Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 22 May 2017
I have always liked to the Volvo brand. This is a brand of vehicle that has never been scared to innovate and shape the way that the automotive world does things. When you think safety and you think family, the name Volvo often springs to mind, but the question has got to be asked, is the new Volvo S90 sedan the world’s most elegant family sedan?
In the last couple of years, Volvo was acquired by the Chinese auto giant Geely. The company received a cash injection of over USD $11 Billion and this has helped turn an already incredibly innovative brand into a quality technological powerhouse.
The Volvo S90 is Sweden’s answer to the likes of the German triumphant, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series, Audi A6 and, the British origin Jaguar XF and Japanese Lexus GS. While these are all luxurious are unique in their own ways and offering something special, they are in for some serious competition with the S90 sedan.
Challenging The Definition Of Luxury
Following the success and worldwide awards which have been bestowed on the Volvo XC90 SUV, the S90 offers this same sense of luxury. The interior is draped in premium grade materials and leather work. With the softest of leathers and raw beach wood panelling as an option, the interior of the S90 closely matches the exteriors grand presence. Space is so generous in the S90, you would be forgiven for thinking that this luxury sedan sits more in-line with the likes of the BMW 7-Series or Mercedes-Benz S-Class luxury saloon cars in terms of overall legroom, headroom and interior space.
The S90 follows the less is more design philosophy with the dashboard merely taking shape as a placeholder for a large tablet inspired media interface. Known by Volvo as Sensus, this system follows a very similar user interface and operation to that of an Apple iPad or Android-based tablet PC. This makes operation as simple as it is seamless. The instrumentation cluster is digital and allows you to make use of your navigation route map as part of the instrument cluster view while toggling through further options and cluster layouts.
The S90 has the option of having your sound delivered via the Bowers & Wilkins 19 speaker surround sound system, which is frankly incredible to the ear and even can be set to match the sound of being in the Gothenburg Concert Hall.
A New Sense Of Power
A poky four-cylinder 2-litre engine right? Wrong! Despite merely being 2-litres in engine capacity, the S90 is driven with a Volvo patented system known as Power Pulse technology. What this does is present almost zero turbo lag thanks to pump within the turbocharger which electronically prepares a jet of compressed air to be pushed through the engine even at low revs.
The system is complicated to explain, but what I can say is that it works flawlessly. With its 173 kW and 480 Nm of torque, the clever Power Pulse technology and an 8-Speed automated gearbox, the ride in the S90 is nothing short of sublime. 0-100km/h is achieved in 7 seconds with a top speed electronically limited to 240 km/h and a combined claimed fuel consumption of 4.8-litres per 100km.
A Company With Vision
With Volvo’s outstanding array of vehicles and recent innovations, I was expecting the new S90 to be good, but it has turned out to be a whole lot more than just good. Its wealth of safety features, distinct Thors Hammer headlight cluster and classy executive looks really do put this executive sedan in a class of its own.
So to answer the question, is the Volvo S90 the best executive sedan on the roads? I think it just might be!
Key options fitted to the vehicle as tested:
- Volvo Premium Pack (R65,000): Which features heated front seats which are power side adjustable ; power boot lid; Visual park assist with 360 camera ; keyless entry and starting; Blind-Spot warning assist; Bowers & Wilkins 19 Speaker System & the list goes on. While the options package may be a bit pricey, the list of extras which are included is extensive.
- 20-Inch 8 Spoke Alloys (R12,750)
- Smartphone Integration [Apple CarPlay & Android Auto] (R4,000)
- Head Up Display (R14,500)
SA Pricing, Service & Warranty (As at 1 Jan 2017)