Volvo S90 review - Interior, design and technology
The S90 is a stylish premium executive saloon, with distinctive looks and a quality feel
Volvo has a reputation for square, boxy styling - but the S90 uses the evolution of that design principle to stand out from the rest of the executive saloons on the market.
You’ll recognise lots of the S90’s cabin if you’ve already had a peek inside an XC90. The basic design is very similar, and so is the high-quality finish; the S90 is a fine example of refined Swedish design, with pleasing use of natural materials like wood on the centre console and dashboard.
At the front, the S90 gets the latest styling cues - as seen on the XC90 - with a convex grille and LED daytime running lights that include the ‘Thor’s hammer’ motif.
Standard features for all cars is generous and includes 19-inch alloys, LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control and heated seats.
Volvo offers two trim levels for the S90 - R-Design and Inscription, with the former adding sports seats, gloss black exterior accents, rear privacy glass and lowered sports suspension. Inscription cars bring a softer suspension set-up, chrome exterior trim, Nappa leather upholstery and a host of luxury touches throughout the cabin, such as a massage function for the driver's seat and a crystal gearknob.
Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment
Volvo’s infotainment system is called Sensus. Regardless of which S90 you choose, its nine-inch, portrait-layout display dominates the dashboard. It plays a far more significant role in the car’s functions than just music and navigation, too; it controls many of the S90’s settings and everyday features like air-con and heating.
A system with that many functions has to be slick to be effective, and fortunately, Volvo’s interface is one of the best in the business. The screen is split up into large tabs and it’s pretty easy to move around between the different areas.
When you are listening to music you’ll find the standard speaker system pretty decent - but Volvo has teamed up with hi-fi specialist Bowers & Wilkins to offer an upgraded system. It sounds terrific - even if it does cost around £3,000 to upgrade. A cheaper, and maybe more sensible option, would be to tick the £850 Harman Kardon - Tech option, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity along with an upgraded 13-speaker audio system.
In this review
- 1Volvo S90 reviewThe Volvo S90 is a handsome and well-equipped rival to German exec models, but is not quite as good to drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveExcellent cruising refinement, but the chassis feels either too stiff or too soft. Larger wheels dent ride quality, too
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe S90 T8 hybrid will provide low running costs, but you need to keep the battery charged up to make the most of it
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe S90 is a stylish premium executive saloon, with distinctive looks and a quality feel
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe S90's boot isn't the biggest in the class, but capable enough for most needs
- 6Reliability and SafetyVolvo has an excellent safety record, while the S90 should prove to be reliable