VOLVO

VOLVO S90 SALOON 2.0 T8 [390] Hybrid Inscription Plus 4dr AWD Gtron

Fuel

FuelPetrol/PlugIn Elec Hybrid

Transmission

TransmissionAutomatic

Acceleration

0 - 62 mph5.1s

EC Combined (mpg)

EC Combined-

Volvo has never really cracked the full-sized executive sector and this S90 model hasn't done so either, but it has its charms, especially in the Recharge T8 PHEV hybrid form that customers now have to have. Based on the platform architecture of the brand's second generation XC90 SUV, the electrified Swedish saloon aims to tempt company customers with what Volvo describes as 'elegant and functional' appeal.

LIFE BEGINS AT NINETY

The improved version of Volvo's S90 full-sized executive saloon offers something refreshingly different in its segment, thinks Jonathan Crouch.

Ten Second Review

Volvo has never really cracked the full-sized executive sector and this S90 model hasn't done so either, but it has its charms, especially in the Recharge T8 PHEV hybrid form that customers now have to have. Based on the platform architecture of the brand's second generation XC90 SUV, the electrified Swedish saloon aims to tempt company customers with what Volvo describes as 'elegant and functional' appeal.

Background

If you're thinking of buying a full-sized executive car, then you're probably thinking of a BMW 5 Series, an Audi A6 or a Mercedes E-Class. Other brands have tried and failed to upset German dominance in this segment, Volvo being one of them. The Swedish maker's old S80 never managed to make much of an impact here - but then that was a car from a different era of Volvo ownership. These days, the Gothenburg marque has huge Chinese investment to drive it forward and the result is a much stronger range of product - cars in fact like this one. Volvo itself reckons that this improved S90 (and its V90 estate counterpart) represent even more of a step forward than the second generation XC90 SUV did - and sure enough, this car showcases the Gothenburg brand's latest Plug-in hybrid tech.

Driving Experience

Because this S90 uses the same 'Scalable Product Architecture' as its XC90 SUV stablemate, it also uses many of the same engines too, or at least it did. This car is now only available in our market with the brand's PHEV Plug-in tech. Only the T8 Plug-in package is available This powerplant comes with 303hp, plus an extra 87hp of boost on demand, so 62mph from rest can still be dispatched in just 4.8 on the way to a restricted maximum of 112mph. Yet there's also the potential for the kind of fuel and CO2 readings that theoretically could equal those of a frugal supermini. Which of those two extremes you reach in an S90 T8 will depend on your choice between the five driving settings that owners of all Volvo Plug-in hybrid models are offered. Ultimate speed is delivered by a 'Power' mode that sees both petrol and electric units permanently working together. Alternatively, there are four other drive choices: a 'Hybrid' setting that sees the two engines cutting in and out as necessary: an 'AWD' mode that gives you permanent 4x4 traction: plus a 'Pure electric' setting that only uses the battery power and can take you up to 28 miles (more than most people's daily commuting distance) on a single charge. There's even a 'Save' option so that on a longer trip, you can hold that charge until you get to the city driving you might have to do at the end of the journey. On the move, the drivetrain with its smooth 8-speed auto transmission doesn't serve up anything that encourages much driving involvement -blame the rather vague steering for that - but in compensation, there's unruffled poise and exemplary refinement. You get supple standards of ride comfort from the soft suspension too. And if you do push on a bit, grip and traction are actually quite impressive and cornering bodyroll decently well controlled.

Design and Build

Visual updates to more recent versions of this car are minor - new fog lights, a fresh spoiler design and a new lower front bumper. Otherwise, the look of this car is as before. This remains the most credible full-sized executive saloon Volvo has brought us to date. The S90 has a proud yet non-aggressive face, characterised by a concave grille - apparently a homage to the Volvo P1800 - that's home to the brand's distinctive 'Iron Mark' logo. The T-shaped 'Thor's Hammer' lights are recognisable from the XC90 and deliver a powerful sense of direction that makes this car unmistakable on the road. Step inside an S90 and if you've previously tried the brand's second generation XC90 model, it'll all be pretty familiar, though a difference lies with smart air blades that stand vertically on each side of the Sensus user interface. This massive tablet-like touch screen control plays a key role in creating an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered. Changes made to this updated model are minor. You can now specify seats with an exclusive tailored wool blend, there's an improved version of the premium Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system and there are now double USB-C charging points in the rear. The 461-litre boot is big for an executive saloon PHEV but if that's not enough, then the brand also offers a spacious V90 estate version of this design.

Market and Model

You're looking at around £56,000 for one of these and there are two very similarly priced trim levels - sporty 'R-Design' and the more luxury-orientated 'Inscription'. This model is directly aimed at full-sized executive segment PHEV rivals like BMW's 530e and 545e, Audi's A6 50 TFSIe and the Mercedes E300e. Standard S90 equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels and leather upholstery. Inside, the tablet-like touch screen in the centre console drives the minor controls and a whole host of Internet-based products and services. Audio services in the plushest 'Inscription' variant comes courtesy of a monster Bowers & Wilkins stereo. The electronically controlled air suspension has choice of five modes, including one where the driver is free to tailor the settings to his or her personal taste. S90 safety gear includes a run off-road protection package which tightens seatbelts and activates energy-absorbing technology in the seats when the car detects challenging terrain ahead. Another system is the auto-braking feature, which cuts in if a driver pulls out in front of oncoming traffic. Plus the S90 also features a large animal detection set-up capable of detecting large animals such as elk, horses or moose, night or day.

Cost of Ownership

The Recharge plug-in S90 variants achieve an all-electric driving range of up to 36.7 miles, assuming you limit yourself to the car's 'Pure' all-EV mode. As for the WLTP fuel and CO2 stats, well the figures are up to 148.7mpg and 44g/km. As with any plug-in hybrid, there's little point in purchase unless you establish a regular recharging regime for the battery pack, which in this case is 11.6kWh in size. Customers will be able to buy a wallbox from Volvo that will charge their cars on 16-amp power in about two and a half hours. If you're out and about and find a 10-amp pubic charging point, the charging time will be slightly longer - three and a half hours - while connecting up to a normal domestic three-pin 6-amp supply will take six hours. The important thing of course, is that the government believes the fantasy-land CO2 stats, so business users will be able to write down as much as 100% of the cost of an S90 T8 against their tax liability. And a 40% tax payer could be driving this variant while incurring a BIK tax bill of no more than around £100 a month. If you're a business buyer browsing in this segment, these are figures that'll reward a bit of thought if you're just about to blindly sign on the dotted line for a conventional six cylinder diesel model from a rival brand. What else? Residual values? They're key in this segment of course and you'd expect those of a big, relatively expensive Volvo luxury saloon to lag severely behind the kind of figures you could realise in a rival BMW or Mercedes. You'd be wrong though. The S90 is selling here in very restricted numbers and that, along with this model's many other attributes, has turned around Volvo's performance in the Executive sector when it comes to depreciation. To the point where independent experts reckon that after owning a typical B4 model for the usual three year/60,000 mile ownership period, you'd get between 39 and 41% of your original purchase price back, depending in the trim level chosen. That's pretty close to the kind of return you'd get from a rival Mercedes E-Class.

Summary

In this S90, Volvo has a properly credible and very charismatic flagship saloon that will complement the discernment of the relatively few business buyers likely to choose it. Inside, there's properly distinctive luxury, rather than merely the kind of upgrade from a smaller, cheaper model that rivals offer. Sure, not everyone will like it. But then there won't be enough S90s imported to satisfy everyone anyway. Those who do choose this car can justify their decision not only on the basis of wanting something different but also through a range of more foundational attributes. Things like strong residuals, much higher levels of standard equipment and class-leading safety. Ovberall, with an S90, you'll get yourself a unique blend of performance and efficiency. It's all quite unexpected. From a car that may well make you rather like the unexpected.

  • Front and rear power windows
  • Laminated rear and side windows
  • Rain sensor with automatic windscreen wiper activation

  • Vehicle deceleration control with Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist
  • Stability and Traction Control with Spin control, Engine Drag Control and Corner Traction Control
  • Power parking brake with auto hold function
  • Hill start assist

  • Luxury floor mats

  • Dynamic chassis
  • Electric rear axle drive

  • Bluetooth handsfree system
  • Voice activated control for key functions
  • Volvo on call app

  • Adjustable steering wheel force
  • Lane keep assist with driver alert control
  • Drive mode selector
  • Speed limiter
  • Speed sensitive steering
  • Intellisafe Assist (Pilot Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control)
  • Opening/closing handsfree bootlid
  • Oncoming Lane Mitigation

  • 12.3" Active TFT crystal driver's instrument display
  • Service interval indicator
  • 9" centre console touch screen

  • Colour coordinated auto folding and heated power door mirrors
  • Electrically adjustable door mirrors
  • Auto dimming interior + exterior mirrors

  • Tailored Instrument Panel and Door Tops with Contrast Stitching

  • Steering wheel remote infotainment controls
  • DAB Digital radio

  • Illuminated front and rear tread plates
  • Chrome front lower bumper
  • Dual integrated exhaust pipes
  • Chrome window surround
  • Roof antenna
  • Body colour bumpers
  • Visible VIN plate
  • Recharging port located in nearside front wing
  • High gloss black grille with chrome inserts
  • Chrome door handle deco strips
  • Chrome deco lower front bumper
  • Chrome lower door mouldings with inscription logo

  • Home safe and approach lighting
  • Puddle lights
  • Active bending headlights with adaptive shadow technology
  • Adaptive brake lights with high level LED brake lights
  • Automatic headlight levelling system
  • LED Headlights + Active high beam incorporating daytime running lights

  • 2 zone electronic climate control with Clean zone air quality system + pollen filter
  • B Pillar ventilation
  • Auxiliary fuel fired heater with pre conditioning functions

  • Charge cable bag
  • Centre armrest storage illumination
  • Integrated sun curtains in rear doors
  • 3 spoke leather steering wheel with chrome trim
  • Front and rear door pocket and front cupholder illumination
  • Ski hatch in rear seat backrest
  • Nappa soft leather perforated and ventilated upholstery
  • Centre console cupholder and storage
  • Net pocket cargo area
  • Driver's side lower dashboard storage compartment
  • Front tunnel net pocket
  • 12V socket in front + rear tunnel console and boot
  • Rear armrest with storage + cupholders
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Multi function steering wheel
  • Colour coordinated nappa Leather Key Integrated Remote
  • Front and rear aluminium tread plates
  • Orrefors Crystal Gear Lever Knob
  • Illuminated gear knob
  • Illuminated glovebox with lock
  • A-pillar parking ticket holder

  • Multicolour theatre lights
  • Rear footwell and side step illumination
  • Front/rear reading lights
  • Illuminated luggage compartment
  • Door step illumination
  • Boot lid Illumination
  • Ambient door and instrument panel lighting
  • Front footwell and side step illumination

  • Front seats SIPS airbags
  • IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length
  • Run off Road Mitigation
  • Slippery road and hazard light alert
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • Passenger airbag cut-off device
  • Dual stage Driver/Passenger Airbags
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Warning triangle
  • First aid kit
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • City safety with steering support with Pedestrian + cyclist + large animal detection + front collision warning with full auto brake
  • Seatbelt reminder and pretensioners for all seats
  • Road sign information display
  • Run off Road Protection
  • Active bonnet

  • Versatile split folding rear seat - 60/40
  • Isofix system on outer rear seats
  • Front head restraints
  • Heated front seats
  • Massage function for front seats
  • Extended front seat cushions
  • Passenger seat lumbar support
  • Power Folding Rear Seat Backrests and Headrests
  • Power driver and passenger seat with memory for seat and exterior mirrors
  • Power passenger seat with memory
  • Power driver seat with multi-directional lumbar support and memory for seat and exterior mirrors

  • Private locking for boot area
  • Keyless drive with remote tag
  • Keyless Start
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Deadlocking system
  • Key integrated remote control central locking + fuel flap with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows

  • 8 speed automatic transmission with start/stop + manual change functions

  • Illuminated vanity mirrors + ticket holder

  • Tyre sealant kit and compressor

  • Battery Charge Slow Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Slow kW: N
  • Battery Charge Slow Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Fast Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Fast kW: N
  • Battery Charge Fast Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Rapid kW: N
  • Battery Charge Rapid Percentage: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Time (Minutes): N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge kW: N
  • Battery Charge Super Charge Percentage: N
  • Coupler/Connector Type: Type 2
  • Battery Capacity in kWh: 11.6
  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Min: 57
  • WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Max: 47
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb: 55
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min: 55
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max: 47
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 29.2
  • WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 35.4
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb: 34.2
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max: 29.2
  • WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min: 34.2

  • HC+NOx: N
  • CO2 (g/km): 40

  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb: 42
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min: 40
  • WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max: 57

  • CC: 1969
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Fuel Delivery: TURBO DIRECT INJECTION
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • Gears: 8 SPEED

  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min: 1.7
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max: 2.6
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min: 166.1
  • WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max: 108.6

  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Did at least one aspect of this vehicle's safety give cause for concern?: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • Manufacturers Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • Coin Series: Inscription Plus
  • Coin Description: T8 Hybrid
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Based On ID: N
  • Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 44E
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: 95
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: 80
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: 76
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: 93
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: 5
  • Badge Power: 390
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 5.1
  • Top Speed: 155
  • Engine Power - BHP: 390
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • 0 to 60 mph (secs): False
  • Engine Power - KW: 287
  • Engine Power - RPM: 6000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 295
  • Engine Torque - NM: 400
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 2200
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 40.8

  • Emissions Test Cycle: NEDC Correlated

  • Wheel Style: 10 SPOKE
  • Tyre Size Rear: 255/40 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Tyre Size Front: 255/40 R19
  • Alloys?: True
  • Space Saver?: False

  • Length: 4963
  • Width: 1895
  • Wheelbase: 2941
  • Width (including mirrors): 2019
  • Height: 1443
  • Height (including roof rails): N

  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 500
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): N
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 11.4
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 2000
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2590
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 60
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Max. Loading Weight: 590

  • Heated front windscreen: £0
  • Dark tinted windows for rear side windows and backlight: £400

  • Rear park assist camera: Included
  • 360 degree surround view parking camera: £525
  • Front and rear park assist: Included

  • 4.5m Charge Cable with 3 pin plug: Included
  • 4.5m Type 2/mode 3 charge cable: £50

  • Intellisafe surround (Blind spot information system with steer assist, cross traffic alert with autobrake and rear Collision Mitigation): £500
  • Head up display in windscreen: Included

  • Linear walnut inlays: Included
  • Dark flame birch inlays: £0
  • Metal mesh inlays: £0

  • Sensus connect navigation with high performance sound, USB,10 speakers/330W: Included
  • Fresh air subwoofer: Included

  • Premium metallic paint: £1,000
  • Metallic paint: £700
  • Solid paint: Included

  • Headlight cleaning system: Included

  • Family pack without Integrated sun curtains in rear doors - S90: £275
  • Harman Kardon sound pack - S90: £850
  • Bowers and Wilkins sound pack - S90: £3,000
  • Winter pack - without heated front windscreen - S90/V90: £200
  • Xenium pack - S90: £1,600

  • Metallic - Mussel Blue: £700
  • Metallic - Bright silver: £700
  • Metallic - Osmium grey: £700
  • Metallic - Onyx black: £700
  • Metallic - Pine grey: £700

  • Solid - Ice white: £0

  • Premium metallic - Crystal white: £1,000

  • Mechanical child locks on rear doors: Included

  • Heated outer rear seats: £300

  • Nappa soft leather perforated and ventilated seats - Blond: £0
  • Nappa soft leather perforated and ventilated seats - Charcoal: £0

  • 19'' 10 spoke diamond cut silver alloy wheels: Included
  • 19" 5 Triple Spoke diamond cut matt black alloy wheels: £0

Whilst every effort is made to verify and ensure the accuracy of the data, the information should only be used as a guide and no purchasing decision should be made without verification of the data from either the manufacturer or franchised dealer. Our offers may be on a different model year to that represented by this data and so specification may differ accordingly.

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