Volvo S90 2020 - A Stylish Executive Saloon

The new Volvo S90 is a large, luxury, executive saloon which oozes style and class. The S90 looks set to take direct aim at its rivals such as the Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Mercedes E Class and the long-admired BMW 5 Series. The S90 is technically and visually fantastic and should prove to be a real hit with company car owners and those looking for an alternative to the standard German offerings.

The new S90 has been built on the same platform as the Volvo V90 and XC90, as is much of its interior, which isn't a bad thing given how good it looks.

Volvo in the early years was always synonymous with cars that were built to last and which provided some of the most recognised safest vehicles on the market. The problem with this, from what I can remember as a child, was that Volvo's were never particularly good-looking cars, they were always a little boxy and gave you a sense that they were designed for the older generation.

Volvo-S90-sideview

Over the years, though, Volvo has put a lot of time and effort into modernising the appearance of their vehicles, to keep in touch with modern trends, while still maintaining the highest safety standards. What we have seen over the recent years are some of the best-looking cars not just produced by Volvo, but by any manufacturer. Volvo is going from strength to strength in all areas of their automotive development, both interior and exterior.

The new S90 is available in three trim levels, Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. Momentum is classed as the Premium Version and is the entry-level model, next is the R-Design which is classed as the Sports Version, and finally, there is the Inscription which is the Luxury Version. All versions offer a tremendous amount of safety features as you would expect along with a selection of other technological toys.

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Engines, Power and Performance

The Volvo S90 comes with a good selection of engine options. There are a couple of petrol engines, a couple of diesel variants and an impressive plug-in hybrid (PHEV) to choose from. All S90 engines are coupled exclusively to an automatic transmission. The S90 comes in both FWD and AWD depending on engine selection, and all engines use the same 2-litre units with varying turbochargers and power outputs.

The entry-level petrol engine is badged the T4 which comes with front-wheel drive and will develop 190hp and 300Nm of torque. It will hit 0-62mph in 8.7secs so not particularly quick in this day and age, but certainly no slouch. The next petrol offering is badged the T5 and again is front-wheel drive only, but power is increased to 250hp and 350Nm of torque. This added power reduces the 0-62mph time down to 6.8secs and will easily overtake and get up to speed when needed.

The entry-level diesel engine is badged the D4 which develops 190hp and 400Nm of torque. It will get from 0-62mph in 8.2secs, making it quicker than the equivalent petrol engine. As with the petrol engines, the D4 is only available with front-wheel drive. The second and most powerful diesel engine is badged the D5, and it comes with 235hp and 480Nm of torque. The D5 is fitted with Volvo's all-wheel-drive (AWD) system which helps it to achieve 0-62mph in just 7secs.

Finally, we come to the quickest and most powerful Volvo S90 offering, which is the plug-in hybrid option. It combines a 2-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine with an electric motor. It is badged the T8 Twin Engine which develops a total of 390hp and a whopping 640Nm of torque. To help maximise the extra power and torque the T8 is fitted with AWD which helps it race from 0-62mph in just 5.1secs.

Volvo-S90-badge

If you choose the Momentum trim level, then you will only have the choice of the T4 or D4 engines. If you have opted for the R-Design or Inscription trim level S90 then you get the choice of any of the petrol, diesel or hybrid engines depending on your budget.

Interior Quality and Technology

The interior of the S90 is luxurious and pleasing on the eye. Volvo is producing some of the nicest interiors around at the moment. The inside of the S90 is well built using high-quality materials. It is relaxing and comfortable when inside and mixes the right amount of elegance and style with practicality and usability.

Every S90 comes with Volvo's Sensus infotainment system with the majority of functions operated through an impressive 9-inch colour touchscreen located prominently, in the centre of the dashboard in a portrait position. Some of the standard features available across all models include Sensus Navigation (sat-nav), Bluetooth Handsfree System with smartphone connectivity, DAB radio and a 10 Speaker audio system.

Volvo-S90-interior

Another cool feature is Volvo On Call. Volvo On Call connects to your smartphone via the Volvo On Call app and allows you to do all sorts of things remotely, such as checking the car status, send destinations to the S90's navigation system and lock and unlock the car. These are just a few of the app's features, but it's capable of much more.

All Volvo S90 models now come with a 12.3-inch colour TFT digital instrument display as standard in place of the conventional analogue dials. Some of the driver information which can be displayed include your telephone, navigation directions and traffic/road signs. The screen will automatically change its brightness based on the exterior light to make it more pleasant on the drivers' eyes.

Volvo-S90-driver-display

Space, Practicality and Safety

The Volvo S90, as you would expect, is extremely spacious inside given its size, at almost five metres in length. Occupants in the front will have no issues fitting in with an abundance of legroom and headroom to accommodate any sized individual. The seats have a generous amount of adjustment, as does the steering wheel so finding that perfect driving position should be a breeze.

In the back, again, there is an impressive amount of space for passengers both head and legroom. The only minor drawback is the large centre transmission tunnel which takes up quite a decent amount of the foot space allowed for the middle passenger, so it would be more suited to a young child or small adult.

Volvo-S90-rear-seats

There are various useful storage cubbies throughout the cabin, including decent-sized door pockets, glovebox and cupholders. The boot is large with a capacity of 500-litres with an extra 37-litres hidden under the boot floor, not quite as spacious as the BMW 5 Series or Audi A6 but not far short and it will easily fit in all of your holiday suitcases.

When it comes to safety, Volvo is the master, and it is their bread and butter. It should come as no surprise that the Volvo S90 scored a top 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety tests. Each S90 gets a generous selection of the latest Volvo safety technologies and features including Dual Stage Driver and Passenger airbags, Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS) and Lane Keep Assist.

There are additional safety packages available, some of which come as standard in the higher trim models.

The Volvo S90 is a car which has been built to rival the Audi and BMW dominance in the luxury saloon market, and I'm pleased to say for me they have succeeded. The S90 is a joy to drive and gives you a relaxing and comfortable ride. It may not handle as well as the BMW 5 Series or have the same levels of tech as the Audi, Mercedes and BMW counterparts, but what the S90 does have style and charm. It ticks all the boxes you could have for a luxury executive saloon whether for business purposes or the family.

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Stuart Porro

Stuart is a nationally and internationally recognised automotive content creator. Reviewing cars for some of the biggest names in the four wheeled world, you can catch him right here on Yoauto.
  • Kent