Volvo S90 long-term test review

The Volvo S90 is an all-new luxury saloon built to take on some of the most accomplished cars on sale. We’ve added one to our long-term test fleet to find out what it’s like to live with...

Volvo S90 long-term test review
  • The car: Volvo S90 D4 Momentum
  • Run by: Steve Huntingford, editor
  • Why it's here: To see if Volvo has built a genuine alternative to luxury saloons from the likes of Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Mercedes
  • Needs to: Offer outstanding comfort and refinement, a sumptuous interior and low fuel consumption

Price £33,865 Price as tested £40,585 Miles covered 3268 Official economy 64.2mpg Test economy 48.8mpg Options fitted Head-up display (£750), 18in alloy wheels (£700), metallic paint (£700), electric driver’s seat with memory (£600), IntelliSafe Surround Pack (£600), Keyless Drive (£575), Volvo On Call with app (£550), Winter Pack (£525), electric passenger seat (£400), rear parking camera (£400), TFT driver’s information display (£400), smartphone integration (£300), Dark Flame Birch inlays (£220)

30 July 2017 – second report

As a reviewer for a car magazine based in London, I have become accustomed to travelling far and wide in a wide range of vehicles in order to reach good driving roads. But when it came to the UK launch of the new Volvo XC60, which was held in the Peak District, there was only one car that seemed appropriate for the journey up there: our long-term Volvo S90.

For starters, I was keen to see if the XC60 felt as plush inside as Volvo’s flagship saloon. Plus, of all the cars on our long-term fleet, the S90 would surely be the most relaxing choice for such a long journey. Or would it?

If you’re a regular What Car? reader, you’ll know that when we group tested the S90 against its key rivals, we found its engine disappointingly clattery and its ride inconsistent; two failings that seriously detracted from the otherwise luxurious experience. However, as editor Huntingford – our S90’s long-term custodian – has highlighted, it appears that Volvo has managed to smooth out these rough edges in the months since the car went on sale.

Volvo S90 long-term test review

On the way to the aforementioned launch, I decided to take a quick detour to visit my family in East Yorkshire, and the S90’s suspension soaked up the undulations of the M1 motorway with aplomb.

Even more impressive, though, was the way in which it handled Hull’s patched-up urban roads. Where previous Volvos have struggled to cope with these sort of conditions, the S90 simply shrugged off larger ruts, with very little vibration making its way into the car.

I was also surprised by how smooth the D4 diesel engine was throughout the journey. And it averaged more than 48mpg during my 500-odd miles with it, which isn’t bad at all.

By the time I got back to London I was hugely impressed with the S90, and would now genuinely consider choosing one over the German alternatives that dominate the luxury saloon class. And as for the XC60...

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