Volvo’s S90 saloon is the brand’s follow up to the XC90, an SUV that inspires great interiors, technology, and safety.This saloon is an entirely new car that’s based on the same scalable platform architecture (SPA) which is seen beneath the XC90 and will compete against segment contenders like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series. Though it felt right to launch the XC90 at a time when SUV sales are on a high, challenging established brands for a contention in the large luxury saloon space takes a lot of courage and determination.
EXTERIOR AND LOOK
The Volvo S90 comes with a multi-slat grille finished in rich chrome and on either side are the sharp headlamps with the Thor’s Hammer LED DRLs which are shared with the XC90. The front looks very dominating and the road presence is simply unmatched. The side profile is neat and the body line flows along flawlessly. The S90 comes with standard 18-inch alloys. The company also offers larger wheels, some of which look elegant while some look sporty. Moving to the rear, the design seems like a mixed bag. The tail lamps come with a C-shaped design and the boot lid has Volvo written on it. The number plate is placed on the bumper, thus giving the S90 a bit of a different look as compared to other sedans in the same segment. On the whole, the S90 is definitely a looker. While the Mussel Blue shade on our test car makes it look elegant, Volvo also offers a bunch of other colours which are equally premium-looking.
CABIN AND SPACE
The Volvo probably has the best interior ever designed for a sedan. The simplicity of design and attention to detail has been carried over from the exterior to the cabin as well. Yes, it shares a lot with the cabin of the XC90 but has its own character. The dash looks like it’s made from a single piece and an aluminium accented line runs the length of the dash. There are ample wood inserts in the cabin that give an already exquisite cabin a richer feel. Even the stitching on the upholstery is of the highest quality and immediately grabs attention. The front seats are the same slim seats as on the XC90 and so is the 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system which can even be used with the gloves on. Then there is the technology and not just cutting edge safety tech but comfort features as well.
The Volvo S90 comes with the same slim seats that grace the cabin of the XC90 and are fully adjustable. There is a small lever attached to the lumbar support knob that lets you access the seat settings on the infotainment system. It allows you to set the wing support, squab length and lumbar according to your preferences. The driver’s perch itself is extremely comfortable with great visibility all round. The flat bonnet up front doesn’t interfere with the vision despite you sitting quite low in the car. After you’re done fiddling with your seat you can get on with the HUD or the heads up display which also comes with a number of settings and you can choose what you would prefer it to display for you. In our case I went for map directions and of course speed.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE
Volvo’s all-aluminium twin-turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel has already proven itself a willing motor in the XC90 and it feels the same in the S90 despite being in a lower D4 tune. But this aluminium motor doesn’t make the best first impression, as it settles into a gravelly idle. Even on the move you can’t get away from the fact that there is a diesel motor under the hood. It does quieten a bit once on the move though and the healthy 187bhp feels adequate for this 1.8 tonne vehicle. It delivers power in a smooth, linear manner and it has a lot of elasticity too. Thanks to the peak torque of 400Nm, there’s plenty of grunt right from the beginning and it pulls strongly to about 4000rpm post which the power tails off. Thanks to the gear ratios that are closely stacked on the 8-speed auto, the motor never feels out of breath and a tall 8th gear makes it good at cruising too. In Eco mode, the gearbox upshifts as quickly as possible and the car coasts as soon as you go off throttle to save fuel. In Comfort, the car behaves similarly albeit with a slightly better response from the gearbox and the engine. Although you never feel the need for extra grunt in these two modes the gearbox does feel a bit lethargic to downshift as it pauses for a second before deciding which gear to engage. In Dynamic though it becomes much more responsive, but also tends to put the engine in the upper reaches of the rev range, resulting in lot of engine noise.
The S90 glides over rough sections silently and hint of wallow. Large holes, however, do result in a sharp thunk, especially at the front and it does shudder a bit over particularly bad patches. Unlike in most cars, however, Volvo has judged the dynamic mode really well and even in this mode the ride is comfortable and useable. It’s not hard-edged or bone jarring and in fact, at higher speeds we preferred this setting as body movement is kept well in check and it delivers a flat ride. The S90 is quite adept at shrink-wrapping itself around you as it feels very manoeuvrable and it feels no bigger than an S60 from behind the wheel. The wide 245 section bespoke Pirelli tyres provide good amount of grip. Although the S90 in Dynamic mode corners flat with minimal body roll but it’s not something you will call sporty. The biggest party pooper is the steering which feels numb and devoid of feel, even in ‘Dynamic’ mode. As a result, it’s not a very engaging drive. The brakes though felt spot on with them being linear and the discs providing a sharp bite when in need.
BRAKING AND SAFETY
Safety has been Volvo’s forte right from the inception of the brand, and the Volvo S90 proves it, coming with several avant-garde safety equipment, which include Lane Keeping Aid, Emergency Brake Assist, Seatbelt Pretensioners for all seats, Child Booster Cushion, High strength Boron Steel, Whiplash Protection and Side Impact Protection.
After spending some quality time with the S90 there is one aspect that shines purposefully through. This car will primarily suit backseat babus as this package offers great comfort, supreme build quality, and lots of feel good factorselements. It serves up a diverse sense of style and appeal, and will suit suffice those on the lookout for something that’s safe, not too exciting to drive but has a lavishly appointed cabin with the addition of being a little different from the regulars. We now understand the essence of what this Swedish brand had in mind when crafting the S90. A great effort indeed.
Volvo S90 Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 54,50,000/- (S90 D4 Inscription) to 54,50,000/- (S90 D4 Inscription) .Volvo S90 has 1 Variants of Diesel are available in India. Volvo S90 comes in 4 colours, namely Mussel Blue metallic,Magic Blue Metalic,Crystal White Pearl,Black Black metallic.