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In-depth reviews

Volvo V90 review - Reliability and Safety

Engines and chassis are still new, but Volvo’s safety reputation speaks for itself

Volvo has a strong reputation for safety, and the V90’s sister car, the S90 saloon, was awarded a five-star result earlier this year. There’s lots of technology inside the V90, and a lot of it debuted in the XC90 SUV. One highlight is the semi-autonomous driving pilot that can guide the car – a similar system on a Mercedes will set you back around £1,700.

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The Euro NCAP crash test rates passive safety - or the car’s ability to protect the occupants and pedestrians in an accident. But Volvo is also focusing on avoiding the crash in the first place - active safety - and the V90 gets plenty of functions on that score, including large animal detection, which can spot deer emerging from the side of the road and take avoiding action, and semi-autonomus Pilot Assist, which can keep the car in lane and at a safe distance from the car in front, at speeds of up to 80mph.

The V90 also features Volvo’s Run-off Road protection system that debuted on the XC90. Sensors in the car detect when a car has uncontrollably left the road, at which point all the seatbelts are pulled as tight as possible, locking occupants in place. In combination with the special energy absorption features in the seats, this set-up is claimed to reduce spinal injuries by a third.

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It’s too early for the 50,000 owners in our Driver Power survey to deliver a verdict even on the XC90, which shares lots of components with the V90 - and since the V90 is almost completely changed from its predecessor, the V70, it’s hard to use that car for comparison either. However, while some early cars have suffered from a few electrical niggles that have been remedied with software updates, we’ve heard no horror stories emerging from XC90 owners, so it appears that Volvo’s SPA chassis technology and its four-cylinder engines are proving reliable so far. We’d expect that to continue on the V90.

Warranty

Volvo’s standard warranty is for three years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes soonest. That’s a little shorter than the cover offered by BMW, which last for the same period but with no mileage limit. Volvo offers the chance to extend the warranty - either adding a year, or adding a year and a further 20,000 miles.

Servicing

The standard servicing interval on the V90 is 12 months, with the schedule alternating between interim and major services. Volvo hasn’t confirmed servicing costs for the vehicle yet but it is expected to follow other models in the line-up by offering an interest-free service plan to spread the cost.

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