2019 Volvo S90 Review

S90

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2019 Volvo S90 Overview

Volvo’s flagship “90” series of vehicles includes an SUV, wagon, and its nicest sedan, the S90. When introduced, the model came in two forms. The shorter version of the S90 straddled the line between midsize and full-size sedan. The longer model offered an extended wheelbase, which provided limousine-like accommodations. But in 2018, Volvo quietly discontinued the shorter model, making the S90 full-size. Bearing that change in mind, it’s not surprising to find that Volvo has carried over the S90 for 2019.

The S90 cuts a handsome figure. The front end distills modern and classic sensibilities into a design that’s recognizable across the Volvo range – especially the “Thor’s Hammer” LED signatures. The midsection is clean and linear, and there’s a striking set of C-shaped taillights at the rear. The interior will delight drivers familiar with Volvo: it offers the same interfaces and basic switchgear as the rest of the brand’s cars, along with sensible Swedish luxury.

Like most of its other cars, Volvo offers the S90 with a choice of three different engines. T5 is the base setup, consisting of a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine capable of 258 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. In standard form, power is routed to the front axle via an 8-speed automatic, but all-wheel-drive (AWD) is an option. Meanwhile, T5’s fuel economy is comparable to that of cars a couple sizes smaller. With FWD, it gets 23 miles per gallon city, 35 highway and 27 combined, albeit on premium fuel.

Next comes T6, which bolts a supercharger to that same turbocharged 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine, making 316 hp and 295 lb-ft. The 8-speed automatic and AWD come standard. It’s good for 21, 31 and 25 mpg.

Finally, T8 gains an electric motor for plug-in hybrid capabilities. Also putting forth V8-like numbers, 400 hp and 472 lb-ft, it gets 71 miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe) in hybrid mode, or 29 mpg on gasoline alone, plus 490 miles of total range. As with T6, AWD is standard.

Two trims are available for the S90: Momentum and Inscription. Momentum comes equipped with 18-inch wheels, keyless access and entry, a panoramic moonroof, birch wood inlays, power-retractable mirrors, dual-zone climate control, a 10-way power driver’s seat, a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and LED exterior lighting all around. Inscription adds premium 19-inch wheels, navigation, active headlights, four-zone climate control, walnut wood inlays, extra seat padding, memory settings, premium carpet, and a premium audio system. Things like a Bowers & Wilkins sound system, air suspension, and heated-and-cooled seats are options. Unfortunately, the aggressive, sporty R-Design trim available on other Volvos does not see the light of day on the S90.

Volvo’s continued commitment to safety means that about every safety option is standard on the S90, which includes everything from a reversing camera to reversing sensors, rear park assist, front- and rear-collision mitigation, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. Only a heads-up display is optional. Thanks to the above, the S90 aced the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests it underwent in 2018.

With long lists of standard and optional amenities and rear seat accommodations fit for a king, the Volvo S90 continues to play counterpart to some of its garish competitors, positioning itself as the thinking person’s luxury sedan.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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