We first drove the Volvo V90 at its international press launch in Spain during the summer of 2016. Volvo are the granddaddy of estates in Europe. Sure, there may have been a few before it, but none managed to shove practicality and safety into these machines quite as well as Volvo. The Volvo V90 is an estate version of the S90, and the latest addition in the new 90 Series. Everything so far in the new 90 Series line-up has been super impressive. The XC90 is excellent, the S90 is super attractive, and the V90 is both stylish and practical.
Currently, the V90 is available to our markets with both the 2.0 litre D3, D4 and D5 diesel engines. There will be a T8 hybrid option for the market. We've driven the T6, which is the petrol combustion engine which is couple with the battery to give the T8 set up. While we haven't driven the actual hybrid version, we can say that the petrol engine which goes into it is a nice set-up. The D3 engine offers a nice 150hp, and it offers 0-100km/h in 10.2 seconds. We have mainly driven the D4 and D5 offerings. The 190hp with the D4 makes it a good vehicle to overtake with and it covers 0-100km/h in just 8.5 seconds. The D4 is also available with all-wheel drive. The D5 is only available with all-wheel drive, and it comes with what Volvo calls a "PowerPulse" system. This reduces most of the turbo lag which means that launching the V90 is an easier task. The D5 delivers 235hp from its 2.0 four-cylinder engine. All three diesel engines are good; however, BMW and Audi offer a little more choice for their competitive models. Which of the diesel option you choose, will be based on your own needs. However, for us, we'd go for the D4. It offers good power and is a competent over-taker.
The Volvo V90 measures-in at nearly 5-metres in length and you would be forgiven for thinking that that size might make into a bit of a yacht. Truth be known, it handles as well, if not better than the S90. It's certainly a better ride than the XC90 - which was not bad to begin with. The Volvo V90 grips the road well on corners. The steering could offer a little more feedback - but that's us nit-picking.
The interior of the Volvo V90 is brilliantly pieced together. In fact, we now feel that it's luxury is a true contender with the rest of its luxury segment. While it's not as comfy as either the 5 Series or the A, it offers its quality interior in a more open way. It's all very airy and refreshing. While padding around the vehicle is good, a bit of diesel noise slips into the interior. We noticed this mostly with the D4 engine. Volvo's 9-inch SENSUS connect display looks great, however, it can be a little difficult to get used to and navigate around. Sure, the same system can do some intelligent things, it's just taking the time to learn how to do them.
All of what we see in the Volvo V90 is also visible within the XC90 and the S90. As already mentioned, the interior is open, airy, and very comfortable. Volvo uses a good mix of upholsteries, interior plastics and wood. Yep, it doesn't feel as "sitting-room" as the A6 or the 5 Series, but it does feel more like an open-plan Swedish villa!
Unsurprisingly, the Volvo V90 scored a full 5 stars in the Euro NCAP safety tests. It scored; 95% for adult occupancy, 80% for child occupancy, 76% for pedestrian safety, and 93% for safety assist features. The V90, and indeed the 90 Series offers excellent safety features including; Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Hill Start Assist, and much more - many of these as standard.
Space to both the front and the back of the V90 is superb. It's comfortable in there. Five adults would get in, but beware of the transmission tunnel in the middle of the back seat. The boot offers a good 500 litres for luggage. This is good, not as good as let's say a Skoda Superb, but it should be enough for most families. The boot is not as boxy as the Volvo estates of old, and therefore, it's not as practical. There is a curved boot lid which takes away some of the space - but if it was boxed-off like the old Volvo estates, then the car just wouldn't look as good.