Volvo has unveiled the refreshed XC90 SUV, featuring subtle design tweaks and the integration of newly-developed fuel efficient powertrains. Just to remind you, the second-generation XC90 has been around since 2014, which makes it close to being five years old.

Now, design-wise, Volvo’s flagship SUV gets new wheel choices, additional exterior colours and a slightly revised radiator grille. Inside, the existing design is carried over, but Volvo claims that the most noticeable addition this time around is that the car can be ordered in a new six-seat configuration in addition to the existing four-, five-, and seven-seat setups. Elsewhere, things remain largely the same, although the T8 Inscription model gets a fancier, more ornate-looking Orrefors crystal gear knob.

The biggest change is found under the bonnet. The top T8 Twin Engine petrol-plug-in hybrid variant now makes 420 PS, up from the current 407 PS mark. Driving range is said to increase by 15% thanks to fitment of a larger battery (11.6 kWh from 10.4 kWh), and it also features brake-by-wire advanced battery charging. This PHEV setup will be deployed on all 90 and 60 Series cars moving forward.

The smaller capacity T6 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid will also be similarly upgraded. Like the more powerful T8 PHEV, this system also offers a 15% range increase and is available on the V60 and S60. In the coming months, Volvo will introduce ‘B’ badged mild hybrid petrol and diesel powertrains with a 48-volt integrated starter-generator system for the XC90 – the first two designations being the B5 and B6.

Volvo had previously experimented on a novel kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) in 2011, which stores energy in a carbon-fibre flywheel which would spin at up to 60,000 rpm. It appears the idea has been dropped for a more conventional 48-volt integrated starter-generator system that’s fitted in the new mild-hybrid XC90 B5.

In terms of active safety technology, the XC90’s City Safety and Blind Spot Information System now get steering assist – City Safety with Autobrake is still the only system on the market to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.

The Oncoming Lane Mitigation system first introduced on the XC60 is now also available on XC90, while the Cross Traffic Alert technology now also offers autobrake. All this, together with the safety cage that forms the core of the passive safety technology, makes the XC90 one of the safest cars on the road.

While the XC90 was the first Volvo to offer Apple Carplay integration, it is now also compatible with Android Auto. The Sensus infotainment system has gone through multiple updates in recent years, and it includes Spotify music streaming in some markets.

Since its launch, the Volvo XC90 has found over 320,000 homes around the world. The new XC90 facelift will go into production starting May at the Torslanda plant in Sweden and is now available to order in all Volvo markets worldwide.