If you still haven’t got your head around the S90, here’s a bit of context that might help you place it neatly in your petrolhead brain. If you’re a keen driver your obvious choice in the segment would be the BMW 5 Series or the Jaguar XF. If you don’t like driving everywhere like your mop is on fire and much rather prefer the serenity of an executive saloon then the Mercedes-Benz E-Class would be your chariot of choice. The S90, meanwhile, slots nicely between these two varied ends of the motoring spectrum.
I’ve driven the S90 for nearly two months now and it has never felt short in terms of power or refinement. Then again, to be fair, our tester is the top-spec Inscription model that makes a neat 320bhp and 400Nm of torque. The base Momentum model starts at Dh189,900 while our long-termer weighs in at Dh280,000. That’s the sort of money that puts it squarely in the firing line of the Germans. However, I can say this with conviction; the S90 feels every bit an expensive car.
The best thing I like about the S90 though is that it doesn’t get lost in a sea of Mercs, Audis and BMWs on the roads and that makes it a cool left-field choice. I think it looks better than the aforementioned Teutons as well. The “Thor’s Hammer” headlights give it an immensely striking maw indeed. And while the back may seem a little strange at first, take in the shape and you notice that it’s all nicely detailed without being fussy.
Fuel economy isn’t the greatest however. Even if you drive in a reasonably placid manner you would be lucky to see low tens. And I refuse to resort to stop-start because as I mentioned earlier it is very juddery.
The touchscreen system is also not as intuitive as say the BMW iDrive or Mercedes Comand unit. The menu layout is not the easiest to remember, and even the smallest task requires several inputs.
But all things considered, the S90 is still a fantastic car to be in. It’s good to drive and extremely refined. If you’ve got reservations about a Volvo, then I implore you to go and test the S90. You might be pleasantly surprised.
The S90’s overspeed warning bong is docile, while the lane keeping assist has rather aggressive steering inputs even in the default setting. It is superb value for money though, and very, very comfortable.
Highs: Value for money, reliability
Lows: Aggressive lane departure warning, fuel economy
Not a great week for the S90 as the electronic parking brake decides to get stuck, while the fuel filler cap, for some inexplicable reason, refuses to yield. Overall though, and given this is Volvo’s first serious crack at the segment, the S90 is a good ‘un.
Highs: A great executive saloon
Lows: Electronic glitches
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