Volvo has a reputation for building safe cars. Thanks to the XC90 crossover, that reputation grew to include building elegant, technological advanced cars that are wonderful to drive. The 2017 Volvo S90 takes what everyone loved about the XC90 and applies it to Volvo’s new flagship sedan.
The S90 replaces the old S80, but it’s not a simple name change. This sedan is built on a new platform with new engines and a whole new design. It’s eye-catching without being garish in keeping with Volvo’s modest almost reserved demeanor and has a surprising amount of power.
There are currently two engine choices starting with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged model with 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque in the T5. The more powerful choice, found in the T6, is a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged 4-cylinder with 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Both engines are available in either front-wheel or all-wheel drive and a choice of two trim levels. There’s the base Momentum and the more elegant Inscription. Our test model was the S90 T6 Inscription with all-wheel-drive.
Press on the gas and the S90 rewards with a burst of speed, but it doesn’t do so with brash, unreserved exuberance. Acceleration is strong, but controlled so your passengers will never know how aggressive your foot is on that pedal
It’s wonderful fun getting it quickly up to highway speeds and then merging smoothly into traffic. Managing a congested highway is no trouble with great throttle response even at highway speeds.
The ride is smooth and compliant. Bumps and dips in the average country road aren’t an issue and even the worst of Boston’s city streets, covered with potholes and rough surfaces thanks to never-ending construction, were easy on passengers. It also boasts an impressively quiet interior to create a true luxury car experience.
Despite its modest and unassuming exterior, the interior is absolutely stunning. There’s no flash and nothing over-the-top, but the S90 manages to deliver a true luxury experience from the moment you open the door.
There are rich leathers and soft touch surfaces in all the right places to make sure you never rest an elbow on anything hard. The dash features walnut wood inlays and the power adjustable seats include lumbar, side support, and even a cushion extender to support your thighs.
The centerpiece of the interior is the vertical Sensus Connect screen that perfectly mimics a tablet. Swipe up and down or left and right and then drill down into your menu selection to adjust the radio, navigation, and vehicle settings. It’s intuitive and uncluttered making it easy to find the right selection quickly.
The S90 includes numerous available and standard safety features. Low speed collision avoidance, pedestrian and cyclist detection, pilot assist semi-autonomous driving, and lane keep assist are all standard. Available safety features include blind spot and cross traffic alert and a 360-degree surround view camera.
Starting price for the base Volvo S90 is $46,950 with the top trim coming in at $55,540. Numerous options including a premium Bowers & Wilkins sound system ($2,650), Climate Package ($1,950), and Vision Package ($1,950) helped bring the price of our tester up to $65,110. It’s priced as a premium vehicle, which may be a challenge for some buyers, but it delivers as promised.
The 2017 Volvo S90 is an elegant and attractive sedan with a gorgeous interior. Two powerful engines, great safety features, and a top-notch infotainment system make it a compelling choice for luxury car buyers.