Some car brands conjure up a special image the moment you hear them.
If someone says Ferrari, you instantly imagine something sleek, fast, and red. Land Rover stands for square off-road, Barbour rubber jackets and boots. And Volvo, as far back as we can remember, is instantly reminiscent of boxy station wagons filled with antiques – or Labradors.
Of course, Volvo now does a lot more than ‘square but good’ station wagons. It has a whole lineup of SUVs, the sporty-looking S60 sedan and a coupe-SUV on the way. But it hasn’t completely abandoned the traditional station wagon market and the V90 is its current competitor against the likes of the Audi A6 Avant, the Mercedes E-Class station wagon and the BMW 5 Series Touring.
Not that the V90 is square. The days of Volvos designed with a ruler and a set are long gone. This latest jumbo carrier still has the traditional estate shape, but with a few clever design touches, it looks low, long, and sleek rather than solid and flat-sided.
Where there were once flat edges and functional square details, there are now subtle folds and lines that soften the substantial volume of the Volvo – it’s still 4.93m long and 1.87m wide. – but retain a certain discreet presence on the road.
I’m not ashamed to say I’m a fan of Volvo interior design. From the smallest XC40 to the massive XC90, there’s a clear design language in play that keeps things simple, neat, and cool. Pale leather and panoramic roof (part of a £ 5,000 option pack) create a wonderful feeling of lightness and space, enhanced by the soft, open-pore wood finish. Simple chrome accents cover the dashboard and door covers and even after several years, the V90’s cabin is inviting and comfortable against rivals trying to dazzle with technology and flashy finishes.
As this is a real large family estate, it seemed wise to take it for a real big family vacation – at five for a week in the Scottish Highlands, taking enough a change of clothes, buckets, shovels and food to keep an army going.
At 560 liters, the V90’s trunk is large but not the largest in its class. The 5 Series and Jaguar XF Sportbrake are almost identical, but the E-Class beat them all with a whopping 640 liters (not to mention the much cheaper Skoda Superb with its 660 liters). So not at the top of its class, but still decently sized and thoughtfully designed to provide a large, accessible cargo area with no annoying ledges and plenty of room for all of our family’s luggage.
There is the same generosity of space for passengers. Even with two bulky child seats, there is enough shoulder room for a third child to endure a five hour commute without complaint and there is ample legroom even behind a very tall driver. big size. The main drawback of the V90 as a true five-seater is the bulky drivetrain that swallows up most of the legroom of a rear center passenger. You’ll never hear a complaint from those in front thanks to the generous space all around and some of the most supportive seating in the business.
Volvo is committed to an electrified future, with plans for all of its cars to be electric vehicles by 2030. Before that, it is leaning heavily on hybrids. The whole lineup now comes with mild hybrid options, but our V90 was a T6 plug-in affair. This one uses a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and electric motor to drive all four wheels – the same layout as our old long-range XC60. With 335 hp, it offers a very different 0-62 mph time than Volvo’s 5.6 seconds, but an official economy of 134.5 mpg with 47 g / km of CO2 emissions.
Of course, those numbers, which help to win the tax favors, are pie in the sky, and the mid-1940s economy is more realistic. What’s good about the V90 PHEV, however, is its ability to travel around 30 miles on a purely electric power supply. Even when the gasoline engine cranks up, the whole thing is smooth and effortless, as are its on-road manners, which feel ready for long-distance cruising with minimal effort and maximum comfort.
Which brings us back to the traditional image of a Volvo – easy going, comfortable and practical. The V90 still excels in all of these areas, but with a more elegant and high-tech touch that earns it a place in the high end of the market.
Volvo V90 Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 AWD Registration
Price: £ 56,800 (£ 61,140 depending on tests); Motor: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, turbo, gasoline with electric motor; Power: 335 hp; Couple: 435 lb ft; Transmission: Eight-speed automatic; Top speed: 112 mph; 0-60 mph: 5.6 seconds; Economy: 134.5 mpg; CO2 emissions: 47g / km
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This notice was published: 2021-09-01 18:00:48