Volvo has been a strong contender in the luxury segment but somehow never managed to outsell its German rivals. All that is sure to change with the arrival of the new S90 saloon. Not only does it insure that Volvo will be a dominant player in this segment but could well be the best bet for luxury car buyers.
The first look at this car will make one perceive that it is a toned-down XC90 or it can be portrayed as the next-gen XC90 packed in tight skin. The car shares well sculpted design cues from the next-generation model of the SUV. The stance is bold, confident, not to exaggerate it much, but the front is quite expressive with the aggressiveness of the large concave grille finished in chrome. Volvo echoed its design from the past, where this concave grille has been inspired from Volvo’s most famous design ever - the P1800 ES.
Well the most distinctive part of the front is the headlights, moulded in the Thor’s hammer style that makes it look more futuristic. And the front is not only where the S90 gets main highlights, it’s the rear-end. At the rear, the large C-shaped tail lamps adds a sense of uniqueness to it, cut with sharp rear lines. We are not forgetting about the side profile, the car is almost 5-metres in length beating almost every competitor.
When I set my foot inside the S90, no wonder why I got mushed up on the front seat. Inside, this saloon is well equipped with all advance technology and welcomes you with all of the Volvo’s comfort, sumptuously rich detailing and lavishness is just an understatement. Putting in simple words, it’s a match of comfort with elegance.
The freshness of high-quality Nappa leather can be felt with just a touch, which is not only on the shift lever and steering wheel but also spread all over the dashboard. While the vertically aligned air vents display it distinctive looking control knobs. And there is no way that your eye will go off the centre console that gets an irresistible 9.0-inch infotainment screen that can take care of almost every feature starting from blasting air cons to lane keeping aid, it can take care of almost every feature quite well.
Infotainment comes paired with Bowers & Wilkins speakers, wise use of chrome finish has been taken well care of. However, the seat comfort is very good along with cool and hot ventilation feature, especially the driver and front passenger seats that are tall, wide with adjustable thigh support and to forget the back support which is a must for the long drives. The legroom at rear seats feature plenty of space and the Vlovo S90, currently gets a more spacious compartment from its rivals.
Volvo S90 will be introduced in one version, which is top-of-the-line Inscription. It gets a plethora of features to attract buyers such as full LED headlights, heads-up display, park pilot, lane keeping assist, a Bowers & Wilkins - 19 speakers 1,400-watt high-end audio system, a sub-woofer, Apple Car Play, four-zone climate control, nappa leather seats, walnut wood inlays, whole leather dashboard and a powered (open and close) boot lid. However, this came into every ones mind that why not a paddle shifters in this car? Let me get you this straight, “it’s not a Sportscar or a Coupe”, but a saloon with packing up all of Volvo’s comfort in it for the passenger sitting behind the driver’s seat.
Engine, performance and gearbox
In India, the S90 will be launched with a 2.0-litre diesel unit that’s good to make 190bhp and 400 Nm. Titled as the D4 in the company’s technical terms, the powertrain is located transversely that sends drive to the front wheels. The engine comes paired with an 8-speed transmission.
The refinement levels of this diesel engine are quite good, even when you pick the relative peak rev bands it is comparatively silent. The best performance of the saloon can be pool well between 1,800rpm – 4,000rpm. The smoothness just keeps dwelling just as you do with the accelerator and makes 100kmph in 8.5 seconds.
Ride and handling
I still remember when driving it on the Jodhpur-Jaisalmer highway, I was trying to know about the straight stability of the car and undoubtedly, this car impressed me. Even at a mark of 130 kmph the car was comfortable enough to get it through floating humps, thanks to the rear air suspensions and with large 18-inch alloy wheels and 245mm tyres you won’t even feel low speed vibrations either. Three drive modes can easily take care of the driving pleasure, in the comfort mode, you will feel bit of pitching, but as you change it to Dynamic, things get tightened up slightly that helps in making the drive better. Though, you will feel the road but stability is at par and even at high speed cornering the rear suspension assists easily.
If you are looking for fun to drive luxury sedan, then this isn’t your choice for sure. But if you really ride with your chauffeur, sitting at the back, then this is the best in its segment model. The emphasis made by Volvo on redefining luxury for passenger has been well narrated in this model. Brilliantly built on the inside and strikingly sculpted on the outside, Volvo S90 is expected to be priced between Rs 55 lakh – Rs 60 lakh. This car is mainly focused on rear seat occupants where it outshines all its rivals.