Tuesday, June 25, 2024

2023 Volvo S90 Mild Hybrid Review, Road Test

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The mid-size sedan in the luxury space is always the talk of the town. The Volvo S90 has been always part of the talk and it has been rated quite high despite its shortcomings in certain areas. Why? Because the Volvo S90 possesses something that is unique and special. At the same time, it also represents a new Volvo, which has a brand new platform that can perform to deliver so much more than the usual safety it also has advanced to a higher level, a level where it isn’t even required by the regulators. With all that and a legacy to build, the Volvo S90 is here and it has come in a new petrol mild-hybrid avatar. We spend some time with it to tell you all about it.

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On the outside, the large chrome grille grabs attention with the iconic old-school logo. Volvo has three elements, the LED DRL, the big Volvo logo and the grille, they all come together really well. At the front and at the rear, very fancy-looking LED lamps make it look as iconic as any other Volvo can be. This makes the car stand out, loud yet subtle. The side profile is of a proper European design language that has evolved well over the decades as it looks clean, stylish, and subtle at the same time. The build quality on the outside seems and sounds great and it scores high on the crash test as well. The multi-spoke wheels, the white colour on our test car and over all clean looks makes you fall in love with it every time you see it over the period of time you spend with it. The Volvo S90 clearly is the classiest sedan in its class against all its radically designed rivals.

On the inside, the build and quality are good and so is the feature list. You get automatic lights and wipers reversing cameras, parking sensors all around, Google-based infotainment system which makes us clearly miss the old Volvo home-made infotainment system which was much better in terms of features. The seats are downright fantastic when it comes to support in all areas. The wood in our car on the dashboard is high quality indeed. The A/C vent functionality deserves special mention! The car gets a large panoramic sunroof, power and memory seats and a digital speedometer. The Volvo gets Android Auto and wired Apple car play, and a fantastic sound system by Bang and Olufsen is on offer making the experience top-class. The main screen is slick, quick and works quite well. The feature list includes keys for activity, normal usage and valet. The gear lever is a crystal unit and is the absolute highlight of the interior.

Space is more than most of its rivals with adequate shoulder and knee room. Leg and headroom continue to be in good supply but as always it is more of a four-seater than a five-seater. The boot space is good enough at 500 litres and so is the overall practicality of the interior. Road and wind noise inside the cabin is also well-controlled thanks to good insulation all around. Like any other Volvo, it is still a pleasant place to be and in fact slightly better than its cost-cutting rivals. Safety kit continues to be high with the inclusion of active safety features such as electronic stability control and six airbags on all variants such as Hill Hold Assist, ABS and EBD, and more come as standard. The passive safety feature list is big and you also get ADAS features such as lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring which work quite well on multiple roads that we tried it on.

Volvo engines are smooth, free-revving, and low on NVH and the one on the Volvo S90 is no different. Be it in any part of the rev range. Low and mid-range are good on the 2.0 turbocharged petrol motor that makes 190 PS and 350 Nm of torque going through the fantastic, smooth, seamless, and almost quick-shifting 8-speed torque converter automatic. The engine is linear flexible and powerful at the same time. The engine delivers spectacular fuel economy of 10-11 km/l in the highway run. Dealing with traffic in cities and a slightly spirited highway run, it can still deliver 9 km/l. All this while doing 0-100 km/hr in 8 seconds. The Volvo feels comes from this engine as it feels precise, still has the soundtrack which is reminiscent of the 5-cylinder in a lower dose. It can feel raw and unrefined at the very limit but most of the time it is spectacularly quiet and refined.

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The ride quality is more reassuring at all speeds just like any other Volvo. The S90 does not feel that agile and nimble but it is still easy to drive. The typical old-school heavy feel of the car makes you feel like you are driving a European car with a posh and high level of legacy. The steering gives little feedback and is very precise at all speeds. It weighs up well on the highway too. High-speed stability is spot on thanks to the ideal balance of underlying stiffness and compliance.

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The brakes were good too with great pedal bite and a lot of performance on offer. Body roll exists while changing lanes at high speeds and taking corners much fast but it is still a very confidence-inspiring car to drive at any given speed. Unlike its rivals, even Audi, Lexus and Mercedes feel sportier than the S90. The BMW is in a different league altogether. Overall, a very easy-to-drive sedan that is comfortable and feels old school.

2023 Volvo S90 Mild Hybrid Review, Verdict

With the Volvo S90, you need a clear thought in your mind after much deliberation to get this car, or you just go ahead and get one instantly. The Volvo S90 appeals in many ways. A test drive along with peers will prove that old-school European sedan magic that is missing everywhere can be seen here. Be it the simple and subtle design and outside, the features that matter that very well crafted and the options on offer are truly high class. Needless to say, safety is top-class. Sure, the S90’s performance may not appeal, but the numbers are quite close to its peers. The Volvo S90 pricing is also something that helps you get to the decision quickly. The car has been priced well since day one and that says a lot about the brand’s commitment to India despite endless head wins. Volvo India’s service is also truly exceptional, says the record in the last 6-7 years. All of this does make it a worthy contender in the market today despite competition.

2023 Volvo S90 Mild Hybrid Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Space
  • Practicality
  • Features
  • Safety
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Value
  • Comfort
4.7
Mohit Soni
Mohit Sonihttps://www.thrustzone.com/
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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