Review and Test Drive: 2017 Volvo S90 T6 Sedan

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INSIDE THE 2017 VOLVO S90

Inside, the combination of elegant wood, fine leather, and ergonomically perfect seats impresses. The perhaps unparalleled Bowers & Wilkins 19-speaker audio system gives new meaning to the term high-end car audio.

Take a seat: the S90 was voted the press car most likely to be returned minus one front seat that was accidentally turned into a desk chair. The contour accommodates all shapes and sizes and the bolsters are in just the right place.

The infotainment system is built on a platform Volvo calls Sensus that has one of the most intuitive and easy-to-use user interfaces I’ve come across in a vehicle. Sensus supports a variety of functions and apps including Internet radio, navigation, music streaming, Apple CarPlay (as well as Android Auto), and Park Assist Pilot, a camera system that gives driver and passenger a true 360° view of what surrounds the car. No manual required.

The S90’s ergonomics are some of the best we’ve seen. All controls are unambiguous and exactly where you’d expect them to be. Volvo orients the 9” very responsive touchscreen in portrait mode, which contributes to the logical menu design and layout.

DRIVING THE 2017 VOLVO S90

The base S90 T5 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, which develops 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, paired to an eight-speed Aisin-Warner automatic transmission. It’s capable of bringing the car from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 6.5 seconds and is rated at 23 mpg (10.2 l/100 km) in the city and 34 (6.9) on the highway.

The T6 came with a more powerful 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged four banger that produced 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. There’s just a small penalty in city fuel economy with city at 22 (10.7) and highway at 31 (7.6).

Shifts were smooth and with expected Scandinavian precision. The driver can modify the car’s behavior using the drive-mode selector, where Comfort delivers what it promises, while Eco causes the upshifts to occur earlier and hold back on kick down mode. Sport mode has a transformative effect, upshifts are at a noticeably higher rpm, kick down causes the car to politely jump, and might even cause Gustaf, the company’s spokesmoose, to run for the hills.

Regardless of the selected mode, idle is library quiet, in part thanks to the active noise cancellation system coming through the sound system.

The fun really comes when you engage the standard Pilot Assist function. Working in conjunction with the car’s excellent radar adaptive cruise, it is remarkably close to at least semi-autonomous driving although removing your hands from the steering wheel for more than 15 seconds will disengage it and the system does require clear lane markers.

BOTTOM LINE

When we first saw the Volvo XC90 it was love at first sight and I’m typically not an SUV fan. The Volvo S90 sedan has everything that the XC90 has to offer (minus the height and some cargo space) and is a solid, comfortable, practical and truly good-looking car not to mention an excellent value.

THE DETAILS

2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription
Base price/price-as-tested $56,400/$57,340
Drivetraina Front engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 2.0-liter turbocharged four
Horsepower/Torque 316 / 295
Transmission 8-speed
Curb weight (lbs) 3,770
Wheelbase (inches) 115.8
Length x width x height (inches) 195.4 x 74 x 56.8
0-60 mph (seconds) (est.) 6.5
Fuel economy (mpg) (city/hwy) 31/22

 

(Photos: Accura Media Group)

 

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