The 2017 Volvo S90 has been tested by a few of the major magazines. What do they think?
Car and Driver are impressed with the car despite its lack of a V6 let alone a V8. The car is up against this lot: ” the BMW 5-series and the Mercedes-Benz E-class—both of which are new for 2017. Other competitors (in order of sales for calendar year 2015) are the Hyundai Genesis, Lexus GS, Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, Jaguar XF, Infiniti Q70, and Acura RLX.” They conclude that the S90 is “solid, comfortable, beautiful, and practical and should make Volvo a player in the mid-luxury segment for the first time in a long while”. Edmunds concludes “With sharp style, hallmark Swedish ergonomics and potentially a plug-in hybrid model, the 2017 Volvo S90 promises a compelling alternative to traditional German and Japanese luxury midsize sedans”.
Vicky Parrott at Autocar sums the entry-level model up as “less poised than some rivals but still a thoroughly compelling and recommendable thing”. As it’s a UK site, there is the usual faint praise (it is not a sports car, after all): “Properly compelling, in a way that you might not expect an executive saloon to be. Everything, from the eye-catching design and the novel twist-and-go starter mounted between the front seats to the Swedish flag stitched into the leather, speaks of this being a bit different to the aforementioned rivals. And proud to be different.” Autocar does manage this final line: “Volvo is back, then, and this time it’s brought the ‘want one’ factor.” And I note the car weighs 1680 kg, which is staggering. Is there not a way to keep the weight below 1500kg in the year 2016 (or 2017)?
Paul Horrell at TopEvans has his text chopped up into a Q&A-style article so it’s indigestible. I couldn’t stick it. Imagine hiring Paul Horrell and slicing his text into a crib sheet. I really dislike that tired old format.
AutoExpress ask if BMW and Mercedes should be worrried? No, as all they can do is suggest buyers of the usual suspects give the car “serious” consideration: “Volvo is right to deny UK buyers the T6, because a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol executive saloon of this size would sell in tiny numbers. However, there’s plenty of promise in the S90 package as a whole, and we’re not about to revise the view, gleaned from that winter drive a few months back, that you should give Volvo’s new flagship saloon serious consideration if you’re in the market for a 5 Series, A6 or E-Class.”
About the driving: “The S90 T6 acquitted itself pretty well on the roads of Volvo’s Spanish launch venue, with a few caveats. In the most part, the chassis set-up is set on the comfortable, relaxing side of capable – which, you could argue, is precisely where a Volvo should be. It doesn’t try to feel as agile as a BMW 5 Series or a Jaguar XF; instead, it focuses on being a refined cruiser, and while that does mean a bit of extra body lean in corners, it’s composed enough for all but the most enthusiastic of drivers.”
Body lean? They make it sound like a 1975 Renault 16. They also note that in the UK market a lot of engines and trim packages that will be sold elsewhere will be unavailable. That is a bad thing as more choice means more sales. So, in advance I predict the S90 will not really worry BMW but not because it’s a bad car but because Volvo have decided that they won’t commit to offering much by way of variety. This is like opening a restaurant with four dishes when everyone else has a menu of 56 items.