This … this is the Volvo S90 and it is a fantastic looking car! There's just something about the presence of the S90, anywhere I drove it, it turned a lot of heads.
It's a pretty long car, the black color is the perfect match for this car, the big wheels fit the car perfectly and looking at the front of the car, Thor’s hammers in the headlights just make the car stand out big time. To make sure you won’t confuse this car with other rivals, in the middle of the big front grille you will find a big logo that clearly says - Volvo. Since we're talking about the front of the car, the LED Headlights provide really great visibility on the road during the night.
The side of the car, nothing to special beside the big wheels and some chrome trims, but it’s enough.
Moving to the back of the car, that’s where the “fun” begins, because you either like it or not. I mean, those taillights are not the best-looking taillights in the car industry and as this is not supposed to be a fun car, they look sober. Of course, they want to make sure everybody knows what you’re driving, so in the middle of the trunk you will find a big Volvo logo. In my opinion, the back of the car looks just fine and it fits the car. Space insade of the trunk is decent and big for a saloon + having a nice and wide opening is an advantage.
Now let’s talk about what everyone will love about this car, the interior. As the S90 is huge, the interior is really spacious, and you have lots of room in the front and back. No matter how tall you are, people will be able to sit behind you.
The seats are super comfortable, so they’ll make you want to drive it all day and you will try to find any reason to drive this car. Everything feels nice, all the materials used in the interior feel nice to the touch. Some cheap plastics can be found around the cabin, but in the areas where you won’t touch them too often with your hand, but maybe you will scratch them with something and as it is plastic, it’s going to be cheap to replace or you won’t care about it.
The rear seats are also really comfortable and it’s really easy to fit 2 child seats, no matter how big the seats are. The rest of the interior feels good and its simplicity will make you love it. From the Start/Stop button, to the infotainment and the steering wheel.
The orientation of the infotainment makes it easier to use, as it looks just like an iPad. But to be completely honest, I’m not the biggest fan of Volvo’s infotainment. At least for me, sometimes it was a bit confusing until I got used to its menus and the biggest drawback, it doesn’t come as standard with Smartphone integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay).
As for the digital dashboard, the screen quality is great and it offers great visibility, but it’s not really that configurable as the digital dashboards from other competitors. In my opinion, this is not something that's too bad, as it offers all the necessary info. The trip computer was a bit confusing, but I guess that's until you get used to it. The driving modes are straight forward: Comfort, Eco, Dynamic and Individual, but to change the settings on the Individual driving mode you have to dig into some menus and change all the settings. Way too complicated!
The steering wheel feels nice in the hand and the buttons are big enough for a nice and clean steering wheel. Now that we started talking about the steering wheel, let me tell how this car drives.
As I was getting ready to leave the dealership parking lot with the S90, my expectations were that this car will feel huge and it will be pretty hard move around on a Friday evening in Cluj-Napoca. Well, I was shocked to see that the car is really easy to drive, the steering is sharp and the way it is set up, you won’t feel the weight and size of this car. This was incredible, especially that it doesn’t have rear wheel steering. Good job, Volvo!
The engine in this car was the 2.0 Diesel engine (D5 Automatic AWD) that produces 235 HP and 480 NM delivered through an 8-gear automatic gearbox. Somehow the engine doesn’t sound like a 4 Cylinder engine and it sounds like a bigger one, except all S90’s come only with 4 Cylinder engines.
Even if it was an only 2.0 Diesel engine, 235 HP is ok for this car and it will pull the car nicely, but in town and on twisty roads the fuel consumption will be pretty big. Usually, the gearbox changed gears flawlessly, but from time to time it didn’t know exactly what to do with so many gears, again in town and on twisty roads. Once you go out of town on long drives, the car will act perfectly fine, you won’t feel anything and the fuel consumption will drop significantly.
To my knowledge, there is another 2.0 Diesel engine available, D3 Automatic, that delivers 150 HP and 320 NM. After driving the D5, I won’t really recommend the D3, only if you don’t really care at all about power.
As for petrol engines, there are 2 options for the 2.0 Petrol engine, and they are a B4 Mild Hybrid Automatic that delivers 197 HP and 300 NM. The other option is a B5 Mild Hybrid Automatic that delivers 250 HP and 350 NM.
3 things I really like about this car:
The seat massage felt awesome with enough customization of the massage modes.
Loved all the safety systems that were available on this car. Lots of them. (eq. Lane Keeping Aid (LKA), SIPS bags/Lateral Airbags, EBA – emergency brake assist and many others.)
The fact that the look and the presence of the car will make you ignore all the negatives about it.
3 things I really don’t like about this car:
The cooled front seats are a nice option to have, but the fans inside the seats were quite loud.
Not a huge fan of the infotainment, so I have to write it here. Hopefully the next versions will be better.
The range of available engines. There is only 1 Diesel engine and 1 Petrol engine with 4 Cylinders both, but with different power outputs. This car deserves a bigger and better engine.
Would I get this car? As I said just a couple rows above, it is an awesome car … but it has to beat some great competitors, so it would definitely be on my list. I would have to drive it back to back with its competitors to decide. Anyway, great car.
Price of the tested model: ~73.000 Euros (VAT Included)
Engine and Gearbox: S90 Inscription D5 Automatic AWD – 2.0 Diesel engine with 235 HP and 480 NM.
Photos by: Clau Morar
Thank you Autoworld - Dealer Autorizat Volvo for lending us the car!