Volvo V90 (16-) preview

  • Looks great
  • Large range of engines
  • Comfortable seats

When you think of a Volvo you probably think of a large estate. Despite the recent runaway triumphs of the XC90 SUV, the Swedish manufacturer’s reputation is built on load-lugging wagons.

Despite this, we haven’t had a brand-new one since the V70 way back in 2007 - the year the first iPhone came out.

Cashing in on the success of the aforementioned XC90 is a family of large vehicles sharing chassis and engine components. We’ve seen the S90 saloon, and now here’s the Volvo V90 estate.

Back to boot camp

The first thing to note is that boot space is down in comparison with the old car. You get a maximum loadspace of 1,526 litres instead of the V70’s 1,600. It’s also less capacious than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate and BMW 5 Series Touring.

Part of the reason is the move away from the big and boxy Volvos of old. You lose a little bit of space but you gain a much better looking vehicle as a result – note the sloping rear window, which has been angled down by 25 degrees for a swoopier rear end.

What space you do have is eminently practical though. Thank the composite rear leafspring for that, which keeps all the suspension parts under the bodywork. As a result there are no lumps and bumps in the boot - just a large, square loadspace.

V90 has an all-2-litre, four-cylinder engine line-up

No surprises that the V90 shares its Drive-E engines with the S90 saloon, given that they are both built on Volvo’s “Scaleable Product Architecture” underpinnings.

Volvo reckons diesel will be the big seller, making up 80-85 percent of cars. Petrol will account for five percent, and the rest will be hybrid.

There will be the 250bhp T5 petrol and 232bhp D5 diesel, with the 187bhp D4 diesel expected to sell in the highest numbers. This promises 62mpg and 119g/km CO2, only marginally more than the S90 saloon.

From launch you can have a D4 with front-wheel drive, available with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox, and a D5 all-wheel drive with an automatic ‘box.

Like the XC90 and S90 before it, the V90 will feature the T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid, available later this year.

Twin Engine means a four-cylinder petrol engine and eight-speed automatic gearbox upfront, with a large electric motor providing drive to the rear wheels. This puts out more than 400bhp in total and can drive on electric-only power for about 30 miles.

Lots of safety features, as you would imagine

Like the S90 saloon you get Pilot Assist as standard. This clever system adjusts your speed and position on the road while cruising for you, taking the work out of motorway driving and also making it a bit safer too.

There is also a clever seat which helps reduce spinal injuries in a crash, and a gadget that can detect when you’ve left the road to help mitigate physical injuries.

On top of this there are LED headlamps, leather upholstery, sat-nav, CleanZone air quality system and a nine-inch centre touch screen.

When can I buy one?

Order books open in September with prices starting from £34,000. Check back to see our full Volvo V90 review then.