By Patrick James on 2020-03-28 - 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
THE first thing you can say about the S90 is that it is a striking-looking car. It's huge, stylish and has a road - and car park - presence that cannot be ignored.
Huge, but now svelte and sleek, it also features cutting-edge technologies, ranging from safety to cloud-based apps and services. Huge, with a huge boot area as you would expect, with 500-litres available.
It is unmissable with all models now featuring the now-familiar Thor's hammer style headlights with active high beam and LED running lights, folding door mirrors, power boot lid, piano black front grille with chrome surrounds and twin exhaust tailpipes, all rounded off with smart alloy wheels.
It is built on Volvo's Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform and the interior features simple and intuitive dash layout. The twin centrepieces are a 12.3 inch TFT driver information display and nine-inch, tablet-style touch and swipe screen.
This hosts the major functions, like Volvo's Sensus infotainment system, satellite navigation, various apps, a sophisticated voice-control system, super sound system with 10 speakers and connectivity via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The interior itself is even more impressive than the outside, a truly luxury saloon that is right up there with the best. Standard kit is very impressive and this model includes leather upholstery,interior inlays, sports mat and pedals, ambient lighting, rear footwell and side step illumination, heated sports multi-function steering wheel, heated, powered front seats with lumbar support, split folding rear seats, power folding rear backrests, and ski hatch.
Approaching the top of the range, this model, the R Design, adds more sporty features and also includes goodies like heated wash nozzles and headlight cleaning system, head up display, bending lights, keyless entry and twist button starter, puddle lights and last, but not least, sporty 19-inch double spoke alloys.
All models are packed with safety equipment, which goes without saying on a Volvo, with full complement of airbags and a raft of driver, passenger and pedestrian safety technology. Neat touches include automatic parking and 360 degree camera available where the surround view from the four wide-angle lens cameras appears on the centre touch screen at even at very low speeds.
On the road the two-litre four 190bhp cylinder diesel is a powerful smooth and efficient unit, mated to a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox it delivers power and excellent economy for such a huge car. Performance is impressive and the driver has the choice of three drive modes, economy, standard and sport, delivery pace and power which whips the big car to 60mph in just over eight seconds.
Delivering power to the front wheels, combined fuel consumption is a claimed 61-odd mpg, which in the real world was more like 50-odd.
Still hugely economical for such a big car which also proved a pleasure to drive with weighted direct steering and feeling surprisingly agile on bends thanks to the lowered sports chassis. It swallows up five adults in comfort while the huge 500-litre boot also feels like it could swallow a couple of bodies.
Volvo S90 D4 R-Design Plus
Mechanical: 190bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 140mph
0-62mph: 8.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 61.4
Insurance Group: 28
C02 emissions: 121g/km
Bik rating: 28%
Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles
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