Volvo V90! From Sweden with Love

Volvo V90 31
Aug 16

V90 takes cruise refinement and safety to another level

The Volvo S90 is fairly attractive when it comes to the interior and exterior, the price is decent and appealing and it has it with everything drivers will need. Although a practical and well-priced model it’s behind the class leaders in the market by quite a distance. The diesel engine is refined and the car itself is strong and practical but the ride is not smooth enough and other models have better interior quality.

An Appealing Prospect

The S90 diesel engine though refined is still not the best in the Volvo class and leaves want for better. It has a sophisticated Swedish look making long distance rides comfortable and appealing although definitely not as excellent all round as the Mercedes E-class.

Volvo finds its strength in the offers of cruise refinement and the impressive amount of safety kit drivers find themselves equipped with as well as the decent amount of regular equipment the model provides. In this regard the Volvo is considered better than other models and more appealing considering the prices aren’t sky high either.

The bumps on British roads do seem too much at times for the Volvo with a lack of agility and effectiveness especially in comparison to the E class.

Sophistication at its heart

The S90 seems to follow after the Volvo S80 but has turned out to be much more sophisticated as the S80s weren’t anything special from the beginning. The architecture used in the S90 is scalable platform which means some of its chassis parts and engines are shared with the impressive XC90 SUV.

The Volvo S90 seems to relate with the Audi A6 with both being front wheel drives unlike the Mercedes E class and BMW 5 series which are rear wheel drives. It’s a five seater with a decent boot capacity able to hold a few suitcases which is practical enough. It is a fairly simple model with just two engines and only one diesel engine available at the moment.

You have the D4 front wheel drive and the more powerful D5 which is a four-wheel drive. Both cars are automatic with no option for manual, whatever model you choose you will be equipped with an 8 speed automatic. This will suit some drivers while others will disapprove of the lack of options.

There are two trim level options, the momentum and the inscription which is more expensive. Chasing premium German brands has pushed Volvo to add more standard equipment to the momentum then rivals would have. Heated front seats, leather touches and a Sensus infotainment system are all some of the impressive options available. If you opt for the inscription it will cost more and will mean the quality of leather is higher and you will have alloy wheels with an 18inch diamond cut.

 Chassis is not right

The chassis is said to change from too stiff or too soft with no right balance and the size of the wheels makes the ride quality decrease. However, when it comes to cruising refinement this model gets top marks.

The Best Seller D4

The D4 190bhp model is expected to be the best selling in the UK line up with two four-cylinder units being offered and is essentially the same engine as the XC90. All that’s different is a slight detuning of the D4 which doesn’t really affect performance. Smooth running with a 400Nm of torque the S90 D4 goes from 0-60mph in 7.8 seconds which is not bad for a model like this. In back to back tests carried out between the Mercedes 220d and this model between 50mph and 70mph the S90 D4 proved to be a stronger performer.

If we look at drive comfort and smoothness, upon revving the D4 can show a bit of stress however once the balance is set and speed is up it shows to be a smooth and refined ride.

The 18 inch wheels give a harsh feel to the ride when it meets with bumps and the optional adaptive dampers fitted don’t really help much. Body control isn’t helpful either and it seems to be aggravated by the over assisted steering making the drive at this time a slightly uncomfortable period.

Lots of safety equipment

Amongst the long list of safety equipment, you get with a Volvo you have passive aids, a protective measure for the unfortunate case of an accident and many new active systems to attempt to prevent any crashes.

There is also animal detection to warn of approaching deer’s when facing a dark road as well as pilot assist which keeps an eye on acceleration, braking and lane keeping when speeds go to 80mph. this is very useful in long journeys to help reduce the stress of the drive and works bets in motorway or other stop start situations.

Engine Choices

Engine options are simple. You have twin turbocharged 2.0 liter diesels which are four cylinder and you choose from which suits you. The D4 produces 187bhp and 400Nm torque taking the S90 from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds giving a maximum speed of 140mph. extremely efficient and a fuel economy of 64.2 mpg and CO2 emissions of 116g/km.

Then you have the more powerful D5 with 232bhp and 480Nm as well as a small electric compressor named power pulse. This uses air blasts to wind up the turbocharger and reduce the levels of turbo lag. This makes the drive more powerful and quick with the annoying delays out the way.

The D5 comes as a four-wheel drive and gets to 62mph at 7.3 seconds, nearly a whole second quicker than the D4. The CO2 emissions of 127g/km mean it’s pricier than the D4. Both engines are refined enough for four-cylinder diesels with smoothness and comfort unless you are attempting to push them too much or too quick. At a steady speed there are no uncomfortable noises and it’s a generally smooth ride. Out of the two the D4 is more impressive in regards to economy and CI2 emissions. The D5 also lacks in official economy with figures of 58.9mpg although the fuel tank is a large 60 litres making the range add up to almost the same as the D4.

Future Plans

Volvo has more plans for the future and we look forward to a plug-in hybrid they intend to launch which will be T8 twin engine and will be a mix of petrol turbo and electric motors with figures of around 400bhp. We expect the CO2 emissions to be a fantastic 47g/km even though the power is strong. Unfortunately, we also expect the prices to be higher than the D4 and D5.

Compared to rivals we expect insurance costs are less than all the other models and this is an appealing factor for buyers.

The Volvo S90 stands out from other saloons, the front shows latest styled cues and the LED lights show the ‘Thors hammer’ motif. The D4 wheels are 17 inches but on varied models such as the inscription they go up to 18 inches. Trim levels provide 19 and even 20 inch wheels. Our favorite in terms of style, ride and appearance are the 18 inch.

Colour Options

A flat white color is free while there 12 other color options. The interior design of the Volvo S90 is similar to the XC90 with a similar finish as well. This model is a classic example of a Swedish designed and refined model. There are touches of wood on the interior front. All the cars have leather as a standard and the inscription see a higher quality of leather than the others.

The infotainment screen is a main feature on the dashboard which takes up all the attention in a way we like. With a nine-inch portrait display it comes as standard on all the models although other screens vary depending on the trim level you go for. The inscription display is a complete digital version while the others have some standard dials.

Latest Infotainment System

The display infotainment system named Sensus is not only used for music and navigation but also the other S90s settings, air con, heating and other interior features. All are controlled from this display which is why it makes the fact that it dominates the front dashboard ok. Running so many features you would worry about the simplicity of using it, however, Volvo has done well and it’s easy to move and use. The speakers have been upgraded although eh new version comes at an extra cost of 3000 which is hard to swallow

You can plug in devices but only through one USB socket. Passengers can’t charge their phone from behind or play music which is something that Volvos rivals gain a greater rating over.

 Good Boot Space

The car can fit a decent amount of luggage and four passengers. The boot capacity is 500 litres which is great for daily uses but travelling with full passengers will create a problem for the luggage of each person. The front has some useful sockets and a big enough glove box as well as 1.5-litres bottle holders which turns out very useful for long drives.

One outright brilliant vehicle

The S90 is 4,963mm in length and has a width of 2,019 mm. the height is 1,443mm so height, width and length wise it exceeds the Mercedes E class and some other models.

The wheelbase is more or less the same as the Mercedes at 2,941mm. The rear of the car is spacious for passengers to sit comfortably with enough leg and room space for tall and large passengers.

The roofline of the model is lower than others so back seat passengers might find it gives a tight feeling. The seats can fold down although not completely flat but considering this is free and standard whereas other models like the Mercedes E cases charge for this feature, it’s impressive enough.