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The 2020 Volvo XC90 Comes in for a Subtle Update

The T8 gets a larger battery, the grille is changed a bit, and wool upholstery is available.

The current-generation XC90 ushered in a new era for Volvo—one in which the Swedish brand actually released new products. Prior to the second-gen SUV’s launch, it had been 12 years since the previous XC90 debuted and several years since Volvo launched any brand-new product at all. In addition, the XC90 was the first vehicle to sit on the Scalable Product Architecture and feature the company’s now-familiar new design language. Now, Volvo is refreshing the large crossover with a few minor styling updates and an improved battery for the optional plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The 2020 Volvo XC90’s exterior updates include a revised grille—barely—with different vertical bars on the standard version. The model also gets new wheels and exterior colors. The interior design remains largely the same, although buyers can now opt for a version with six seats instead of the standard seven. Wool-blend upholstery is a new option.

Globally, Volvo is introducing a new mild hybrid powertrain on the XC90, but it won’t be available here as of now. It pairs Volvo’s gas engines with a new energy-recovery braking system to save up to 15 percent in fuel and emissions, the automaker says.

On our shores, Volvo will continue to offer the current T5 and T6 powertrains, which involve a 250-hp turbocharged (T5) and a 316-hp turbo- and supercharged (T6) 2.0-liter four-cylinder. The plug-in hybrid T8 model receives a larger capacity battery, although details on that will be divulged at a later date, Volvo told us.

The 2020 model enters production this May at the Torslanda plant in Sweden and is already available to order in all Volvo markets across the globe.