Automakers have dipped their toes in the water when it comes to gasoline-electric hybrid SUVs. There are a few on the market, most of them from Toyota/Lexus, but the choices are limited. It’s even harder to find a three-row hybrid option, which could be at least part of the reason why shoppers love the new Volvo XC90.
The Swedes revealed about 20 percent of all XC90s that have been purchased are the Twin Engine plug-in hybrids, per a report from Inside EVs. That’s impressive, considering that so far Volvo has sold somewhere around 53,000 of the second-gen XC90s, meaning well over 10,000 of the plug-in hybrids have been snatched up.
Just to be clear, when Volvo revealed the new XC90 many people thought the SUV was a bit of a gamble, especially the hybrid version. After all, it’s significantly more expensive than the first generation. Total sales of the vehicle have exploded far beyond initial expectations, generating a lot of buzz that the Swedes have their mojo back.
What this means is other automakers are probably already taking note that consumers really do want midsize hybrid SUVs. Why they didn’t figure this out before is anyone’s guess, because the powers-that-be have believed the same thing about minivans and full-size SUVs.
While other brands start exploring possibilities, Volvo and a few others are pushing to make plug-in hybrid versions of every vehicle they offer. This could put an end to the stereotype of SUVs being gas guzzlers.