Volvo S90 D4

Inscription

Volvo S90, front action 3
Volvo S90, front action 2
Volvo S90, front action
Volvo S90, front static
Volvo S90, rear action
Volvo S90, side action
Volvo S90, rear static
Volvo S90, dashboard
Volvo S90, front seats
Volvo S90, rear seats
Volvo S90, boot

OTHER motorists passing me on the road who might have happened to glance in my direction and noticed I was chatting would have assumed I was using a hands-free kit for the conversation.

I'm not sure what their reaction would have been if they'd realised I was talking to the car.

But that's one of the many impressive features of the Volvo S90, you can talk to it - and even get a reply.

"Set temperature to 20 degrees," I told my four-wheeled friend. And got the reply "temperature 20 degrees".

An instruction to change the radio station to Radio 4 was instantly carried out and again confirmed as was my verbal command to set the sat nav to a business address close by.

And while this might all sound a bit gimmicky it's really a major safety feature. For when you're fiddling with heater controls, radio station buttons or setting satellite navigation systems on the move your eyes are off the road.

The S90 is Volvo's flagship saloon model - and is packed with some very impressive hi-tech kit to satisfy the most demanding of drivers.

With the Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system fitted, for example, you can even mimic the acoustics of the Gothenburg Concert Hall when you play your favourite piece of music.

This is an up-market executive car that's a credible alternative to the large saloons built by the premier German brands. It's stylish, oozes quality and offers excellent ride quality thanks to electronic air suspension at the rear.

The interior is plush and business-like with high quality soft leather seats, a large centre-set, iPad-style touch screen and traditional twin dials (speedometer and rev counter) immediately in front of the driver.

To make them even more efficient the analogue speedometer has a digital readout at its centre and both dials increase the light intensity around the speed and revs registering at any given time so your eye goes straight to that point.

Despite its size the S90 is powered by a four cylinder engine of just 2.0-litres, in line with Volvo's commitment three years ago to restrict engine sizes in all its models.

At the time a few eyebrows were raised. But a week of driving an S90 has just proved to me that any doubts were misplaced.

The 190bhp engine is smooth, quite and refined, has plenty of power and is a delight to drive.

Mated to a seamless eight-speed automatic gearbox it offers relaxed high speed cruising but with the ability to react instantly when you need dynamic acceleration.

There is no Sport alterative on the automatic gearbox but you can change the car's overall setting from comfort to Dynamic to sharpen performance - including holding onto the gears for longer.

On the road the S90 feels solid and well planted at all times and is brilliantly fluid through twists and turns on country roads with confidence-instilling road holding.

And despite its size the S90 is simple to park thanks to its all-round cameras which give you an on-screen view of the car from above so you can see exactly what's around you at all times.

If you are still not sure this car will even park itself, with you just controlling the brakes and accelerator.

FAST FACTS

Volvo S90 D4 Inscription

Price:£37,115

Mechanical: 190ps, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 140mph

0-62mph: 8.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 64.2

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 116g/km

Bik rating: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/60.000 miles

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