Volvo S90 - Used Car

Review

Volvo S90, front
Volvo S90, front
Volvo S90, rear
Volvo S90, rear
Volvo S90, interior
Volvo S90, boot

VOLVO has been at the forefront of autonomous car and lorry development for some years and everything it has learned is incorporated into its flagship S90 saloon so that at times, it can steer, brake and accelerate without any driver input.

While earlier in its life, straight petrol and diesel models were available plus a petrol/electric hybrid, now the only offering for this limousine-like saloon is a later version of the same hybrid.

But as well as the saloon, there are also vast V90 estate and raised ride height V90 Cross Country models, and these are still available with a wider range of engines.

Volvo has always majored on safety, but these cars have every safety device you can think of, and many more that you never thought you needed.

This array all comes under the Intellisafe banner, and includes an adaptive cruise control system with a thing called Pilot Assist.

This clever gizmo - should you want it to - can take over accelerator, steering and brakes as I mentioned above, and all the driver has to do is keep their hands on the wheel!

The car will slow down, speed up and keep in lane completely autonomously on the motorway or in slow moving traffic..

Of course, there is also the usual range of other electronic help, including blindspot and lane departure warning, plus City Safety - an automatic emergency braking system that can detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals in the road ahead and help avoid them.

Added to these is Volvo's latest - and very good - self parking system.

The S90 has been available in front wheel drive both as a 190bhp D4 diesel and as a T4 petrol with the same output. These are good for a zero to 60 miles an hour time of 8.4 and 7.9 seconds respectively, and economy is 61 or 42mpg.

Many other models in the range are four wheel drive, and these open with a 235bhp D5 diesel that covers the sprint in 7 seconds and reaches 52mpg in the official fuel consumption figures.

The T5 petrol by comparison has very best economy of 42mpg, but with 250bhp on tap, it sprints to 60 in a very creditable 6.6 seconds.

Finally, there are two T8 Twin Engine petrol/electric hybrids with 407 or 450bhp combined.

The lower output models can be driven for up to 31 miles on electric power only and this rises to 55 miles in the 450bhp offering.

The benchmark sprint takes 5 or 4.4 seconds respectively, and economy is rated at 123 or 353 miles per gallon.

All drive through a standard eight speed automatic gearbox - as befits such a car - and it has three driver selectable modes, Normal, Dynamic and Eco, plus a manual setting where changes are made with the tunnel mounted gear selector.

Normal is the mode most will use much of the time, and it really does do everything very well.

In dynamic, as you might expect, up and down changes are revised for quicker response, and I could really feel the difference.

In Eco mode, the tachometer in the digital dash is replaced by a large economy meter to show how well you're driving.

There is some bump-thump from the wheels at slow speeds, and the road surface comes through to occupants a little.

But as speed rises the ride is superb, and the car simply flows over everything. Roadholding too is excellent for a hefty car that's nearly five metres long, with well controlled roll and excellent grip.

Obviously it's not a car that is likely to be thrown around by many owners as I have done, but it is good to know that the handling safety is every bit as good as all the electronics.

There's plenty of space up front and in the back, where two adults can stretch out with ease and headroom is also good.

R-Design spec brings a huge array of equipment, including 18-inch alloys, LED headlights with automatic high beam, heated electrically adjusted sports leather seats, a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and a digital instrument panel.

There's DAB radio, sat nav,Bluetooth, climate, plus all the safety equipment I've already mentioned.

Pay about £15,600 for a ‘17 17-reg D4 Momentum, or £36,300 for a '20 20-reg T8 Hybrid R-Design Recharge.

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