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Volvo S90

LIFE BEGINS AT NINETY (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The improved version of Volvo's S90 full-sized executive saloon offers something refreshingly different in its segment, thinks Jonathan Crouch.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 58

Volvo has never really cracked the full-sized executive sector but this S90 model looks a more promising contender, especially in this revised form with its wider provision of mild hybrid engineering. Based on the platform architecture of the brand's second generation XC90 SUV, it aims to tempt company customers with what Volvo describes as 'elegant and functional' appeal.

Backgroundword count: 144

If you're thinking of buying a full-sized executive car, then you're probably thinking of a BMW 5 Series, an Audi A6 or a Mercedes E-Class. Other brands have tried and failed to upset German dominance in this segment, Volvo being one of them. The Swedish maker's old S80 never managed to make much of an impact here - but then that was a car from a different era of Volvo ownership. These days, the Gothenburg marque has huge Chinese investment to drive it forward and the result is a much stronger range of product - cars in fact like this one. Volvo itself reckons that this improved S90 (and its V90 estate counterpart) represent even more of a step forward than the second generation XC90 SUV did - and that car was a seismic step forward for the company. The prospects then, are promising.

Driving Experienceword count: 213

Because this S90 uses the same 'Scalable Product Architecture' as its XC90 SUV stablemate, it also uses many of the same engines too, which are virtually all now based around the brand's mild hybrid technology. There's a choice of B4, B5 and B6 petrol units respectively developing 190, 250 and 310hp. And B4 and B5 diesels, respectively developing either 197 or 235hp. Plus, as usual with Volvo, there's also a T8 plug-in hybrid version, offering a 303hp output plus an 87hp electric boost. All the engines, as usual with the brand, are 2.0-litres and four cylinders in size. As before, all S90s will be ordered with smooth 8-speed auto transmission. On the move, you aren't served up anything that encourages much driving involvement -blame the rather vague steering for that - but in compensation, there's unruffled poise and exemplary refinement. You get supple standards of ride comfort from the soft suspension too and there's the option of rear air suspension if you want it. A standard 'Drive Mode Settings' driving dynamics system allows you to tailor throttle response, steering feel and auto gearshift timings to suit the way you want to drive. And if you do push on a bit, grip and traction are actually quite impressive and cornering bodyroll decently well controlled.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

5.1

Boot capacity min (litres):

500

Combined mpg:

166.1

CO2 (g/km):

40

157

Height (mm):

1443

Length (mm):

4963

... and 3 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

Performance
70%
Handling
60%
Comfort
80%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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