Volvo S90 versus the big Germans

Volvo S90 R

Would you buy a Volvo over a BMW or Mercedes? Not so long ago the answer would have been obvious, says Alex Robbins in The Daily Telegraph. But today, Volvo is a genuine contender, producing “richly upholstered cars that offer premium luxury with a Swedish twist”. The S90 is up against some exceedingly good rivals, but the Volvo is a more relaxing place to spend your time.

The interior is a delight and is beautifully styled and finished. The drive is rarely less than perfectly smooth and easy, and there’s “more than enough power to keep up with the traffic and go for smaller gaps”. In short, the S90 isn’t far off being at the top of its class. “Its price advantage and gorgeous interior make it a compelling alternative” to the big Germans.

The S90 is a breath of fresh Scandinavian air, agrees What Car, and comes with “a fantastic amount” of kit as standard: even the entry-level Momentum trim comes with “loads of goodies”, such as LED headlights, heated leather seats, sat-nav, Bluetooth, a DAB radio, a powered boot lid, keyless start and rear parking sensors. Volvo is, of course, synonymous with safety and it has taken things to a new level here too. The standard emergency city braking system brakes if you’re about to rear-end a car and will recognise and help you avoid large animals, pedestrians and cyclists, too. 

The Volvo’s two most obvious rivals, the Jaguar XF and the BMW 5 Series, pander more overtly to traditional driving pleasures, says Giles Smith in The Sunday Times. The Volvo trades all that for “an unruffled poise, gliding through corners rather than tucking into them and, under acceleration, pointing itself gracefully at the horizon rather than dropping its nose and streaking away”. If that appeals to you, the S90 will prove to be “a wonderfully luxurious and sedate container for you, your family and perhaps your business partners, who ought not to find the limo-standard legroom in the back too demeaning”.

Price: from £32,995
Top speed: 145mph
0-62mph: 6.7 seconds
Fuel consumption: up to 64.2mpg
CO2: 116g/km

66% off newsstand price

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