Volvo's EX90 is a large seven-seat luxury EV crossover that redefines its brand's future. Jonathan Crouch takes a look...

Ten Second Review

The EX90 is a large full-battery EV Crossover that takes Volvo into a new era. As the company puts it, 'it's a statement for where we are - and where we're going', combining the brand's own engineering advances with 'the best technology from the world's best technologists'. This SUV is also one of the few large super-luxury EVs to be able to seat seven.


What does the future really look like for large luxury cars? Various brands have told us, but none of them are approaching that future quite like Volvo, the company proudly styling itself as 'a pioneer in the protection of people and planet'. A claim embodied most clearly in this, it's very first EV to sit on a dedicated electric platform, the EX90. Ultimately, this will be the replacement for the XC90 large SUV model line that saved Volvo at the turn-of-the-century, though that combustion model will continue for several years yet.

The future for flagship Volvos though, lies with EVs produced off the parent Geely Group's advanced SPA2 architecture, a platform already used by the EX90's close cousin, the Polestar 3, which shares the same drive system and much else. The car will be built at the company's US plant in Charleston - and eventually at Chengdu in China too, with both plants rated carbon neutral.

Driving Experience

The powertrain on offer here is of the Twin Motor All-Wheel Drive sort, with a choice of two output levels. Standard models offer 402bhp, while 'Performance' variants up that to 510bhp. In both cases, power comes from a 111kWh battery, which delivers a range of 364 miles in the base model and 360 miles in the 'Performance' version.

All of this we've seen before in the Polestar 3. The EX90 though, gets a standard feature that is only optional on that car, the 'Lidar sensor'. That gives you a combination of powerful silicon chips, sensors and Volvo-developed perception software so powerful that the brand refers to it as 'a digital seatbelt'. And promises it'll reduce accidents involving death and serious injury by 20%. The Lidar sensor also provides everything necessary for this Volvo to drive itself fully autonomously, as soon as worldwide legislation permits it. Volvo developed its own autonomous drive set-up, with a completely new level of hardware, software and processing power; including Nvidia processors and Qualcomm CPUs combining to process up to 280 trillion operations per second. Forget performance figures: these are the kinds of stats that are really going to matter in luxury cars going forward. This one nails them more directly than any rival has done to date.

Design and Build

As you might expect, the EX90 takes established Volvo EV styling cues and applies them to a car that's significantly larger and more sophisticated. Much is borrowed from the 'Concept Recharge' study that the brand showed in 2021, with elements of Range Rover in the upright rear lights. A prominent 'Lidar sensor' sits on the leading edge of the roof, housing a bewildering array of cameras and sensors.

Up-front at the wheel, minimalism takes over. Just about all the switchgear has been replaced by a Tesla-like 14.5-inch central portrait touchscreen. It runs at two and a half times the speed of the one in the XC90 and has all the major controls along its bottom bar. Materials used mirror Volvo's usual Scandinavian vibe, with jewel-like detailing and a 3D rotary controller sitting almost alone on the lower centre console. There's no conventional instrument binnacle - just a letterbox-shaped digital screen: and the lever-style gear selector has been mounted on the steering column.

Market and Model

The EX90 badge might sound like a chemical formula but the pricing sounds very SUVIP. And is predictably expensive, with two versions initially available, both only offered with top 'Ultra' trim. The base Twin Motor model is priced from £96,255 (or from £1,599 a month on subscription). The faster Twin Motor 'Performance' model costs £100,555 - or £1,669 a month. Future lower-powered versions will be pitched at around the £75,000 mark.

Still, you get an awful lot for that - certainly in terms of media connectivity thanks to a combination of Snapdragon computing power and the 'Unreal Engine 5 graphics' tech lately used by the gaming industry. Infotainment benefits from over-the-air updates and is based on an evolution of the company's Google software. It includes a variety of Google apps and offers 5G connectivity, along with the usual wireless 'Apple CarPlay' and 'Android Auto' compatibility. There's a thumping Bowers and Wilkins Dolby Atmos-enabled stereo system. And customers will be able to open their EX90 from their smartphone using a digital key.

Cost of Ownership

We gave you the EV driving range figures in our 'Driving' section - 364 miles for the standard Twin Motor version and 360 miles for the 'Performance' variant. Both are aided by a relatively sleek shape for such a boxy SUV, with a drag coefficient of 0.29Cd. The battery can be charged at 250kW, which makes possible a 10-80% charge in around half an hour. But you'll probably be using a range of different public chargers, so the brand has developed a multi-high-speed charging system that allows switching between 800 volt and 400 volt outputs.

Volvo promises that its app will give owners access to an 'ecosystem' of services, which will include public charging stations and smart home charging management. The latter will support owners with a home 'powerbox' linked both to the car and roof-mounted solar panels. This EX90 will also support a plug-in charge system for public charge points which will automatically start charging the car and will sort payment for you when it's plugged into a compatible charger. Volvo has developed this and other future EVs with bi-directional vehicle-to-grid compatibility, which allows the EX90 to power home appliances, electronics and even top up other EVs using the energy stored in its battery pack.


For Volvo, this EX90 isn't just a new model. It represents the start of a new era. CEO Jim Rowan describes it as 'a defining moment in our 95 year history'. On the face of things, the brand is simply replicating the rest of the industry in its switch to EV and its move towards fully autonomous driving. Volvo isn't simply adding batteries and camera tech to ongoing designs: it's re-inventing its whole product development approach around the fresh technology. Something very evident in this EX90.


CAR: Volvo EX90

PRICE: £96,255-£100,555




PERFORMANCE: {Performance} 0-62mph 4.9s / top speed 112mph

BOOT CAPACITY: [litres] 310-1,915

WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE?: length/width/height 5037/1964/1744 mm