By Patrick James on 2016-10-30 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Volvo S90 D4
EVERYONE knows that you need an elk detector on your executive cars and Volvo has obliged with the striking looking S90.
Surprise meetings with large animals is a risk on the roads of Scandinavia - and many other places for that matter - so that unwanted encounter with elk, moose, horse, other large animal is mitigated by one of Volvo's famed safety systems.
It is part of the City Safety set up which is standard on the S90 and allows for automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist, and those pesky animals detected both during the day and night.
If anyone has doubted that Volvo was not now right up there challenging the very best in the executive sector, then its latest luxury limo, a replacement for the ageing S80, must dispel those doubts.
Volvo is on a roll at the moment with some superb styling examples through the range, mated to clean, efficient engines and the very latest technology.
The S90 is the best looking yet. It features those new technologies, ranging from cutting-edge safety to cloud-based apps and services as well as the luxury touches you would expect from a car in this segment.
It has stunning looks with a particularly good looking rear end complete with massive boot and striking light clusters.
It is built on Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and like the XC90 SUV it includes the distinctive T-shaped "Thor's Hammer" LED headlights and stylish alloy wheels.
The S90 features a comprehensive, yet simple and intuitive dash layout, with main centrepieces, the large central dial in the binnacle and nine-inch touch screen which hosts the major functions and a TFT display screen.
A nice touch is when the car automatically picks up to local speed limit, displays it and at the same marks the appropriate speed on speedo with a red line.
Yes, I'm still impressed with small, but ingenious touches like that.
The rest of the dash layout is comprehensive, yet uncluttered. The touch screen houses Volvo's Sensus infotainment system, satellite navigation, a sophisticated voice-control system, and access to the internet and a range of apps such as TuneIn, Stitcher and Yelp.
Also included is Pilot Assist, where drivers can set speed or distance from the vehicle in front, braking and accelerating, and keep the car within lane markings.
That's another step along the road to fully autonomous driving - something which Volvo is pioneering.
The interior is spacious and comfortable and has a real limo feeling with heated and powered seats, keyless entry and handsfree boot/tailgate opening and closing.
Additional premium touches include interior inlays, rear footwell and side step illumination, and chrome exterior details plus a host of creature comforts and toys.
On the road the two litre four cylinder diesel is a smooth and efficient unit, mated to a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox it delivers power without breaking the bank in term of fuel and tax efficiency.
Delivering power to the front wheels, combined fuel consumption of 64.2mpg and CO2 emissions of just 116g/km make it attractive in the competitive executive company car market.
It is a pleasure to drive with weighted direct steering and feeling surprisingly agile on bends for such a big car. Comfort is excellent for five adult occupants with a firm by comfortable ride.
A more powerful five cylinder unit is also available and there are three trim levels, Momentum and Inscription and R-Design.
Volvo S90 D4 Momentum Geartronic
Mechanical: 190bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 140mph
0-62mph: 7.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 64.2
Insurance Group: 27
C02 emissions: 116g/km
Bik rating: 23%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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