Having received a facelift in November 2019, the Malaysian-market Volvo XC90 has been given a mild model year update with several small changes to the equipment list. The biggest news is that the mid-range T8 Inscription model has been dropped, streamlining the local lineup.

The T8 plug-in hybrid has also officially retired the Twin Engine moniker in favour of Recharge branding, mirroring the recently-launched XC40 Recharge T5. Prices of the two remaining variants, the T5 Momentum and Recharge T8 Inscription Plus, are still in the midst of being approved.

Included is a five-year, unlimited-mileage factory warranty – introduced this year and an upgrade from the five-year/120,000 km extended warranty – and, in the Recharge T8’s case, an eight-year/160,000 km battery warranty.

The 2021 XC90 remains unchanged on the outside, sporting the subtle exterior upgrades introduced on the facelift, plus LED headlights and 19-inch five-spoke Black (actually two-tone) alloy wheels on the Momentum. The Inscription Plus adds adaptive headlights with washers, chrome accents on the grille, front and rear bumpers, side body mouldings and door handles, and 20-inch ten-spoke Black Diamond Cut alloys.

Inside, all models get wood trim as standard, with the Momentum upgraded from Iron Ore aluminium inlays to the Linear Walnut decor previously limited to the Inscription models. In turn, the Inscription Plus receives Ash trim in either black or grey, depending on the colour of the leather selected.

Speaking of which, the Nappa leather upholstery in the Inscription Plus is now perforated due to the addition of heated front seats; the Momentum retains its regular leather. Both models have also been upgraded with a Qi wireless charger and rear USB Type-C charging ports (the USB Type-A ports at the front remain).

Otherwise, the considerable level of equipment is as per late 2019, with seven seats, keyless entry, twist-knob start, four-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, auto-dimming mirrors, power-adjustable front seats with driver’s side memory, rear door sunshades, a 12.3-inch instrument display, a nine-inch portrait touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a ten-speaker, 330-watt sound system, a reverse camera, front and rear parking sensors and a hands-free powered tailgate fitted as standard.

The Inscription Plus throws in air suspension, leather-wrapped dashboard and door panels, an Orrefors crystal gearknob, laminated windows, a panoramic sunroof, multi-colour ambient lighting, power-adjustable front seat side bolsters, a head-up display, navigation, a 360-degree camera, parking assist, power-folding second-row seats and grocery hooks in the boot.

The Bowers & Wilkins sound system on the Inscription Plus model has also been upgraded for 2021. Retaining the same speaker count (19) and power (1,400 watts), it gets a new amplifier, silver Continuum speaker cones, active noise cancellation and a new “Jazz Club” setting.

Safety kit has also been retained, which in true Volvo fashion is vast and includes the Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving function, combining adaptive cruise control and lane centring assist. Also fitted are autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist, oncoming vehicle and large animal detection, evasive steering assist, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring with steering assist and rear cross traffic alert with braking. There’s also an integrated booster for the second-row middle seat.

No changes to the mechanicals, either, with both cars getting a 2.0 litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. In the T5, the mill makes 254 PS at 5,500 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,800 rpm, sent to all four wheels.

The Recharge T8’s engine is aided by a supercharger and produces 320 PS at 5,700 rpm and 400 Nm of torque between 2,200 and 5,400 rpm. The rear axle features an 87 PS/240 Nm electric motor to deliver a total system output of 407 PS and 640 Nm.

A larger 11.6 kWh lithium-ion battery added in 2019 provides an all-electric range of 50 km, helping to deliver a fuel consumption figure of 2.4 litres per 100 km. A new addition for 2021 is a longer version of the supplied three-pin household charger, which has grown from five to seven metres.

As per Volvo’s new stance against speeding, both models are electronically limited to a top speed of 180 km/h. The T5 gets from zero to 100 km/h in 7.9 seconds, while the Recharge T8 hits the century mark more than two seconds faster at 5.6 seconds.

GALLERY: 2021 Volvo XC90 T5 Momentum AWD


GALLERY: 2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge T8 Inscription Plus