RAC Cars News


Classy new Volvo estate packs in the tech

By raccars Published


A look at the new Volvo V90 D5 PowerPulse AWD Inscription and the other V90s and S90s on offer.

The new Volvo V90 PowerPulse AWD Inscription is a four-wheel-drive, higher spec take on the Volvo V90 estate.

This latest Volvo estate has been hailed as marking the return of classic, large Swedish estates, although its manufacturers are claiming a definitive remodelling to suit modern buyers’ tastes. The D5 PowerPulse AWD Inscription takes this one step further, offering more power and performance.

Follow-up to the new Volvo VC90

The V90 and its four-door sibling, the S90, follow on from the new Volvo VC90 launched last year. The V90 is available in D4 or 5 variants. Both have a 2.0 diesel power plant and an eight-speed automatic transmission but the D4 is front-wheel drive and produces 188bhp, whilst the D5 is all-wheel-drive, offering 232bhp.

There is no petrol-only choice in Britain but a T8 Twin Engine option will arrive in the future, offering a 2.0-litre petrol/electric motor combination.

The saloon and the estate versions are available with a choice between the Inscription and Momentum trims. There is also a sportier R-Design due by the end of this year, which will supposedly offer more dynamic body styling and an enhanced chassis package. A Cross Country option is also planned for the future.

The V90 estate doesn’t offer quite as much boot space as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class with its seats-up capacity maximum of 600-litres, but, at 560-litres, it does offer almost as much as the 565-litre Audi A6 Avant and is equal to BMW’s 560-litre 5 Series Touring.

The new Volvo and PowerPulse

PowerPulse is a feature of the new V90 that aims to add an extra kick start to the power offered by its turbocharged 2.0 engine. The system was invented by a pair of young Volvo engineers. It makes use of a compressor driven by electricity to blow pressurised air on acceleration into the car’s manifold.

The system helps to counteract turbo lag and promotes a linear and rapid response. It is only available as standard with the D5 with all-wheel-drive.

All of the V90s feature three different driving modes; Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. The latter is designed to boost the throttle's responses, as well as those of the steering and suspension.

Tech and extras on offer

A varied package of optional extras are on offer with the V90 estate, including a powered panoramic sunroof and self-levelling rear air springs, whilst the standard technology features are aimed at improving safety and comfort.

There are many technological touches, including a system to help prevent crashes with animals in the road and technology to minimise the effects of a crash. The V90 also includes a Pilot Assist feature, which combines lane keeping assist with active cruise control, a combination designed to reduce stress and effort in heavy traffic on motorways.

As standard, the new Volvo comes with a power-operated tailgate, together with split folding backrests for the rear seats. The latter means it is possible to carry loads measuring almost two metres long. The low boot lip is designed to make loading easier than it might otherwise be.

Inside, there is a nine-inch touchscreen which the manufacturer claims is an evolved version of the one found in the XC90.

Volvo expects that the D5 will make up 20 per cent of sales of the V90 and S90 ranges, whilst the D4 will account for 70 per cent and the T8 will make up ten per cent.

Prices for the 2016 Volvo V90 D5 PowerPulse AWD Inscription start at £44,055.

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