What's the used Volvo V90 estate like?
Traditionally, Volvo estates have been large, boxy load-carriers bought first and foremost for their excellent safety credentials and practicality. However, while the Volvo V90 is certainly large and stuffed full of the latest safety tech, it’s now also a luxurious and rather upmarket estate based on the firm’s premium S90 executive saloon.
Engine choices are a pair of 2.0-litre diesels (D4 and D5), and a couple of 2.0-litre petrols (T4 and T5), along with a powerful petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (T8). The V90’s 232bhp D5 diesel engine uses a clever compressed air system to help the turbocharger kick in more promptly, although it still isn't quite the equal of the equivalent Mercedes E220d. The lower-powered 187bhp D4 isn’t as quick, but it has enough shove to cope with the V90's bulk and is more economical. Both engines can be a little gruff when cold, and the eight-speed automatic gearbox is a little too hesitant.
The 385bhp T8 is a petrol-electric hybrid that’s extremely quick to accelerate and shuffles between power sources easily. There's also a 187bhp T4 and a 247bhp T5 for petrol engine lovers, the T5 being the better of the two because the T4 is a little down on low-rev torque, and will need to be thrashed more in the real world to make similar progress to the more powerful T5.
It’s certainly distinctive and eye-catching from the outside, and things are even better when you step inside: it’s spacious, stylish and impressively plush to compete against those premium models from the German brands, including the very capable BMW 5 Series Touring, Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate.
It’s comfortable, too, on all manner of roads, and its motorway refinement is excellent, although it’s fair to say it can’t quite match its sporty rivals when it comes to handling finesse. Countering that is Volvo’s reputation for safety, which continues in this car with a whole host of innovative, high-tech kit.
Entry-level Momentum trim makes most sense. You get LED headlights, heated leather seats, sat-nav, Bluetooth and a DAB radio. On top of that, there’s a powered bootlid, keyless start and rear parking sensors. Stepping up to Inscription brings extra interior lighting, nappa leather seats and a larger, 12.3in digital instrument cluster, as well as bigger alloy wheels and electric front seats. R-Design adds different suspension that makes the ride harsher, so we’d avoid its otherwise tempting package.
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