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Volvo S90 D4 Momentum Pro

Date: 12 January 2018   |   Author: Debbie Wood

Few manufacturers have turned the tables on previous perceptions more than Volvo and the Swedish firm's return to desirability arguably gained full momentum with the launch of the XC90 SUV back in 2015.

Helping to complete the new-look 90 series line-up in the range is the V90 estate and this, the S90 saloon. Based on the underpinnings of its SUV brother, the S90 carries over many style features as well as modern tech from the XC90, and goes up against some stiff competition from established saloons like the BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Here, we take a look at how well the stylish saloon stacks up against its rivals.

Stylish interior

The S90 is a lovely looking car. Its sweeping lines, stand-out grille and eye-catching hammerhead lights are just some of the defining exterior features, but slip behind the wheel and you'll be greeted by a sophisticated and luxurious cabin.

Volvo S90 Interior

It's one of the best in its sector in terms of cabin quality, with the infotainment system and 9in tablet-style touchscreen proving to be modern, easy to manoeuvre around and extremely high quality.

You can choose the S90 in three trims; here we're testing the entry-level Momentum grade, which still comes with an impressive amount of kit as standard. The highlights include sat-nav, two-zone climate control, automatic tailgate, leather upholstery with the front seats heated, 17in alloys and LED lights with automatic high beam.

We've talked a lot about Volvo's impressive safety credentials over the past couple of years and the S90 continues that story, incorporating a variety of sophisticated safety aids and semi-autonomous systems designed to make life easier and safer out on the roads.

One of those revolutionary systems is called Pilot Assist, which, with the help of adaptive cruise control, keeps the car in lane at the desired cruising speed, automatically slowing the car down or speeding it up in traffic - all the driver needs to do is keep a finger on the steering wheel.

Volvo S90 Side

Run-off road protection is another impressive standard safety feature and operates by automatically tightening the seatbelts should the car leave the road and also helps to prevent spinal injuries. 

Diesel engine

Despite its recent downturn in popularity, diesel is still very much the fuel of choice in this sector and here we're testing the lower-powered, front-wheel drive D4 2.0-litre option, which offers up 190hp and 400Nm of torque as well as some compelling running cost figures.

Creating a good balance between economy and performance, this diesel powertrain achieved an official fuel economy of 64.2mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 116g/km during its round of NEDC testing, while also enabling the car to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 8.2 seconds.

On the road the car is a comfortable motorway cruiser, the engine is refined at higher speeds and more than powerful enough to make the car feel quick when you put your foot down. Mated to the engine is an eight-speed automatic, which can be a little delayed under hard acceleration but for the most part works perfectly well with the engine.

Volvo S90

Sporty handling isn't this Volvo's main priority; instead the S90 majors on comfort. That said, the steering is expertly weighted and the car is agile enough in the corners, with plenty of grip on offer, so it's not exactly boring when you're behind the wheel.

There's also a choice of driving modes available: Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. Each tweak the throttle response and the weight of the steering to suit, although the changes are very slight.

Stiff competition

At almost 5m long the S90 is a spacious car with lots of interior room on offer and practical features throughout. At 500 litres, the boot is smaller than most of its sector rivals, but that's still ample room for the weekly shop.

Whole-life costs are competitive, with our test car retaining just over 40% of its value after three years and 60,000 miles, while costing 73.49p per mile overall, only a fraction more than the comparative BMW 5 Series and around a penny less than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Overall, the Volvo S90 is a sophisticated and elegant car that sometimes gets overlooked in favour of its German rivals. Yes, it is slightly more expensive than most, but the amount of safety kit and modern tech on offer, plus the luxurious interior, is justification enough. Impressive residual values also mean the S90 is good value for money, especially in entry-level trim, and makes just as much sense on paper as it does out on the road. 

P11D Price: £36,750

Fuel consumption: 64.2mpg

CO2 (BIK Band): 116g/km (25%)

BIK 20/40% a month: £153/£306

Engine size/power: 1,969cc/190hp


  • Luxurious interior
  • Ride quality
  • Stylish design
  • Excellent safety kit
  • Small boot
  • Auto gearbox a little sluggish