Volvo V90 - Used Car

Review

Volvo V90 R-Design, 2021, side
Volvo V90 R-Design, 2021, front
Volvo V90 R-Design, 2021, rear
Volvo V90 R-Design, 2021, interior
Volvo V90 R-Design, 2021, rear seats
Volvo V90 R-Design, 2021, boot

WHEN a company like Volvo decides to stop producing load lugging estate cars, big changes are afoot in the market.

The big Volvos were favourites with antique dealers, salespeople and families for many, many years and not a few owners will mourn their passing.

Production of the V60 and V90 estates ended in 2023, but if you really want one, there are still a few on the market if you're prepared to hunt.

I've been lucky enough to drive both models and always enjoyed the superb comfort and fantastic long distance ability with which they're embued.

But Volvo saw the shift toward SUVs - and it's going to concentrate on them from now on.

So, if you can't find a new big V90 estate, why not take a look at a secondhand one.

They really are marvellous, handsome machines, and have such cosseting comfort and superb refinement that 300 miles can be driven with very little fatigue.

At this luxury level of car ownership, most owners would rather have top levels of comfort and the cachet of something different, than follow the crowd into a ‘sporty' Audi or Mercedes.

About four years ago, I had to drive east to west across the country and back in just three days and the V90 I was driving proved a perfect companion.

I covered nearly four hundred miles over every conceivable type of road and surface, returning by a completely different route as is my wont, because you never know what you might see.

The big Volvo's sat nav system was so good that I rarely stopped moving, even though my return trip was late on a Friday afternoon. Absolutely brilliant.

The three diesel engine offerings were dropped after 2019 so I'll concentrate on the petrol and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) that lasted until 2023.

Also in 2019, the company started restricting the top speed of all its cars to 112mph as an extra safety measure, saying that no-one needs to drive faster than that.

Incidentally, even the petrols use mild-hybrid setups to charge a battery on braking and then use that extra power to boost acceleration.

All the engines are 2.0-litres in size, using turbochargers and superchargers to produce the desired amount of power, and they all drive through a smooth changing eight speed automatic gearbox.

The lowliest has 200bhp, which is enough for a good zero to 60 miles an hour time of 7.3 seconds, and it's capable of 42 miles per gallon.

Then comes a 250bhp version of the same engine that brings the sprint down to 6.4 seconds and amazingly, takes economy up to 47mpg.

The two PHEV models are all wheel drive, with a petrol engine driving the front wheels and an electric motor driving the rears.

They both also have a claimed electric only range of 54 miles, which is very good indeed, and economy of about 140mpg.

The T6 Recharge has a total power output of 350bhp and reaches 60 from rest in a very quick 5.5 seconds.

The T8 range topper boasts no less than 455bhp and covers the sprint in a supercar 4.5 seconds.

The roadholding and handling are very good, with little roll and loads of grip. The steering is a little inert, but I found there is decent road feel.

Volvo interiors are very good to look at and to live with. The simple uncluttered dash works well in the main but the large, upright touchscreen controls too much - the sat nav, sound system, heating and ventilation, car functions, and the wide range of safety electronics.

It's too complicated and despite large screen buttons, it's difficult to even change the temperature on the move. That said, the voice activation is superb.

Of course, every Volvo has the very best safety built in, and the V90 comes with lane-departure warning, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and both heated steering wheel and windscreen.

It also has Pilot Assist - a semi-autonomous mode that can control accelerator, brake and steering inputs up to speeds of 80mph, and Park Assist to help with every parking manoeuvre.

Other unusual equipment includes an automatic parking brake, a coasting function in Eco mode that cuts out engine braking and automatic high beam for the LED headlights.

Pay about £20,650 for a ‘20 20-reg Momentum Plus T4, or £29,300 for a ‘21 21-reg T6 Inscription AWD.

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