RAC Cars News


New Volvo V90 designed to offer space, style and safety

By raccars Published


The new Volvo V90 estate offers a bumper package of safety features and family-friendly extras.

For those with £44,000 to spend on an estate, the new Volvo V90 could offer a viable alternative to the likes of the Mercedes E-Class All Terrain. The new Volvo V90 D5 estate can get from zero to 62mph in seven seconds and produces 235bhp when fitted with a PowerPulse four-cylinder diesel and front-biased all-wheel drive. Its fuel consumption sits at 58.9mpg, whilst its emissions are said to be 127g/km.

Versatile and flexible new Volvo design?

The new Volvo V90 estate, and the S90 saloon, are the latest in the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) line-up and the V in the name is said to stand for the word ‘versatile’. The SPA is a clever modular system which can expand and allows the manufacturer to change a vehicle’s exterior dimensions by adjusting the choice of chassis components. This keeps costs down by using common elements in different models and variants.

With the SPA, the only vehicle measurement which is the same in different models is the distance from the centre of the axle at the front to the middle of the dashboard. All of the other measurements are variable. The likes of the V90, S90 and XC90, therefore, utilise the same Volvo chassis and there are plans for a V40 which is based on a scaled down variant of the SPA.

The V90 estate and S90 saloon are to follow on from the XC90, where the XC stands for Cross Country. The range is designed to offer clean styling and an unchallenging appeal.

Limited engine choice

There is only a single 1969cc engine choice in four-cylinder format on offer, although there is the option to choose between diesel and petrol. In their launch-state, the V90 and the S90 get D5 and D4 diesels. The D4 offers 190bhp and a torque figure of 295lb ft, whilst the D5’s stats stand at 235bhp and 332lb ft.

The D4 can get from zero to 62mph in 8.2 seconds, and returns 64.2mpg, producing 116g/km of CO2. Both the D4 and D5 come with eight-speed automatic gearboxes. There are plans for a T8 Hybrid which will have the same electric and petrol set-up as the XC90, offering 407bhp and producing 49g/km.

The D5’s PowerPulse technology, meanwhile, means that there is a tank of pressurised air which offers boost at lower revs by firing air into the car’s turbo housing. This mitigates turbo lag and is supposed to improve throttle response and efficiency levels.

Both the S90 and the V90 have Corvette-style transverse leaf springs made from composite materials and independent front suspension. An R-Design package is also slated for delivery in the near future. This is said to provide a firmer ride than the V90, with uprated dampers and a 15mm decrease in ride height.

A relaxed interior

Despite being an executive car, the inside of the V90 has a relaxed ambience and comes with a nine-inch Sensus Connect touchscreen. Buyers have a choice of leathers and blonde woods, and a range of connectivity features such as Spotify and Apple CarPlay are on offer.

There is also the On Call service, which allows drivers of the new Volvo V90 to control functions such as the heating and locking mechanisms using a smartphone app.

With Volvo's safety emphasis, occupants benefit from Pilot Assist, adaptive cruise, Run-off Road Mitigation, Run-Off Road Protection, City Safety to detect animals, cyclists and pedestrians, advanced ABS, rear crash mitigation, traction control, junction autobrake, blind spot warnings, road sign information and various park assist functions.

In terms of boot space, the V90 offers 560 litres with the seats up and 1,526 litres with the seats folded flat. The seat backs fold electrically with the option to have family-friendly extras such as booster seats built in to the outer rear seats.

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