The V90 proves Volvo is still the king of estates
And it is now sexier than ever!
Forget your grandparents' boxy 240s produced between 1974 and 1993; Volvo's new estates are sexier than ever. Often dubbed as soccer mom cars, the Swedish family cars were never the kind of vehicles you would see on a poster in a kid's room. It still may not be the case; however, Volvos are now more stylish, more technologically-advanced, and more desirable. You'd hear more and more young people looking to buy a car from the Swedish brand. Yes, people, Volvo is now cool and hype.
Unlike the Millenials-targeted XC40 we have driven a while back, the V90 is another kind of "cool" that should be more oriented towards the older generation which has kids and a Golden Retriever. The question is, why should this segment of customers end up with an uninteresting estate that looks boring and drives like a truck? The V90 seems to be the right solution as it keeps the practicality that is essential in a family car but picks up the awesome stuff to make it an estate you actually want to own and drive.
Indeed, estates are usually a necessity and not necessarily something you want in your garage. The V90 tries to break that. Volvo still didn't give up on estates even though SUVs seem to be the new normal, and the Swedish family car weirdly feels like a box a fresh air around these tall cars. To stand out, Volvo gave the V90 a classy yet aggressive design that is in line with the rest of the range, some state-of-the-art technology, potent and economical engines, as well as a splendid ride.
You look at the V90's exterior design and you immediately sense that it is a premium car. The lines are sharp, elegant, and it gives the car a lot of presence. Unlike the 240 that looked like a fridge, the new estate has a more sloping roofline that helps the car to look amazing, but will definitely compromise some cargo space. Less stuff to put in the trunk seems like a no brainer for a car that is supposed to be practical and highly optimized for this. Oh well, there is still plenty of space. Jump in and you realize that it's really similar to what you'd find in other Volvo models like the SUV XC90. Plush seats, high-quality materials, huge screen on the center console, digital dash. Yep, we're in a Volvo. The interior is refined and has nothing to envy its German competitors. Special mention goes to the infotainment system that is excellent. I would go as far as saying that it is more intuitive than the ones you'd find in the Audi A6, BMW 5-Series, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class from the same segment. Obviously, the V90 will seat five people in a zen interior that is really much very Scandinavian. The trips promise to be very relaxing.
Indeed, they will. The ride comfort of the Volvo V90 is splendid. The suspension absorbs very well all the imperfections of the road and it still manages the go through corners. If you're looking for some extra stiffness pick the R-Design pack, but I feel that people who will buy this car are specifically looking for comfort. The standard pack does the job pretty well, and the handling is up there with the E-Class and A6. Engine-wise, there are several options from diesel to petrol and they all come with mild-hybrid solutions as standard. You can also get the full plug-in hybrid option like the one we tested.
It's called the V90 Recharge T8 and it starts at a hefty CHF 90'300.- (£ 75'635). It's a lot of money, but the V90 has always been quite expensive and a base model will set you back at CHF 66'650.- (£ 55'820). Here, you're basically paying for the technology that is highly complex. The battery makes 87 horsepower and can get you around 40 km. The figures are pretty close to reality and the rest is ran by the 2.0-litre petrol engine that produces 303 horsepower. Again, it's no sports car, but it will go from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. The main goal of the battery is not speed but fuel consumption. Advertised with an average between 1.7 and 2.4l/100 km, we seemed quite far from reality with an average of 8.5l/100 km. However, bear in mind that we could not recharge the batteries all the time. Therefore, you find yourself carrying the dead weight of the battery, and that's significant.
Besides that, the Volvo V90 is a fantastic estate, and maybe one of the best out there. It ticks all the boxes for the modern family with an exterior style, technology, interior space, quality and ride comfort that are all top-notch. The V90 is the rightful descendant of the 240, 850, and V70 that have made the success of the brand, and even though the needs and wants of the market segment has changed, the V90 has some solid arguments. Will it be enough to make you not choose an SUV?
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