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Motoring - 2017 Volvo S90 T6: Well worth the price

Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ

Although the price tag for the new 2017 Volvo S90 T6 may seem a little steep, it's cheap compared to its competitors and well worth the money.


Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | January 9th, 2017




Last year, Volvo launched their much anticipated, second generation model of the XC90 SUV. This was the first among the new breed of Volvo products, and gave reviewers and consumers more than just a glimpse of what the future holds for Volvo.

The new XC90 also proved to be a winner, as it has won many awards around the world, and sales have been impressive as well.

As a follow up act, Volvo has re-entered the mid-level premium luxury sedan market, with a new model called the S90. This replaces the aging and long forgotten S80 model, which was a good car that not many people cared about.

The 2017 Volvo S90 takes some of the architecture that makes up the new XC90, even though these two vehicles appear to be totally different. Under the skin, the platform is shared, as is the engine and the gearbox.

The engine is truly a masterpiece. It is a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder motor that is both turbocharged and supercharged. It produces 316 horsepower and 295 pounds per foot of torque. Power is fed to all-wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox that shifts smoothly and quickly.

Put the car in “Dynamic” mode and it hauls itself remarkably well. The sprint from zero to 100 kilometres per hour is dealt within 5.8 seconds, which is more than quick enough. What’s more impressive is its mid-range punch; just feed in the throttle on the move and this Volvo swiftly climbs into the “too fast for Ontario roads” category.

Being quick is one thing, handling is important too. The new S90 scores well here. The chassis is good, as it not only deals with bumps quite well, but also keeps the vehicle stable at highway speeds and planted through the corners. My only complaint here is the steering, which is an electric system. Most electric steering systems lack feel, as does this one, but I will say it is better than most such systems I’ve tested.

These systems are kind of necessary in today’s vehicles, since they also have Lane Keep Assist systems. On the highway, when you engage its adaptive cruise control and have the lane keep assist system on, this car is nearly autonomous.

Open the door and you are greeted with a clean, uncluttered design that is inviting. As you slip in the driver’s seat, you’ll immediately realize that this car has one of the most contoured seats in the auto industry. It just relaxes you, which is what I want from a luxury car. I also want a good décor, which is what the S90 offers. I love the quality and application of wood, and how it blends in with the piano black plastic and chrome bits; everything is done in good taste, nothing is just stuck on. The center of the dashboard is dominated by a touch-screen infotainment system, which is essentially a tablet. This car has one of the better touch screen systems; regardless, I am still not a fan of it. Too many functions are found only through the screen, such as for turning the heated seats and steering wheel on and also the climate control. If the screen goes, you’re done. This new Volvo S90 has a lot to offer, and is certainly worthy of your consideration, if you’re currently looking at an Audi A6, BMW 5 series or Mercedes-Benz E-class.

The Volvo does have a big advantage over the competition, and that is the price; the new S90 starts from $56,900. My loaded tester, which had the Inscription trim, was priced at $73,925. That’s a lot of money, but it is also a lot less than its competition. If its residual value is strong, it’ll have a good lease payment, which is important these days.

Fuel economy is also important, and in this area, the new S90 did okay. I averaged 10.0 litres per 100 kilometres in my test week, which is good, but I expected better, since it only drinks premium fuel.

Another important factor is safety, and you can be assured that this Volvo is as safe as cars get these days. In fact, Volvo claims that by the year 2020, no one will be killed or badly injured in one of their cars; that is having strong faith in your engineering.
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