Stylish saloon is packed with advanced safety kit and technology
- Sleek, stylish looks
- Huge list of safety kit
- Spacious and comfortable
- Upmarket, tech-laden interior
- Small engine range compared with rivals
- Unsettled ride on higher-spec models
- Not as good to drive as BMW 5 Series
- Pilot Assist not as smooth as rival systems
The Volvo S90 is the saloon version of the Swedish company's V90 estate. It's based on the same underpinnings as the larger XC90 off-roader and includes similarly eye-catching design features, like the T-shaped LED daytime running lights. More importantly, from launch it is very good value on PCP finance, so is this the smart executive car to go for?
The S90 will have to be good to take on established models such as the Audi A6 Saloon, BMW 5 Series Saloon, Jaguar XF Saloon and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon; all of which are comfortable, stylish and very desirable.
However, the S90 is off to a good start with sleek styling and a well-crafted interior boasting a choice of tactile trim and leather upholstery.
There is a bewildering array of advanced safety and driver assistance technology available, as well as a range of efficient engines and a driving experience dubbed ‘Relaxed Confidence’ by Volvo. The Swedish company has firmly prioritised comfort over sporty handling here.
Volvo S90 trim levels
The S90 is available in six trim levels: Momentum, Momentum Pro, R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro.
Volvo S90 engines and gearbox
While there aren’t many to choose from, there should be something to satisfy most needs. The range consists of two diesels, two petrols and a plug-in hybrid; all of which are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Both diesels in the S90 – one called D4, the other D5 PowerPulse – are 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines. The D4 produces 190hp while the D5 produces 235hp and sends power through an all-wheel drive system.
Petrol power, meanwhile, comes in 190hp, 300Nm T4 form and 250hp 350Nm T5 form.
Entry-level T4 and D4 engines are available across all trim levels, with the more powerful D5 and T5 models available across sporty R-Design and luxurious Inscription forms.
The T8 plug-in hybrid, on the other hand, comes only in range-topping R-Design Pro and Inscription Pro specifications. This produces a combined output of 407hp, making it both the fastest S90 and the most economical, according to official figures, with more than 100mpg possible and ultra-low CO2 emissions, if you regularly plug the car in.
Huge list of safety and driver assistance tech
Volvo is known for focusing on car safety and the S90 delivers when it comes to the amount of technology it offers, keeping the car and its occupants out of harm's way.
Falling under what Volvo calls Intellisafe, the S90 features as standard City Safety autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection. Add to this adaptive cruise control featuring Pilot Assist, which can control the car in queues and keep it in lane.
You can have additional assistance systems from the options list too, including automatic parking.
The Parkers Verdict
The Volvo S90 remains an attractive alternative to its established rivals, offering style, generous equipment levels and safety kit. Attention-grabbing PCP finance costs only add to its appeal. The interior quality doesn’t quite match rivals from Germany but this is still a comfortable place to spend long journeys.
The more expensive variants have a firmer ride quality, though, so we’d recommend trying them before buying to see if they suit your needs.