With a distinctive design inside and out and a plush driving experience, the Volvo S90 is a luxury sedan that prides itself on being different from the German competition. Its minimalist Scandinavian style makes for a cosseting cabin, and the quiet and comfortable ride foregoes sportiness in favor of relaxation. The base B6 powertrain includes a mild-hybrid setup, while the S90 Recharge features a plug-in-hybrid drivetrain with an EPA-rated 21 miles of all-electric range. Many luxury and driver-assistance features are on offer, and the S90's price is significantly lower than other full-size luxury sedans.
What's New for 2022?
The B6 replaces the T6 as the S90's base engine. It's once again a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-four, but this time around it features a 48-volt hybrid system and produces 295 horsepower. The S90 also gains an Android-based infotainment system and upgraded sensors for the driver-assistance systems.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The S90 is offered in Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription trim levels with the Momentum being the only one that's not offered with the optional Recharge plug-in-hybrid powertrain. R-Design and Inscription models are fancier, but we’d choose the Momentum for its value equation, as it’s nicely equipped for the money and the B6 mild-hybrid setup is plenty quick and reasonably fuel efficient.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
We have yet to test the S90's new base B6 mild-hybrid powertrain, but we expect it to offer similar performance as the previous T6 model. The 400-hp plug-in hybrid Recharge version blasted down our test track, matching results of the six-cylinder BMW 540i xDrive (4.5 seconds) in our zero-to-60-mph testing, but out on the road we noticed some occasional hiccups when driving the hybrid powertrain. Give the S90's gas pedal a sharp input and there's a momentary delay, followed by an abrupt moment of acceleration as the gasoline engine kicks in to assist the electric motors. Handling is surefooted, but the trade-off is a ride that hardly feels like terry cloth. Rough stretches of road transmit more vibrations into the cabin than in more softly sprung competitors. The steering has a weighty feel, but it isn't as direct or as precise as it should be, which erodes the S90's perceived athleticism.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Models equipped with the B6 powertrain earn EPA fuel economy ratings of 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway while the hybrid Recharge models earn a rating as high as 63 MPGe combined. Out on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, the plug-in hybrid delivered 32 mpg. It should be noted that we were unable to utilize the S90's 21-mile electric-only range during this highway drive as the system engages the gasoline engine automatically at highway speeds. For more information about the S90's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The S90's cabin is by far its most impressive feature. A mixture of high-end materials—open-pore wood, genuine leather, brushed metal, and finely grained plastics—come together in a cohesive and undeniably modern space. The 14-way power-adjustable front seats in our Inscription test vehicle were all-day comfortable and should fit all body shapes. The S90 lacks features we've come to expect in this segment, though. A manual steering column makes a surprising—and disappointing—appearance, as nearly all of the Volvo's rivals offer power adjustments. The S90 sedan will meet the needs of most drivers, and models with the folding rear seatback offer a cavernous cargo area. Have even more gear to cart around? Check out the V90, the S90's wagon-bodied sibling.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The S90 is as connected as any of its rivals, and it relies heavily on its infotainment touchscreen to control many of its functions. All S90s feature a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen mounted in the center of the dashboard. To adjust simple functions such as the heated seats or the optional head-up display, the user must interact with the system. This is becoming par for the luxury-brand course, and some systems are more user-friendly than others. The S90's system is easy enough to use, but the driver will have a learning curve before feeling comfortable enough to make changes on the go. Volvo's latest Android-based infotainment system does not currently support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto smartphone mirroring, but Volvo says it will be added at a later date.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The S90's long list of driver-assistance features is impressive, and Volvo offers most of it as standard equipment. For more information about the S90's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning
- Standard lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Volvo offers a class-standard four-year warranty and includes all scheduled maintenance for the first three years. Genesis offers longer warranty coverage for owners of its G90 sedan, but it's the outlier in the segment.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles