Volvo is a brand that enjoys a premium image because they constantly make high-quality cars that represent a serious threat to the German luxury trio. Ever since the brand’s inception, Volvo has been on a mission to deliver high-end cars primarily in the sedan, the estate, the crossover, and the SUV segment.
Currently, Volvo has three different engine configurations in its catalog, the T5, the T6, and the T8 engine. The T5 engine represents the entry-level modern-day Volvo engine and it comes with a turbocharged setup. The Volvo T6 is a mid-level engine with more power because it is twin-charged and therefore more associated with higher-end cars.
Finally, the Volvo T8 engine is the culmination of all contemporary Volvo engine technologies because it offers a twin-turbocharged setup as in the Volvo T6, and is also mated to a hybrid powertrain. T8 engines are the very top-end of Volvo’s engine offerings and can only be found on high-end flagship cars.
Either way, all three of these engines have their upsides and downsides, and we are going to tell you about all of them in this article. So be sure to stick around to find out why you should go for a Volvo, and which engine should come with it.
Volvo T5 engine
The Volvo T5 engine was first introduced in 1994 as a go-to standard engine option for most Volvo models. It is a 4-cylinder turbocharged 2.0L engine that can crank up to a maximum of 250hp and 260lb-ft of torque which is a fairly healthy number for a 4-cylinder engine. The T5 is typically paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox in order for the car to shift seamlessly and efficiently at all speeds.
The T5 typically comes with FWD models, but you can go for an AWD option as well. There are no differences in power when it comes to FWD and AWD models, except for the fuel efficiency. FWD T5 models are able to return up to 30MPG while the AWD model can return up to 27MPG.
The T5 fuel capacity is 18.5 gallons. Reliability-wise, the T5 is the least complex out of the three which definitely helps when it comes to reliability and maintenance. As such, the T5 is a reliable powertrain, and is the go-to engine for a reason.
Volvo T6 engine
The Volvo T6 engine was introduced in 2011 as a more substantial version of the Volvo T5 engine. The T6 also comes with a 2.0L 4-cylinder configuration, but the T6 has two turbochargers strapped onto it instead of one. This means that the T6’s power goes up to 316hp and 295lb-ft of torque which is a significant upgrade over the T5.
The T6 comes as standard on all AWD Volvo models and is also typically mated to the aforementioned Volvo 8-speed gearbox. The T6 fuel capacity is also 18.5 gallons, but the fuel efficiency is slightly worse when compared to the T5 thanks to a combined 25MPG overall. Many owners believe that the T6 is the perfect blend of performance and smoothness and is the best Volvo engine overall.
As far as reliability is concerned, the T6 does not really differ all that much from the T5, even though it is a more complex powertrain. Either way, the T6 should be inherently a bit less reliable in theory, but proper maintenance can negate all of these differences in reality.
Volvo T8 engine
The Volvo T8 is the newest and most intelligent Volvo powertrain first introduced in 2015 for the Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV. The T8 is essentially a plug-in hybrid powertrain that aims to combine the best parts of owning an electric car, and the best parts of owning a gasoline car. The Volvo T8 engine is one of the most powerful and cleanest SUV engines on the market.
The 2.0L gasoline 4-cylinder is mated to an electric motor for a combined output of 410hp and 472lb-ft of torque. The combustion engine part of the equation is the same as is in the T6 which means that it offers 313hp while the electric engine adds up another 87hp for a combined output of 410hp.
The T8 is also typically mated to the aforementioned 8-speed automatic box and comes exclusively in AWD form. The reason why this engine exists is that you can rely on electric power to propel you in the city while taking advantage of the full power while on the highway. The tank size is also 18.5 gallons while the MPGe rating is 55MPGe.
Which engine is best: Volvo T5, Volvo T6, or the Volvo T8?
First of all, all three of these engines are great. They are powerful, reliable, advanced, sophisticated, and efficient. Choosing the best one out of those three is dependent on what you value the most. It’s no secret that these three engines are essentially the same underneath as the very essentials as the displacement and the cylinder count are identical.
Therefore, if you value efficiency, but you don’t want a complex hybrid system, go for the Volvo T5. If you want the tried-and-true twin-turbo setup that offers the best of both worlds, the T6 is the best. Finally, if you want the best, the most advanced, most powerful, and most capable option, go for the T8.
Which car engines are best?
We are aware that there are many different types of engines you can choose from in modern-day cars. The first distinction would be between an electric engine and a combustion engine. An EV engine is cleaner, simpler, and more efficient, but takes some getting used to and is not as easy to live with.
A gasoline engine is the golden standard of today’s day and age while a diesel engine is only better when it comes to highway driving. A hybrid engine might just be the best engine you can buy these days, but only if you use it for what it is.
Why are big engines being discontinued?
Volvo is one of those brands that offer a 4-cylinder engine even for the largest cars out of their lineup. Other executive brands like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes still offer 6-cylinder, 8-cylinder, and even 12-cylinder engines. However, that is not going to last forever.
The reason why is simple: efficiency and power. Modern-day small-displacement engines are able to offer a lot of power thanks to forced induction, so much so that they can overpower high-cylinder engines easily.