 pricing, that reads -

Volvo XC90 T5 Momentum 

RM 352,427

Volvo XC90 T8 Inscription PHEV

RM 393,743


2021 Volvo XC90 top-view

The prices mentioned above represent a clear hike of RM 1,662 and RM 2,593, for T5 Momentum and T8 Inscription PHEV, respectively over the previous-gen model. Note, the price listed above includes SST exemption valid until June 30, post which the prices will hike to RM 373,888 and RM 413,888 for the Recharge T8 Inscription Plus. So, make a quick decision guys.

Thinking where is the previously available mid-range Inscription model, well it has been dropped from the SUV’s lineup. So, it’s a choice between two variants only, does that call for an easy decision? Doing our part, here will try to find whether the new hiked price of the XC90 is worth it and the only way to do that is to see what is all on offer. Starting with the exterior -

2021 Volvo XC90 Exterior

2021 Volvo XC90 side

The outer profile of the SUV mainly remains unchanged, sporting only a few subtle upgrades that were introduced on the 2019 facelift model along with sleek and sharp LED headlights and 19-inch five-spoke two-tone alloy wheels on the T5 Momentum. The XC90 T8 Inscription PHEV, on the other hand, gets chrome adaptive headlights with washers, 20-inch ten-spoke Black Diamond Cut alloy wheels, and chrome accents all over on the grille, door handles, front & rear bumper, and side body moldings.

2021 Volvo XC90 Interior

First, we’ll talk about the car’s look and feel, obviously being a Volvo the cabin experience is surreal. From the fit and finish to the quality of material used, the XC90 exceeds all expectations. While the wood trim is offered as standard, the base T5 Momentum now gets the upgraded Linear Walnut decor over the previous Iron Ore aluminium inlays. The T8 Inscription Plus enjoys Ash trim in either grey or black, that sure looks amazing.

2021 Volvo XC90 interior

While the base trim benefits from regular leather, the top Inscription Plus model features Nappa Leather upholstery that is now perforated due to the addition of heated front seats.

Standard features include -

  • Qi wireless charger
  • Rear Type-C charging port
  • Front USB Type-A ports
  • Keyless entry
  • Four-zone automatic climate control with rear vents
  • Twist knob start
  • Power-adjustable front seat with driver’s side memory
  • Auto-dimming mirrors
  • 12.3-inch instrument cluster
  • Rear door sunshades
  • 9-inch portrait touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • 10 speakers
  • 330-watt sound system
  • Front & rear parking sensors
  • Reverse camera
  • Hands-free tailgate

Being the range-topping model, the T8 Inscription Plus model packs in some additional bit like an Orrefors crystal gear knob, leather-wrapped dashboard and door panels, a panoramic sunroof, laminated windows, power-adjustable front-seat side bolsters, multi-colour ambient lighting, navigation, head-up display, parking assist, power-folding second-row seats, 360-degree camera, and grocery hooks in the boot.

What else? Well, the top Inscription Plus model further proves its worth via its upgraded Bowers & Wilkins sound system. While it retains the same number of speakers, i.e., 19 and 1,400 watts of power, it now benefits from a new silver Continuum speaker cones, amplifier, a new ‘Jazz Club’ setting, and active noise cancellation.

So, that was a pretty big cabin feature list and it’s from here we think the SUV brings in all the added cost from.

2021 Volvo XC90 Engine

Both the XC90 variants, the T5 Momentum and the T8 Inscription Plus are powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged mill that is paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission system. However, in both the variants the engine makes different power figures. For instance, in the base T5 trim, the mill generates a maximum power of 254 PS at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 350 Nm from 1,500 to 4,800 rpm.

2021 Volvo XC90 engine

In the Recharge T8, the unit is supported by a supercharger and thus makes more power and torque - 320 PS at 5,700 rpm and 400 Nm from 2,200 to 5,400 rpm. The electric motor present on the rear axle generates 87 PS and 240 Nm of torque. Thus, bringing the total system output to 407 PS and 640 Nm.

The motor is paired to a large 11.6-kWh lithium-ion battery that was introduced in the 2019 facelift. It provides an all-electric range of 50 km that helps deliver a mileage of 41.6 kmpl.

Coming to its performance figure, the T5 completes the century sprint in 7.9 seconds, while the T8 takes only 5.6 seconds. The top-speed like Volvo’s entire lineup remains electronically limited 180 kmph.

2021 Volvo XC90 Charging Setup

The 2021 model comes with a longer version of the supplied 3-pin household charger. It has grown from five to seven metres.

2021 Volvo XC90 rear

2021 Volvo XC90 Safety

The SUVs safety kit remains true to the automaker’s fashion, i.e., it is super vast. It includes -

  • Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving function with adaptive cruise control & lane centering assist
  • Autonomous emergency braking with cyclist, pedestrian, oncoming vehicles & large animal detection
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Evasive steering assist
  • Blind-spot monitoring with steering assist
  • Rear cross-traffic alert with braking
  • Boosters for the 2nd-row seat

Wait there’s more? Customers who register their interest in the XC90 until May 31 will get several complimentary upgrades. Like the Volvo Service Agreement (VSA) 5+ (five years of free scheduled servicing) and RM 5,250 worth Polestar Optimisation package.


We think the amount of comfort and convenience features plus the loaded safety kit makes the XC90 worthy of every penny. What are your thoughts on the 2021 Volvo XC90 price tag? Is it worth it or not. Do let us know in the comments.

Also Read: Dispose of your obsolete electronics at Volvo showrooms

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