Factfile Volvo S90/V90
Volvo takes on the heavy weight Germans again.
Ascot and surrounding area is to us Northerners fairly posh and upmarket and the house prices there are just eye-watering. You could buy the whole of my street for the price of one small house in these suburbs. Would these new Volvo’s prove to be as posh as the area and are they better value than the houses in the surrounding area.
Over the years Volvo have been known for being solid and safe. Traditionally their estate derivatives have been the most popular offering and latterly their SUV’s such as XC60 and XC90 have really taken off and been very popular.
The S80 saloon which has been on the market for around 17 years has not really been a success, as the competition have been far too strong and some would say are better and have a stronger image. Volvo in a nutshell have not been too good at marketing and selling large saloons. But the estates have always done well and the V90 is a cracker, it looks great from every angle, stunning looking for an estate. The saloon is also a striking looking car but does not have the same charm and presence as the estate.
Both cars are powered by either a D4 2.0-litre diesel that produces 190hp and accelerates from 0-62 mph in 8.2 seconds with a combined fuel consumption figure of 64.2 mpg. The D4 is coupled to an 8-speed auto gearbox and the power goes to the front wheels only, the all-important CO2 figure is a slow as 116g/km. The second engine the D5 is also a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel that produces 235hp, accelerates from 0-62 mph in 7.0 seconds and has a combined fuel consumption figure of 58.9mpg and CO2 figure of 127g/km. This D5 engine also has new technology called PowerPulse which helps overcome turbo Lag. It uses compressed air which is stored in a tank, and this pressure helps the turbo-charger, for a better, smoother response. The D5 has AWD which puts power to all four wheels for improved traction. A T8 Twin engine plug-in Hybrid is due in 2017, but little information is known at the moment about this engine, specification and pricing.
The interior is a massive improvement over the outgoing car and there are now only seven buttons on the dash, making it look clean and uncluttered and with the lack of buttons you naturally think that the systems are going to be hard to use but they were so easy; after just a few minutes you felt really at home with them, they are so intuitive.
Three trim levels are available: Momentum with an expected35% of sales, Inscription with 30% and R-Design with 35%. The base car, the Momentum is definitely not a base car and does not have base car specification, just the opposite as it is really well spec’d with a great long list of standard equipment including: satellite navigation, City-Safe, LED headlights, leather face upholstery, heated front seats. LED headlights with active high beam, power folding rear seat backs and headrests, 8-inch TFT crystal driver’s information display, run-off road protection. Pilot assist with adaptive cruise control, Sensus Connect which allows access to a range of web apps, right I’m getting fed up of doing this list now it just goes on and on!
Out on the road around Ascot and surrounding area, through the very pretty small towns and villages and on the motorways it drove really well, so quiet and refined, a real pleasure to drive. Sitting on the M25 near Heathrow at low speeds, you realise just how nice and luxurious the cabin is, it looks so premium, feels so exquisite and just a lovely place to be. In fact it was good to sit on the M25 and have chance to take it all in. One thing that was very noticeable was how clean and fresh the air-conditioning was, it really did smell like air from the top of a mountain, very impressive.
The V90 would be my choice as it offers so much, style, space, versatility and practicality. The rear seats fold completely flat and give as much room as a small van but when they are in the up-position the seats are not van-like at all but very comfortable and plenty of leg room in the rear.
Safety has always been at the heart of Volvo and it is fair to say they were the leaders for many years, but as the years have gone by, other manufacturers have caught up and even overtaken Volvo. But Volvo never give up their quest to be the best at safest and the S80 and V90 have some Industry-leading safety equipment, such as the latest being large animal detection. No I know the UK does not have that many wild elks roaming near our roads but we do have sheep, deer, cows and other animals and in the UK we do seem to have a nasty habit of hitting many thousands of them every year. This new system should prevent this type of accident happening; we just need to tell the animals which cars is it now safe to step out in front of now. If it has a big Volvo badge on the front and it is a new car, then give it a go and see if it works. Run-off road mitigation is another new system which helps to stop the car inadvertently leaving the road. If the car is getting too close to the edge of the road, the cameras will detect this, and applies the steering to get it back on track. Pilot assist is not new but is standard on every version of S80 and V90 and is Volvo’s semi-autonomous drive technology which uses radar and a camera to keep the car within lane markings and works in conjunction with adaptive cruise control, all clever stuff, and it does work.
Prices for the S90 start from £32,955.00 OTR and go up to £42,455.00 and the V90 start from £34,995.00 and go up to £44,555.00, so just a £2,000 premium from saloon to estate and in my opinion, well worth that extra two-grand.
On the road price £32,955.00 to £44,555.00
Diesel: 2.0 D4 190 PS, 2.0 D5 PowerPulse 235 PS
CO2 116 to 139 g/km
Combined MPG 53.3 to 64.2
Gearbox 8 Speed Geartronic
New options and features:
Adaptive dampers with electronic rear air suspension – £1500.00 Option on all
Apple CarPlay preparation – £300.00 Option on all
Sensus connect navigation with high performance sound, USB/aux in + 10 speakers/330W – Standard on all
4 Zone electronic climate control + cooled glovebox - £550.00 Option on all
Run off Road Protection – Standard on all
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