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Volvo V90 Review

Volvo V90 Tested August 2017


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Quick Summary

About as complete as a car can get – and it’s trying to be cooler.


Road Test

Competition is fierce in the luxury saloon and estate market, but it’s hard to argue that Volvo has always been up there.

In fact, it’s been up there for something like half a century.

Its estates, in particular, have a reputation for being bulletproof, ultra-safe and super-practical. Today that all still rings true, it just comes with a lot more added comfort and luxury.

And the V90 – the latest iteration in a long lineage of Volvo estates – is a seriously accomplished car.

It is, of course, the wagon version of the excellent S90 and it comes in two main guises – the standard car and the Cross Country.

All cars get, as is the way with Volvo, a lot of safety kit – including pedestrian, cyclist and animal detection, as well as automatic emergency braking.

You also get adaptive cruise control, a power-operated tailgate and alloys.

That’s a serious amount of standard kit in anybody’s book. It also gets an advanced sports chassis.

There’s also the tarted-up R-Design, which is very nice indeed for those wanting a sportier edge to their look.

We happened to drive the Cross Country, which is chunkier and raised compared to the standard V90.

The standard car is sleeker and better looking for it, but the Cross Country is full of purpose for those who need a bit of ability to handle rougher terrain.

Whichever you go for, it’s an incredibly smooth and relaxing drive.

The automatic diesel setup that we drove was full of pull and the overall experience was one of an effortless waft.

Our tester had the D6 2.0 diesel engine, packing 235hp and good for 60mph in 7.2 seconds.

On paper it claims 53mpg combined, but we struggled to get much past mid-30s.

It’s actually a very simple engine range – two versions of the diesel plus a 320hp petrol and the petrol plug-in hybrid.

Most sales will be the boggo diesels, of course, which, alongside our engine, offer a 190hp version as well.

It’s a touch more efficient, with 63mpg. Emissions are 119g/km on the 190hp and 129g/km on the 235hp.

The hybrid, meanwhile, makes, in theory, 141mpg and just 46g/km.

The ride is super comfortable, you barely feel any bumps, while handling is precise and engaging, thanks in part to the all-wheel-drive spec of our car.

The interior is very well done, with top materials everywhere you look.

Inside, every car gets Sensus Connect, with a range of apps and internet access, as well as navigation, a nine-inch touch screen, voice control, heated front seats and climate control.

You can add further bells and buttons of course – including 360-degree parking camera, which is amazingly useful, as well as automatic parking.

You can also have a posh Bowers and Wilkins stereo, leather, even bigger 19in wheels and a retractable tow bar, to name just a few options.

There is lots of rear legroom and a cavernous boot too.

Not everyone finds Volvo that sexy, but the V90 sure is trying very hard to change that.

It’s a serious rival for competitors such as the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF.



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