Ad closing in a few seconds...
View all Volvo S90 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Stylish saloon is packed with advanced safety kit and technology

Volvo S90 (16 on) - rated 4 out of 5
Enlarge 122 photos

PROS

  • Sleek, stylish looks
  • Huge list of safety kit
  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Upmarket, tech-laden interior

CONS

  • 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

PROS

  • Sleek, stylish looks
  • Huge list of safety kit
  • Spacious and comfortable
  • Upmarket, tech-laden interior

CONS

  • 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

Volvo S90 rivals

Volvo has placed its focus for the S90 in slightly different areas to its premium market rivals. There’s a real emphasis on Skandi-cool design, with smart features such as the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED daytime running lights, the portrait-oriented interior touchscreen and the optional use of light wood and brushed metal trim for a light, Scandinavian feel.

The marketplace of me-too large executive cars is fiercely contended the Volvo S90 makes an impressive case for itself technically and visually. But is it enough to beat those impressive rivals? It’s the largest saloon car Volvo sells, sitting alongside the V90 estate and above the S60, and competes with the likes of the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 and Lexus ES.

A company-wide commitment to safety is also a Volvo hallmark, and the S90 was a pioneer of advanced safety and driver assistance tech. Comfort is also a priority, and the S90’s relaxed gait is a world away from some of its sportier competition.

Petrols, diesels and plug-in hybrid on offer

The S90’s range of engines offers something for just about everyone, with two petrols, two diesels and a plug-in hybrid available. All are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and performance ranges from effortless to seriously impressive. Again, there aren’t many thrills to be had, but even the base D4 diesel offers 190hp, which is a healthy sum.

2016 Volvo S90 interior

Meanwhile, the range-topping T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid is an interesting ownership proposition, theoretically capable of over 100mpg (on short journeys at least) yet with a combined power output of 400hp making for sports car-rivalling straight-line speed.

Choosing a trim level is pretty simple – you’re able to select from Momentum Plus, R-Design Plus or Inscription Plus. R-Design models are some of the most desirable thanks to their sporty looks and big alloy wheels, but even ‘base’ Momentum cars are well-equipped and look smart.

Wonderful interior hides clever tech

The S90’s interior fixtures and fittings are some of the best around – Volvo’s button-lite approach has been mimicked by plenty of manufacturers since, but few do it with such style.

The majority of the S90’s secondary functions are controlled through the centre touchscreen. It’s large, at nine inches on the diagonal, and broadly quite responsive – however, sometimes adjusting functions such as the cabin temperature or seats can be a fiddle on the move.

All S90s are packed with technology but a particular highlight is Volvo’s range of driver assistance tech. Pilot Assist is the cleverest of the lot, and is capable of driving the S90 semi-autonomously in traffic jams and on motorways.

If this all sounds interesting, read on for our full review to see if the Volvo S90 could be the car for you.

Volvo S90 rivals