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Motoring Review: Volvo V90 D4

PUBLISHED: 10:56 31 October 2016

Get out into the Norfolk countryside to appreciate the Volvo's power and capability

Get out into the Norfolk countryside to appreciate the Volvo's power and capability

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Volvo's new executive S90 saloon and V90 estate are all about relaxed confidence, says motoring editor Andy Russell

Get out into the Norfolk countryside to appreciate Volvo's power and capabilityGet out into the Norfolk countryside to appreciate Volvo's power and capability

As part of Volvo’s brand reinvention it aims to redefine the premium estate car market with the V90 alongside the stylish S90 executive. If you still think big Volvos are boxy, boring and built for older drivers, you’re in for a surprise. The S90 and V90 combine Volvo tradition and clean Scandinavian design into the shape of things to come.

Under the bonnet

Get out into the Norfolk countryside to feel the Volvo's power and capabilityGet out into the Norfolk countryside to feel the Volvo's power and capability

In keeping with Volvo’s new power-train policy of smaller, four-cylinder engines, they are launched with 2.0-litre turbo diesels – front-wheel drive 190hp D4 and all-wheel drive 235hp D5 – both with an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The D4, expected to take 70pc of sales, cruises effortlessy but needs a firm prod of the throttle for swift overtaking - not a problem in the D5 with PowerPulse which uses stored compressed air to spool up the turbocharger. But the D5 costs up to £7,000 more than D4 - hard to justify unless you need the extra traction.

Very smart interior of the Volvo V90 D4 InscriptionVery smart interior of the Volvo V90 D4 Inscription

How it drives

Volvo’s mantra is “relaxed confidence” – knowing the car will do exactly what you expect and want, and providing a comfortable, composed ride while cornering flatly for better grip. The optional active chassis with rear air suspension and adaptive damping sees a noticeable difference between comfort and sport settings.

Good legroom, but watch out for that transmission tunnelGood legroom, but watch out for that transmission tunnel

Space and comfort

There is impressive rear legroom, but a centre passenger has to straddle a tall transmission tunnel. The S90’s 500-litre boot has a wide aperture, long load floor and power-folding 60/40 split rear seat backrest. The V90’s load bay is bigger at 560 litres but the sloping rear screen limits ultimate practicality with a maximum 1,526 litres.

The boot of the Volvo V90 D4 InscriptionThe boot of the Volvo V90 D4 Inscription

At the wheel

The highlight is the nine-inch portrait tablet-style touch screen for the Sensus connectivity and infotainment technology with swipe menus, pinch and zoom adjustment.

Equipment and safety

With a high level of standard equipment, the S90 and V90 look good value with the S90 priced from £32,555 and the V90 from £34,555.

Electronic driver aids on all models include Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology which steers, brakes and accelerates the car to keep it in the lane at a set speed at up to 80mph and two world-first safety technologies – large animal detection with automatic braking and another system to prevent the car running off the road.

Final say

Volvo is on a roll with desirable new models that look good and feel right to drive.

Specifications: VOLVO V90 D4

Engine: 1,969cc, 190hp, four-cylinder turbo diesel with eight-speed automatic gearbox

Performance: 0-62mph 8.5 seconds; top speed 140mph

MPG: Urban 54.3; extra urban 68.9; combined 62.8

CO2 emissions: 119g/km

Will it fit in the garage? L 4,936mm; W (including door mirrors) 2,019mm; H 1,475mm

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