Is Volvo’s V90 the perfect estate for safety-conscious family buyers asks Hannah Gordon
What is it? A huge executive estate from Volvo that goes head to head with the like of the Audi A6 Avant and the BMW 5 series touring. Volvo are planning on gatecrashing the Germanic grip on this market.
Who is it aimed at? Simple too plush for a young family and with wood decor all over the interior it feels like a very sophisticated car. The space and comfort lend itself very well to the older generation or as an upmarket business rep car.
Styling? The bull nose front and ‘Thor Hammer’ head lights make the Volvo V90 stand out from the crowd, a long sleek body that gives the car an elegant poise. Gone are the boxy lines from past Volvo estates and in its place is a highly stylish Swedish masterpiece with flowing lines that lead to a well proportioned rear, although the rear styling is particularly ‘BMW’ like.
Under the Bonnet? The test car came with the superb D4 engine which is a 2.0 litre, 4-cylinder turbo diesel that produces 190 bhp and gets the V90 from 0-62mph in a decent 8.5 seconds. The engine is fairly quiet and has plenty of torque and grunt when called upon. The 8-speed automatic gearbox it is attached to is excellent and changes are very smooth, the only quibble is that sometimes it doesn’t change up early enough.
What about Inside? The Volvo V90’s interior is certainly its trump card, the large nine inch centre console touch screen allows for a very minimalistic dash and gives the car a touch of class. Most of the controls can be accessed through this touch screen including the sat nav, heater and driver aids. The Volvo seats are extremely comfortable and the driving position is one of the best I’ve ever experienced, the car feels so inviting and easy to drive its a pleasure to be seated there. The climate control benefits from the Clean Zone feature that provides filtered air into the cabin. Boot space at 560 litres is large but not as big as its rivals, the seats fold down flat with just the aid of a button in the boot.
On the Road? Driver satisfaction is somewhat nulled by the V90 as the car is purely set up for comfort, enjoyment can be had by relaxing and letting the car waft along. Motorway driving is a breeze thanks to Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist, the suspension and steering is again set up for comfort rather than enjoyment. The V90 is superb and for a car just shy of 5 metres long it does corner well.
And Safety? Well known for safety the Volvo V90 unsurprisingly scored a full 5 stars on its Euro NCap award. As standard the V90 is fitted with City Safety and fully integrated emergency braking. As well as Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist which allows semi-autonomous driving. The V90 also comes with Run-off road protection that automatically tightens seat belts and the front seat frames have a collapsible section that reduces forces to prevent spinal injuries should the car leave the road.
Will it break the bank? Prices for the entry level D4 Momentum start at £34,555 with an official fuel economy figure of 62.8 mpg and CO2 (g/km) of 119. The range topping D5 AWD Inscription is priced from £44,055 on the road
What are my Options? A comprehensive standard spec list means that options aren’t necessarily needed, Apple Car Play (£300), Volvo On Call (£450) and Metallic paint is £700. Blind spot monitoring (BLIS), cross traffic alert (CTA) and rear collision mitigation is £600 and the Winter combination pack that includes head up display, heated steering wheel, washer jets and a headlight cleaning system is a £1125 extra.
So the Verdict? The Volvo V90 is a styling masterpiece, it looks the part and the executive feel is echoed throughout the car, the drive is comfortable yet not very exciting. The safety features will give any owner piece of mind that the V90 will be a great buy, the boot space isn’t the largest but provides plenty of room. The touchscreen and interior all feel of very good quality and the Swedish estate produces very credible competition to the large German contingent.
Why you’ll buy one? Styling; Safety; Quality
Why you won’t? Boot Space; Driving dynamics
Audi A6 Avant – prices start from £35,820
BMW 5 Series Touring – prices start from £38,225
Max speed: 140 mph
0-62 mph: 8.5 seconds
Emissions: 119 g/km
Model price range: £34,555
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP : 5 stars
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 62.8 mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up: 560 litres
Width: 2019 mm
22nd February, 2017