Long gone are the boxy design lines and they’ve been gracefully replaced with smooth, rounded and flowing lines. The XC90 was a great rebirth of the Volvo brand and the gorgeous S90 strengthens their resurgence as a force in the luxury market.
The Thor’s Hammer headlights, the attractive concave grill and overall European inspired design contribute to this beautifully designed machine.
There’s an element of minimalism throughout the exterior but enough of a modern twist to keep it from falling into the bland category.
Volvo’s minimalist design is absolutely spectacular here. The most comfortable seats in the industry are ones that I’d love to have in my office and are heated and ventilated. The entire front end is oh-so slightly angled towards the driver (which I’m a huge fan of, especially in such a subtle manner) and the bamboo matte dashboard finish are accented by polished metal, giving the interior a truly classy look and feel. The very easy to operate 9.3” vertical touchscreen/tablet is the centerpiece with very few buttons/dials elsewhere.
Oddly (to me, at least) the start/stop feature is behind the gear shift, along with drive modes and the electronic parking brake.
Audio-wise, there’s an available Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system available for an extra $3,250 and to me, it’s absolutely worth it to get 1,400 watts through 19 speakers that results in crystal clear sound.
On the road
There’s very little to dislike if you’re driving this luxury sedan. The acceleration offers excitement and twists and turns are handled quite well by the S90, although if you’re in the market for this car, I can’t imagine you’ll be flying through turns at higher speeds. But hey, if you do find yourself in that position, this Volvo is certainly up to the task and executes it wonderfully.
Flipping it into Dynamic mode adds an exclamation mark to an already sporty ride.
If I were to change anything, I’d like a bit more excitement in the steering feel as it’s not quite as lively as I feel it should be for a luxury sedan. It’s certainly good but not quite great. Nonetheless, there’s still a lot of fun to be had behind the wheel if you’re leaning towards an enthusiast and calm, stability and comfort if you’re looking for that in a luxury car.
Standard All-Wheel Drive is a nice touch that will only really be appreciated in snow/sleet/rain.
Most impressively is how the four cylinder engine stacks up against others that are larger, stronger and faster. The S90 is wonderfully strong for a four-banger and perhaps we can start expecting others to lean that way by doing more with less.
True to their strong safety ties, the S90 has a plethora of standard and available safety features, including cornering LED lights, LED fog lights, backup camera, low and high speed collision mitigation and lane departure alerts as standard fare.
Available options include BLIS, front facing parking camera, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, self-parking (which they call Park Assist Pilot) forward collision warnings, a 360 degree camera and a few others.
The big news on safety is their Pilot Assist II technology, which is basically semi-autonomous driving technology that keeps a safe distance from cars around you and keeps you centered in your lane through sensors and cameras and can be operated at speeds up to 130 km/h.
Self-driving cars are still years and years away but Volvo’s commitment to safety is advancing at a smart pace.
Beneath the hood
As of now, there’s but one engine to rule them all, which is a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder motor via an 8-speed automatic only transmission, giving out 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque.
For those of you who care about the 0 to 100 sprint, the S90 does it in 5.9 seconds. For those that don’t, rest assured that there’s ample power to enjoy country drives, rural roads or any 400 series highway at 3 am, when there’s slightly less traffic than normal.
If you’re expecting heavy fuel consumption figures, you’re in for a surprise. The S90 rates at 10.8/7.6/9.4 for city, highway, combined on the L/100km scale. After a week of mixed driving, I scored a 9.1 over close to 700 km.
The S90 takes up to 60L of premium fuel, for those who are wondering.
There’ll be a T8 model coming later, although we’re not entirely sure on the actual date.
Pricing and trim levels
Well, not much to talk about here, folks…at least as of now.
There are two trims available, which are the Momentum, that starts at $56,900 and the Inscription, which starts at $63,000.
You can add on to the Momentum to get Inscription-like features but in my opinion, for the slight increase, go for the Inscription, which includes full LED lighting, uber comfortable perforated Nappa leather, 19” wheels, four-zone climate control and laminated side windows.
Like any manufacturer, there are packages you can tick off on your option sheet, depending on what you like/need/want in your car.
Enjoy the gallery below: