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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Clean dashboard with few buttons
  • Plush materials and nicely finished
  • Lots of seat adjustment 

Volvo does interiors extremely well, and the S90 is a really pleasant place to sit. Leather upholstery is standard across the range, while the dashboard feels largely robust and is great to look at – it’s an attractive design with a large, portrait-oriented touchscreen and fine detailing throughout.

There’s a nice range of textures in the cabin but a few touch points spoil it somewhat – such as the steering wheel buttons and centre armrest made from hollow-sounding plastics.

It’s refreshingly simple, with a remarkable lack of buttons (steering wheel aside) – everything is controlled via the slick nine-inch tablet-style screen combined with a TFT display in place of traditional dials. The centre screen is largely glitch free but the instrumentation dials are beginning to look dated already with their lack of clarity.

2016 Volvo S90 interior

There are plenty of configurable settings available to suit your requirements - for example prioritising sat-nav instructions over trip computer information – but the infotainment system may take some getting used to at first.

There are menus galore to sift through, which can prove to be a distraction while driving, but it’s largely a fast-responding system and can be user-friendly after spending some time with it.

Getting comfortable is very easy too. There’s a huge amount of adjustment in the front seats, which are comfortable yet supportive and, where fitted, the electronic adjustment means you can easily perfect it by adjusting almost every section of the seat.

You sit low in the S90, with the dashboard close and the centre console high around you – you feel immersed in the car and, despite being very long at almost five metres in length, it doesn’t feel daunting to drive. That’s down to good all-round visibility.

Comfort

  • Comfort levels spec-dependent
  • Very plush ride with small wheels and air suspension
  • Impressive refinement

The S90 is an exceedingly comfortable car to while away the miles in – providing you have the right set-up in terms of wheels and suspension.

While the Active Four-C air-suspended examples of the S90 should glide better across lumps and bumps in the road - especially those with larger wheels fitted - the steel-sprung versions are a little less refined.

The entry-level Momentum model with softer springs and smaller wheels might have with the least amount of body control, but results in the best level of comfort. This suits the S90’s relaxed character best.

Ride comfort depends on model choice

The firmer suspension on the R-Design can become quite jiggly over pockmarked surfaces and occasionally thud into the worst potholes, but it’s never unbearable. Even with large 20-inch alloy wheels available and with steel springs fitted, the S90 doesn’t ride too harshly. However It does feel slightly at odds with the car’s laidback nature.

In theory, Inscription models should balance between the Momentum and R-Design for ride comfort. In reality, it lacks the soft, isolated ride of the Momentum model and yet it’s not firm enough to iron out bumpy roads quickly. It’s never uncomfortable, but the constant fidgeting from smaller bumps makes itself more present in the cabin, making this the least polished setup in the range.

If you do want a smoother ride then we’d forego the larger wheels and gain some extra comfort – it’ll save you money when you buy the car (big alloys are expensive), and also when you come to fit new tyres.

The seats are very comfortable indeed, with lots of adjustment in the front chairs, while rear-seat passengers are treated to limo-like levels of legroom and their own heating and ventilation controls.

Things are very hushed on the move too – even under hard acceleration, the engines remain civilised, while wind and road noise intrusion are kept to a minimum. It’s a very relaxing car in which to spend time.

2016 Volvo S90 front seats