Engine: 2-liter super- and turbo-charged, direct-inject 4-cylinder
Transmission: 8-speed Geartronic automatic
EPA Ratings: 22/city, 31/highway, 25/combined
Base Price: $52,950
As Tested: $66,105
Overview: The new 2017 Volvo S90 replaces Volvo’s venerable S80, taking styling cues from the redesigned XC90 crossover. Built on a brand-new platform, the reengineered S90 gets three new fuel-efficient 2-liter, 4-cylinder powertrains. The AWD T6 — our test vehicle — featured the supercharged and turbocharged version, putting out 316 ponies and 295 pound-feet of torque.
Walkaround: Elegantly Scandinavian, the S90 bears an unmistakable resemblance to the XC90. Its profile suggests a rear-wheel-drive sports sedan, not a front- or all-wheel drive luxury ride. The front wheels move far-forward, while the long hood flows into the upright grille. The roofline slides smoothly into the squared-off decklid. Distinctive headlights and clean side surfaces make the S90 immediately recognizable as a Volvo.
Interior: The elegant design produces a spaciously gracious ambiance. The dashboard mixes real wood and metal with subtle contours. The Sensus Touch infotainment system eliminates knobs and buttons. A menu system on Inscription models controls power-adjustable seats and massage functions. The S90 seats are exceptionally supportive, while rear seats are well-cushioned — although taller passengers may find limited headroom due to the sloping roofline. Semi-autonomous driving features like Pilot Assist, which blends active cruise control with forward collision warning and lane-keep assist, are standard. Blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert are optional.
Behind the Wheel: The S90 delivers a comfortable, quiet, yet capably controlled ride. Tight construction and sound deadening coupled with the available air suspension keep the S90 especially quiet. Three ride choices — comfort, dynamic, and individualization — let you select the ride settings you prefer. The smooth 8-speed automatic makes the S90 quite energetic at low speeds. At highway speeds, it delivers a relaxed driving experience, while the shift gate allows manual gear changes. The electric power steering is nicely weighted and acceleration is agreeable.
Bottom Line: Although the S90 is not a sports sedan, performance is gratifying and considerably more capable than expected from a luxury four-door. The S90 costs less than most comparable German sedans and is better equipped than many luxury sedans, with no shortage of comfort or technology.