The new S90 pushes Volvo onto a whole new level of elegance, class and luxury
olvo has always sat in a rather queer position in the marketplace. They’re not quite a mainstream brand that competes with the likes of Volkswagen or Ford. But they’re also not quite at the same level as the traditional premium marques such as BMW, Audi or Mercedes-benz. The Swedes have nominally occupied the middle ground of sorts, being sort of neither here nor there.
The new S90 aims to change that though. With this car, along with the XC90 that was launched last year, Volvo seeks to elevate itself into the premium category at last, challenging the Germans for executive supremacy and breaking out of its market quandary.
The S90, which replaces the S80, is targeted squarely at the likes of the 5 Series and E-class. That’s a high ask, certainly, but one which Volvo is confident of conquering, or at least make a decent fist of it to be competitive in this segment. And on the face of it, the Swedes do have something on their hands which will give buyers in this class something to think long and hard about.
If you equate Volvos with dull and boring cars, then you should probably take a good look at the S90 and bring yourself up to date with the 21st century. The S90 is far from unexciting, and indeed, boasts looks that will cause onlookers to take a second glance. The sleek profile, the distinctive front end fascia with its concave chrome grille bookended by the headlights which incorporates Volvo’s now-trademark “Thor’s Hammer” LEDS, and the uniquely-designed rear end all combine to give the S90 a look that is instantly recognisable, traits that will certainly fare well for the youthful set who always seek to stand out from the crowd.
The interior continues from the XC90’S theme of modern Scandinavian design, with the large ipad-like touchscreen dominating the centre console, and is home to most of the major controls. They contrast well with the interior trimmings, a mixture of classy wood, gloss black plastic and soft leather. You almost feel like you’re in a rather comfy Swedish wood cabin, but one that is packed with the latest modern technologies so that you don’t get bored and disconnected.
But much more than ambience, the S90’s greatest tricks are the unseen ones under the skin. Volvo may have undergone a design revolution in the past decade, but they have never neglected the underlying core philosophy which have made them so famous over the years: