Turbo tweaks for

Volvo SUVs

Volvo XC90 D5 Power Pulse, side, action
Volvo XC90 D5 Power Pulse, front, static
Volvo XC90 D5 Power Pulse, rear, action
Volvo XC60 T5, nose
Volvo XC60 T5, front, action
Volvo XC60 T5, side
Volvo XC60 T5, rear
Volvo D5 Power Pulse diesel engine, 2016
Volvo T5 Drive E petrol engine, 2016

NEW engines are being fitted to Volvo's XC90 and XC60 SUVs giving them more oomph without hitting the pound in your pocket.

The Swedish car maker is introducing its new Power Pulse turbo diesel on the XC90 and is bringing back a potent petrol engine to the XC60 line up.

Both pack a good punch and in the case of the XC90 the changes are remarkable.

While performance figures are no different to previous versions of the D5 models - which arrived on the scene only last year - the power delivery is now constant from idling making the car feel much more meaty.

The Power Pulse turbo technology - also being introduced on Volvo's news V90 and S90 estate and saloon - uses compressed air to prime the booster system and eliminates any turbo lag.

Take off comes as soon as the accelerator is pressed down and goes on all the way through the power band.

The new all-wheel-drive D5 diesel becomes the entry level model for the award-winning XC90 range and is priced from £46,850.

Volvo claims it is good for 49.6mpg with emissions of 149g/km and that is not far off the mark.

We managed to average almost 42 to the gallon on a brisk countryside run.

Although the Power Pulse set up has increased the bhp rating from 225 to 235 it is most noticeable in the torque department which is now up to 480Nm.

On paper the 0 to 60 time is the same as with the earlier D5 engine at 7.8 seconds and a maximum of 137mph - not at all shabby for a 2.7-tonne SUV which can seat seven - but the new system gives a feeling of maturity to the whole car.

Acceleration through the standard eight-speed auto box now has much more bite and from a driver's perspective the XC90 feels more capable all round.

In the large SUV market the new XC90 D5 is up with the best in terms of all round driveability.

Meanwhile on the slightly smaller XC60 - it weighs in at 2.5-tonnes and is a pure five seater - Volvo is installing a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine to the range which has been predominantly diesel since it was introduced some eight years ago.

Previous petrol incarnations of the XC60 have been six-cylinder and tuned for high performance making the cars very thirsty.

The new T5 engine is part of Volvo's latest generation of Drive E four cylinder units which are designed for maximum efficiency.

While still being no slouch - 0 to 60 comes up in 7.2 seconds - it is rated at 42.2mpg. The CO2 figure is also down to 157g/km and that is more than 100g/km cleaner than the previous T6 model.

In the XC60 range the new T5 is available only as a front-wheel-drive model in sporty R-Design trim and with an eight-speed auto box which sees it priced from £38,390 - and that is almost £6,000 more than the cheapest diesel version.

However, out on the road, the T5 engine gives the XC60 a fiery feel and being petrol it is also smoother and sounds more refined.

Real world fuel economy was in the low 30s - we averaged 32.4mpg on a similar run to that we carried out in the new XC90 - yet that was streets ahead of what you would expect from the previous petrol-powered XC60. Realistically the old T6 version would have struggled to hit 20 to the gallon under such circumstances.

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