Volvo S90 Review Facelift: Redefining Benchmarks
If you are in the market looking for a premium mid-sized sedan, then you have the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and even the Audi A6 to choose from. But, if you want something that is different from your neighbour’s garage, then there is the Volvo S90. The flagship sedan from the Scandinavian carmaker boasts all the features and amenities that you would expect from a car in this segment. And what sets it apart is its “Volvo-ness”, but is that enough to compete with the German trio? Well, let's find out.
The Volvo S90's exterior showcases the brand's reputation for creating sleek and modern vehicles that are both impressive and understated. The sharp lines that run along the body create a commanding presence that turns heads wherever it goes. The front is adorned with a blacked-out grille that features the instantly recognisable Volvo logo. The grille's sleek design is enhanced by the distinctive "Thor's Hammer" lights, which give the car a unique and striking appearance. The lower fascia features round fog lights that add to the car's aggressive and sporty aesthetic.
The just under 5m wheelbase provides ample interior space for passengers and cargo, making it an excellent choice for families and professionals alike. At the rear, the large ‘VOLVO’ lettering, C-shaped LED taillights, and an integrated lip spoiler give off a performance feel that is sure to excite car enthusiasts. The Crystal White colour is a trendy and fashionable choice, but there are three more hues on offer- Onyx Black, Denim Blue, and Platinum Grey.
Tech & Interior
The Volvo S90 boasts an interior that exudes luxury and spaciousness with its minimalist design and premium materials. It offers various trim options that cater to personal preferences such as leather upholstery, heated and ventilated seats, and a panoramic sunroof that enhances the overall driving experience. One of the standout features of the S90 is the advanced Google Android-based infotainment system, which includes a user-friendly 9-inch touchscreen display that is responsive and easy to navigate. The system offers voice-activated control and access to an extensive range of apps and services through Google Play, providing a seamless digital experience.
Additionally, the S90 supports Apple CarPlay integration, enabling users to sync their smartphone to the car's system seamlessly. The absence of Android Auto is compensated by the in-built interface, which works well. Other notable features include a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Bowers & Wilkins audio system that produces high-quality sound, and a four-zone automatic climate control system that ensures maximum comfort for all passengers.
The Volvo S90 is an extremely safe car that offers a high level of protection to its occupants, thanks to its advanced safety technologies and robust design. It has a host of safety features that help make it one of the safest cars on the road. One of the key features is the City Safety system, which is designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. This system uses radar and cameras to detect potential hazards and can apply the brakes if necessary to prevent a collision. Additionally, the S90 comes with Pilot Assist, which helps the driver maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and stay in the centre of the lane.
Other notable safety features include Lane Departure Warning, Road Sign Information, and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS). The S90 also has a 360-degree camera that provides a bird's eye view of the car, making it easier to park and manoeuvre in tight spaces. Furthermore, the S90 has a robust body structure made of high-strength steel and features a suite of airbags and advanced restraint systems to protect occupants in the event of a collision. The car also has a Run-off Road Mitigation system that can detect if the car is about to leave the road and applies the brakes to prevent it from running off the road.
Engine & Transmission
The Volvo S90 may be spacious on the inside, but it doesn't compromise on driving dynamics. Despite its size, the car handles like a sporty sedan, providing a fun and engaging driving experience. Under the hood is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged and supercharged engine that delivers 290 bhp and 420 Nm of torque. The mild hybrid system also includes a 48-volt electric motor that adds an additional 10 bhp to the total output, providing an extra boost of power when needed.
Volvo S90 B5 Ultimate
|Max Power||247 bhp @5400-5700 rpm|
|Peak Torque||350 Nm @1800- 4800 rpm|
|Mild Hybrid Battery||48-Volt|
One of the key features of the mild-hybrid system is regenerative braking, which can then be used to power the electric motor, reducing the load on the engine, and improving fuel efficiency with a claimed figure of 14.7 kmpl.
Ride & Handling
The Volvo S90 offers a comfortable ride quality that is well-suited for daily commutes or even long journeys. The car's weight distribution and low centre of gravity also contribute to its stability and handling prowess, providing a sense of confidence to the driver.
Helping you lay all that power down is a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system, and while it may not be as quick as its rivals, it compensates with sport sedan reflexes. There's ample feedback from the steering with plenty of grip for sharp turns and corners. The air suspension setup is a mind-reader and quite comfortably glides over broken roads. There is a bit of firmness but that only adds up to the overall driving experience. What I don't like though, is the absence of drive modes and paddle shifters that would give you more control of the car and even make it more enjoyable.
The brakes are also responsive and provide good stopping power, giving the driver a sense of security and control. Another area where the S90 excels is its low levels of noise and vibration, with the car's cabin providing a peaceful and serene driving experience. The car's insulation from road and wind noise is impressive, making it a great car for long journeys.
The Volvo S90 is a great choice for those looking for a luxurious, high-performance sedan with advanced technology and safety features. It also comes as a great alternative to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and Audi A6. In terms of prices alone, the S90 is one of the most affordable offerings in the segment but misses out on a diesel option.
Rs. 67.90 lakh
Rs. 65.40 lakh
Rs. 72.50 lakh
Rs. 61.60 lakh- Rs. 67.76 lakh
Rs. 68.90 lakh
Rs. 73.50 lakh- Rs. 87.50 lakh
Another caveat is the limited-service network may be a concern for some buyers. But, all things said and done, the Volvo S90 stands out in the crowd with its comfortable and smooth ride, impressive features, and of course elegant design that stands the test of time.
Photography By: Apoorv Choudhary