There is no doubt that Volvo has delivered on its promise to ensuring that nobody gets killed or seriously injured in their cars by 2020 and beyond – this is what sets the brand apart. Moreover, the level of luxurious ambience has been raised to challenge competitors in various classes.
I recently reviewed the Volvo S90 and was impressed with its stellar safety features – from autobrake, steering support, blind spot information to cross traffic and distance alerts, collision warnings, adaptive cruise control and pilot assist. The car also features a 360˚ camera that makes parking and low-speed manoeuvring in narrow places simple, providing a bird’s eye view of everything surrounding the car on the centre display.
Additionally, The S90 weakens its counterparts in many areas. For instance, the Audi A6 is not evolving fast enough in design, the BMW 5-Series is less roomy, and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is pricey, a guzzler at every level and has a small trunk. The Volvo S90 ticks all the boxes and definitely stands out from this crowd.
The exterior design defines the car’s confidence and character – made better with sharp rear end, lengthier hood and standing grille. Beautiful and meticulously crafted alloy wheels complement the elegance of the S90.
Inside, the Volvo’s world-famous sculpted leather-covered and powered seats are delightfully supportive on long trips. The leg room is more than enough and the cabin materials are top-notch, creating a sanctuary and offering an uncluttered as well as spacious interior.
The majority of functions inside the vehicle are controlled via a 9 inch central touch screen, removing the need for physical buttons which allows for a cleaner and simpler user interface. The synchronised audio plays through the car’s Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system, which includes small tweeters in the headrest for an immersive sound experience.
On the road, the Volvo S90 provides extremely smooth and comfortable ride. It also handles sharp corners impeccably. I was fascinated by cameras that constantly monitored the car’s position in relation to the road markings and applied steering input every time the vehicle attempted to leave the road – even when there were no painted road edges. I also realised that once I was off the road, my seat belt automatically tightened up whilst the seat frames folded.
The S90’s Drive-E powertrain combines the low fuel consumption and emissions of a four-cylinder engine with the performance of a six or eight-cylinder engine. The result is a smooth, powerful drive, with fewer stops at the pumps.
What I also found cool about the S90 is that, should the car detect that you have turned in front of an oncoming vehicle at an intersection, the brakes will be automatically applied in order to mitigate the risk of a collision. In the event of a pedestrian, cyclist or large animal (such as cattle) stepping closer, the car automatically breaks. The rearward facing radar also detects if a rear impact is imminent, and safety belts are tightened in advance in order to protect the occupants.
- Engine: 1969cc
- Power: 173kW at 4000rpm
- Torque: 480Nm at 1750 – 2250
- Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 7 seconds
- Top speed: 240km/h
- Fuel consumption: 4.8/100km
- Fuel type: Diesel
- Fuel tank capacity: 60L
- CO2: 127g/km
- Price: From R741 200
What we like
- Top notch safety features
- High tech features
- Luxury interior finishes
- Classy styling cues
- Ride quality
- Distinctive grille
- Slim headlights
- Lower running costs
What we don’t like
The S90 is a luxury car by any measure, and one that promises more than rewarding comfort and class-leading style. The vehicle sets new standards and pokes a finger in the eye of what the Germans have to offer.