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Volvo S90 Test Drive Review - Safe and Sound

Arjit Garg | News18.com Arjit_Garg

Updated: June 16, 2017, 10:21 AM IST
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Volvo S90 Test Drive Review - Safe and Sound
Volvo S90 D4 test drive review. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com)
From manufacturing some of the world’s safest cars to manufacturing some of the best looking cars, Volvo has come a long way. The recently launched Volvo S90 sedan, is in fact, one of the best looking luxury sedans in India. But is it all about the looks, or does it has more to it?

We find in our Volvo S90 Test Drive Review!


Looks

As mentioned above, the Volvo S90 is among some of the good-looking cars in India. The overall design of the S90 is such that the car looks sleek and subtle at the same time. It comes with some stand-out design elements like the Thor hammer headlights, 23 vertical slat concave grille at the front and the C-section tail lights, at the rear, all giving it the quintessential smart car look.

Like exteriors, the interiors of the Volvo S90 are subtle and luxurious. The button-less design translates to a rich looking cabin with a vertically set touchscreen infotainment. The only buttons you see are for the AC and volume controller. The light shade of off-white makes the cabin look neat and roomy. Ample use of wood-grain trim gives it a premium feel.

Volvo S90 23 vertical slat concave grille. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com) Volvo S90 23 vertical slat concave grille. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com)

Technology

Volvo has been known for making the safest cars across the globe. While systems like the radar-based safety can’t make its way to India due to some government policies, Volvo S90 does house most of the safety kit, like the international-spec car. Systems like the lane departure control are in abundance in the S90. What the lane departure system essentially does is warn you every time you cross a lane at high speeds. The warning comes in the form of a feedback from steering, as well as a sign on the dashboard. The only problem is, you need to have a proper lane marking for the system to read it.

Then there’s the vertical touchscreen system, much like a tablet, that offers a lot more than just the music system. From adjusting the seats to activating the park assist, the screen does all the magical stuff inside the S90’s cabin. Speaking of the seat adjust, you can adjust the side bolstering, underthigh support and lumbar support, according your comfort, apart from the regular height, inclination, control.

Volvo S90 Cabin. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com) Volvo S90 Cabin. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com)

Unlike most of the cars in its segment, the Volvo S90 comes with a self-park assist function that helps you park the car without manually controlling the steering wheel. We also test drove the BMW 7-Series recently, with the park assist function. But it was just a garage-in/garage-out function, with the movement limited to straight lines. The Volvo S90, actually reads the parking spots and can park itself perpendicularly  or parallel.

One of the noteworthy feature of the S90 is how you could alter the sound settings according to your liking and enrich your music listening experience. There are no automatic sun shades in the rear seats neither is there a screen for fun-time. It’s surprising to not have such functionality in a luxury car where people love to spend time sitting in the rear seats.

Volvo S90 gearbox, start-stop and drive mode selector. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com) Volvo S90 gearbox, start-stop and drive mode selector. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com)

Engine

The Indian-spec S90 offers a D4 engine which is a 2-litre diesel unit with 190 horses and 400 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 8-speed Autotronic gearbox. While the engine itself is good enough, it isn’t as good as the one of the BMW 5-Series or Mercedes E-Class for that matter. The Volvo S90 comes with 3 driving modes to choose from – ECO, Comfort and Dynamic. We kept our test vehicle on the Dynamic mode most of the time, but it didn’t do any wonders on the Volvo S90’s dynamics.

Volvo S90 C-Section tail light with D4 logo. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com) Volvo S90 C-Section tail light with D4 logo. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com)

Basically, the Volvo S90 is about creature comfort and no emphasis is laid on the driving dynamics, which is a bit of let down for enthusiast drivers. There’s not even a single noise that enters the Volvo’s cabin and it’s like a pin-drop silence, even when you drive at speed in excess of 90kmph. It’s like those cars where you would like to sit in the back seat and enjoy the luxury rather than take on the wheel yourself.

Verdict

The Volvo S90 is classy yet beautiful and simple yet elegant. It’s a right mix of safety and looks. Where it falls short is the driving dynamics, which is not at par with some of the German rivals. If only the Volvo could get the driving dynamics right, it can give the Germans a tough competition.

Volvo S90 Side Profile. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com) Volvo S90 Side Profile. (Image: Siddharth Safaya/ News18.com)
First Published: June 16, 2017, 10:18 AM IST
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