Volvo’s V90 is the successor to the well-liked Volvo V70, which has been the Scandinavian firm’s flagship estate for years. Then Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz really improved their estate cars and the competition got hotter.
Now the V90 has come along with its saloon sibling, the S90, to shake the game up some more. The car has similar chassis parts and engines to the big XC90, but the Swedish automaker is taking a different angle on things when it comes to estates, now. The V90 houses a fairly small four-pot diesel turbo power unit under its bonnet and there is also a petrol hybrid if you’re feeling ‘green’.
Alas, the V90’s boot area isn’t as gigantic as the V70’s, but it is still a decent, square load area and it’s certainly big enough for a family of, say, five’s needs. The boot floor turns into an even larger level surface when the seats are folded, making it the perfect vehicle to transport stuff to the tip, or outsized items back from DIY furniture stores.
But the V90 will win over hearts with its ride rather than its load capacity. The cabin is excellently refined and just so utterly comfortable to spend a long time in. To be fair, Volvo’s seats on all its models are top-notch – and the V90 simply builds on that. The car will take four adults, or two adults and three kids, for a cruise all day long without anyone feeling fatigued.
The steering is weighted nicely and there’s very little body roll in corners. It’s good news for the Volvo V90 on motorways, too. It drives with composure and tracks attentively to its lane. At city speed, the ride stays graceful.
The range is divided into two turbo-charged diesel units, named D4 and D5 – and the factory-fitted gearbox across the line-up is an eight-speed auto. If you want manual, you’ll be left wanting as there aren’t any plans to supply a ‘stick shift’ version. Then there’s the top of the tree T8, which is a plug-in hybrid. This will be available in 2017.
There are two levels of trim: Momentum and Inscription, and both come with good levels of kit and Volvo’s safety system. This is able to detect pedestrians and even large animals in the road before you do. The V90/S90 models also come with Pilot Assist, which offers up a semi-autonomous driving function. Volvo could well be offering us a glimpse of what things will be like in the automotive future here.
Volvo has a legendary name for safety, and the V90 and S90’s cousin, the XC90, was awarded top marks in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests. Because the V90 and S90 are so strongly related to the big SUV, the only conclusion is that both new models will pass with flying colours when put through the same assessments.
If you loved the V70, you’ll adore the new Volvo V90 estate. It’s everything the V70 was and is – but more. That is except for the boot – but it’s only ever so slightly smaller, and we don’t think that should be a deal-breaker.
- Max speed: 140mph
- 0-62 mph: 8.5 secs
- Combined mpg: 62.8
- Engine: 1969cc 4-cylinder, 16 valve turbo diesel
- Max. power (PS): 190
- CO2: 119g/km
- Price: £34,555