Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is


The rolling counterpart to the Elbphilharmonie

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-good

With the S90, Volvo offers a nice alternative to sedans such as the Mercedes E-Class, the Audi A6 or the BMW 5 Series

Source: Jakob Hoff

The fact that the Volvo S90 can drive almost completely autonomously takes getting used to. On the other hand, the music and sound experience in the cockpit is great, and can easily compete with that of a philharmonic orchestra.

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” This sentence, which Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche is supposed to have said once, goes through my head when I drive the Volvo S90 onto the autobahn in Schoneberg, press the gas pedal down and the city behind let me Half an hour of completely normal Berlin madness is behind me, with stop-and-go, honking and waving.

But I’ve seldom been more relaxed, I drum on the steering wheel to the beat of “Sleep the clock around” and sing along with the chorus. I feel like I’m in the middle of a concert by the band Belle and Sebastian. The sound of the music system is so voluminous, so warm, so pure; the 235 hp diesel engine, on the other hand, can hardly be heard, only felt.

I owe this wonderful acoustics in the cockpit, which is lined with walnut wood and light leather, to a coincidence. For minutes before driving off, I pushed and wiped around on the upright tablet-like touchscreen in the center console.

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-luxury

Not just elegant on the outside. The cockpit of the S90 is characterized by walnut wood and light leather. In the cheapest variant (the D4 with 190 hp, from 42,750 euros) you have to with abouts get along with less luxury

Source: Jakob Hoff

Actually, I just wanted to turn the air conditioning down a little, enter the destination in the navigation system and connect my mobile phone to the infotainment system when I came across the setting "Sound experience Gothenburg Concert Hall" in a sub-menu.

It turned out to be the best safety assistance system that Volvo has to offer in this luxurious, five-meter-long sedan. It made me happy immediately, and happy people are definitely more stress-resistant and therefore better drivers, even if this may not yet have been empirically proven.

The engineers who developed the S90 would use the 19 loudspeakers and subwoofers from Bowers & Wilkins, which are distributed throughout the car, and the acoustics of the Swedish counterpart of the Elbphilharmonie should imitate (surcharge 3280 euros), probably never describe it as a security feature. They are too proud of the real assistance systems with which the car is equipped.

Embossing on the belt is reminiscent of Nils Bohlin

Because the Swedes have understood safety as the core of their brand for decades, and a small detail in the big car alludes to this: The year "1959" is engraved on the tongues of the seatbelt – as a reminder that Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin denied Three-point belt invented, which then went into series production in 544 and Amazon.

Of course, the 90 series has more to offer than reminiscences. It shows the high technical level at which the Swedish manufacturer is currently operating; a whole armada of technical helpers was packed into the car, most of which remain invisible and are only supposed to intervene in precarious situations. The City Safety system is already on board as standard; in addition to cars, pedestrians and cyclists, it has recently also recognized moose (rarely seen on the street in Berlin) and is designed to avoid a collision by braking fully in an emergency.

The electronics also monitor left turns: if you want to drive off despite oncoming traffic, the car stops automatically. So in theory, the S90 takes care of me pretty well. In practice, the technology is sometimes annoying. Every time I stand a little longer at the intersection and wait to finally be able to turn left, the parking pilot switches on and beeps like crazy for every passing car – and it disrupts the concert atmosphere.

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-this

The most wonderful extra that Volvo has to offer: the Bowers & Wilkins music system with 19 speakers and a subwoofer

Source: Jakob Hoff

On the almost empty A19 motorway in the direction of the Baltic Sea, nothing beeps anymore, it just flashes in the exterior mirror every now and then when another vehicle is in the blind spot. That doesn’t bother you, on the contrary, it gives you a feeling of security. And that’s when I trust the car so much that I hand over control to it, at 130 km / h. Because the S90 can drive autonomously, at least a little.

You just have to press a rather inconspicuous button on the steering wheel and Pilot Assist takes over. The system brakes, accelerates and stays on course. I have one hand on the wheel, but the car does the work. It’s not easy to let the steering wheel move in my hand and drive the car through the bends on its own – luckily there aren’t too many of them on this route.

It’s a strange feeling, but maybe that’s what the future will feel like. Incidentally, it starts in Gothenburg this year. As part of the world’s largest field test, "Drive me", 100 private individuals will be chauffeured through their everyday lives by autonomously driving Volvos. I’ll leave it on the A19 for one try.

A Volvo was no longer as elegant as the S90

The rest of the way I don’t give the wheel out of my hands, I just love to drive my car. And the Volvo S90 is a perfect touring sedan; it just feels good to press the gas pedal down and to feel how powerful the engine is, how harmoniously the eight-speed automatic works and the precision with which the steering does what I want.

Volvo has always been known for building good cars. However, there is not much left of the angular look that once made the brand unmistakable: The sedan is so elegantly designed that you can even forgive the concave radiator grille with 23 ribs, which makes the front section look unnecessarily aggressive.

Compared to an Audi, for example, the car still looks harmless. Only the rear with its C-shaped taillights is not really successful and should be the first place the designers will lend a hand during a facelift.

If the autonomous car really comes, then please in such a beautiful vehicle and please only in connection with such a fantastic music system.

Volvo V90 – the Swedish (T) spaceship

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-volvo

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At 4.94 meters, the new V90 is the longest station wagon in Volvo‘s history, but two centimeters shorter than the S90 sedan.

Source: Jakob Hoff

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-volvo

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Expensive Swede: The cheapest V90 costs 42,450 euros. For this you get a diesel (D3) with 150 hp. The cheapest gasoline engine (T5 with 254 hp) costs 53,000 euros.

Source: Jakob Hoff

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-good

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Flatter than before, the sloping roof line is intended to convey dynamism, the once angular rear is characterized by the clearly angled rear window.

Source: Jakob Hoff

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-test

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Upper class feeling wherever you look: seats, decorative elements, cladding – everything at its finest. And everything is identical to the S90.

Source: Jakob Hoff

Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is-luxury

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A lot fits in there: The trunk volume of the V90 is 560 liters with full seating. If you fold the seats, you can even fit 1526 liters.

Source: Jakob Hoff

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6 thoughts on “Volvo S90 in the test: This is how good the luxury sedan is”

  1. Volvo is a great car and the safest in the world too. The only thing that bothers me is the decision to only offer 2-liter 4-cylinder engines. With an S90 / V90 / V90 CC it is still possible but with the heavy XC90 it becomes more difficult.

  2. Nineteen speakers. But that was and never will be a guarantee for musical enjoyment. Surround sound? I’ve never heard it at a live concert. There is a stage and the music comes from the front, not from everywhere.

  3. I’ve been driving a Volvo for 16 years. And at least since the beginning of 2000 they are on par with the German competition. The only thing that sets them apart is that they are less susceptible to repairs.
    In the case of the S90 / V90, the German press (otherwise more star / propeller and rings) can no longer discuss the level at which Volvo is. So far it has only always worked with those who have ridden in my S80. There are big eyes and ears. The 6 cylinder in-line engine is virtually inaudible, but the Harmann Kardon 5.1 dolby surround provides an excellent listening experience. Best to enjoy with the comfortable, electronically controlled chassis. What more do you want?

  4. Compliments to the tester, he has a taste for music. Belle & Sebastian is well known to connoisseurs, because the band has a sound that is recognizable – who can say that of themselves today? In the past you could find Bert Kaempfert, James Last, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, the Beatles, B, S&T, Creedence etc. can be recognized by the sound, but with the mush nowadays every radio station has to jingle its station name every 5 minutes, because otherwise nobody knows where it is anymore "everything sounds the same"…


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