- Safe and reliable
- Highly practical
- Excellent driving experience
- Rivals are more affordable
- Comfort is sacrificed at slow speeds
- Not the most affordable in its class
What's the Volvo S90 like?
Volvo has been at the forefront of autonomous car and lorry development for some years, and everything it has learned is incorporated into its flagship S90 executive car so that, strictly speaking, it can steer, brake, and accelerate without any driver input.
While earlier in its life, straight petrol and diesel models were available plus a petrol electric hybrid, now the only offering for this limousine-like saloon is a later version of the same hybrid.
The S90 has been available in front-wheel drive both as a 190bhp D4 diesel and as a T4 petrol with the same output. These are good for a 0 to 60mph of 8.4 and 7.9 seconds respectively, and economy is 61 or 42mpg.
Many other models in the range are four-wheel drive, and these open with a 235bhp D5 diesel that covers the sprint in 7.0 seconds and reaches 52mpg in the official fuel consumption figures.
The T5 petrol by comparison has very best economy of 42mpg, but with 250bhp on tap, it sprints to 60mph in a very creditable 6.6 seconds.
Finally, there are two T8 Twin Engine petrol/electric hybrids with 407bhp or 450bhp combined.
The lower output models can be driven for up to 31 miles on electric power only, and this rises to 55 miles in the 450bhp offering.
The benchmark sprint takes 5 or 4.4 seconds respectively, and economy is rated at 123 or 353mpg.
All drive through a standard 8-speed automatic gearbox – as befits such a car – and it has three driver selectable modes, Normal, Dynamic, and Eco, plus a manual setting where changes are made with the tunnel mounted gear selector.
Normal is the mode most will use much of the time, and it really does do everything very well.
In dynamic, as you might expect, up and down changes are revised for quicker response, and you can really feel the difference.
In Eco mode, the tachometer in the digital dash is replaced by a large economy meter to show how well you’re driving.
There's some bump-thump from the wheels at slow speeds, and the road surface comes through to occupants a little.
But as speed rises, the ride is superb, and the car simply flows over everything. Roadholding is excellent for a hefty car that’s nearly five metres long, with well controlled roll and excellent grip.
It’s not a car that is likely to be thrown around by many owners, but it is good to know that the handling safety is every bit as good as all the electronics.
Equipment and Practicality
R-Design spec brings a huge array of equipment, including 18-inch alloys, LED headlights with automatic high beam, heated electrically adjusted sports leather seats, a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a digital instrument panel.
There’s DAB radio, sat nav, Bluetooth, climate control, plus a wide range of safety equipment.
Volvo has always majored on safety, but these cars have every safety device you can think of, and many more that you never thought you needed.
This array all comes under the Intellisafe banner, and includes an adaptive cruise control system with a thing called Pilot Assist.
This clever gizmo – should you want it to – can take over accelerator, steering, and brakes, and all the driver has to do is keep their hands on the wheel.
The car will slow down, speed up and keep in lane completely autonomously on the motorway or in slow moving traffic.
Of course, there's also the usual range of other electronic help, including blind spot and lane departure warning, plus City Safety - an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals in the road ahead and help avoid them.
Added to this extensive list is Volvo’s innovative self-parking system.
There’s plenty of space up front and in the back, where two adults can stretch out with ease, and headroom is also good.
Find your Volvo S90 your way with CarStore
If you're looking for a reliable executive saloon with plenty of safety features and innovative equipment available, the Volvo S90 is an ideal choice. There are plenty of engines to choose from too, making the S90 suitable for a wide range of needs.