After languishing for a decade as a rarely considered premium sedan, the ’17 Volvo S90 is completely new from the ground up and ready to climb into a higher segment where it hopes to challenge the best in the world for luxury-car supremacy.
Volvo builds on its highly regarded XC90 with the launch of the ’17 S90 sedan, built on the same scalable architecture as the CUV but with aspirations to compete against some of the world’s best luxury sedans. A V90 wagon version follows in 2017.
Coming on the heels of the highly successful launch of the XC90 large CUV – and drawing on that much-lauded model for most of its chassis, powertrain and interior parts – the S90 has a great chance of making good on its marketing promises of “relaxed confidence” and “legendary comfort” topped off by assured occupant safety.
S90 T6 isn’t built with all-out performance as its guiding principle. Rather, this latest iteration of the “Scandinavian Sanctuary” is a calm boulevard cruiser with the ability to quicken the pulse when necessary, but not as a primary mission.
We sampled the new 4-door as well as its V90 sport wagon sibling on a variety of routes in southern Spain, from wide-open winding mountainous roads to congested urban thoroughfares that provided ample opportunity to get a feel for the car’s powertrain and driving character while also testing its myriad driver-assistance and safety systems.
After a year of extensive exposure to the XC90 – a winner of both Wards 10 Best Engines and Wards 10 Best Interiors awards in 2016 – we’re quite familiar with the latest Volvo has to offer, from its calming interior to its playing-above-its-weight-class 316-hp, 295-lb.-ft. (400-Nm) turbocharged and supercharged 2.0L I-4 engine.
The S90 offers more of the same but in a lighter weight and sportier package with a lower seating position that automatically gives the S90 a more sophisticated feel. Dropping 547 lbs. (248 kg) from the curb weight compared to the XC90 doesn’t hurt either. While the CUV is no slouch at 6.5 seconds 0-60 mph (97 km/h), the sedan does the same sprint in just 5.7 seconds and feels very responsive in the process.
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