It’s bad news this week, I’m afraid. After many years of a clean-as-a-whistle driving record, I have unfortunately clocked a speeding fine. Regular readers will be aware that I test all manner of 300kph-plus supercars, but the violation came, of all vehicles, in a Volvo! Although I had only accidentally strayed just over the limit, I must point out that the speed warning bong in the S90 is rather docile.
It’s almost as if Volvo doesn’t expect any of its drivers to ever go over the speed limit. The seat belt warning gong for the passenger seat though is very loud and grows in intensity quite quickly. Safety is clearly the main concern here. And for a family car that’s a good thing.

I’ve also noticed that the automatic steering correction, which is applied if you go near the lane-markings, is pretty strong even in its default setting. This can be mildly disconcerting at highway speeds.

Fuel economy is also becoming something of a concern. To get any decent number you have to drive like, well, the kind of driver Volvo thinks you are. In other words, quite placidly. Or you have to resort to the Eco mode, which triggers the shuddery stop-start system, so I don’t.

Now, it may appear that I am having a serious downer on the S90, but to be fair it’s nitpicking  really. Pretty much all the niggles can be alleviated with a little bit of menu-delving and tweaking the settings, which I am too lazy to do.

More importantly though, given its discounted price tag of Dh200,000 there isn’t much in the segment that compares when it comes to value for money.

And since its reliability has also been bulletproof so far, there are really no serious concerns about the S90 at the moment. Let’s hope it stays that way.

 

The progress:

Week 3
Group motoring editor Amit reckons the S90 looks more striking than its rivals the BMW 5 Series and the Merc E-Class, however, he is not so impressed by the not-so-economical fuel economy.

Highs: Fabulous interior, super comfortable seats

lows: Stop-start system, fuel economy

Week 4
Amit discovers the quickest way to turn of the gruff stop-start system is to switch into Dynamic mode. The S90 is actually fun to drive in its most pointy setting. This, however, causes the fuel economy to plummet a little bit.

Highs: Reasonably good driving dynamics, peppy engine

Lows: Not exactly frugal in Dynamic mode