Volvo S90 D4 Momentum a stunning, relaxing and wonderfully luxurious large sedan
Name: Volvo S90 D4 Momentum
Engine: 1969cc twin turbo four-cylinder diesel, 140kW @ 4250rpm and 400Nm @ 1750-2500rpm
Price: $82,400 plus on road costs and options
Country of Origin: Sweden
The Volvo S90 is the second member of a family of all-new models to spawn from Volvo’s new scalable product architecture. The first was the hugely impressive and capable XC90 SUV, which the S90 shares a number of core components, including the platform, engines, and portions of the interior.
Volvo has its sights set squarely on other mid-size luxury contenders, namely the BMW 5-Series, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Jaguar XF. The Volvo S90 range opens with the S90 T5 Momentum priced from $79,900 and stretches all the way to the S90 D5 Inscription which has a recommended retail price of $98,900. All prices are exclusive of options and on road costs.
Our test car was an S90 D4 Momentum, which was powered by a 2.0 litre turbo diesel, mated to an eight-speed automatic that drives the front wheels. The S90 D4 Momentum is priced from $82,400 plus on road costs and options.
What we like:
- Relaxing and pampering demeanour
- Outstanding comfort levels
- Gorgeous design inside and out
- Diesel’s frugality and relative refinement
Not so much:
- Engine’s performance can be lacklustre
- Temperamental start/stop system
- Reversing camera
- Momentum versions look like the entry level models of the S90 range
“Stunning” would be one word to describe the S90’s cabin. Volvo has stopped using bits of IKEA furniture and old Nokia phones for inspiration for its interiors – the “floating” centre stack has well and truly gone – and has instead gone for a far more sophisticated, premium and even slightly retro look.
As aforementioned, the S90 shares a good portion of its interior components with the XC90, which includes the touchscreen infotainment screen, the digital instrument cluster, the door trims (including those glorious chrome door handles) and centre console.
The rest of the interior design is uniquely S90. The dashboard is especially pleasing to the eye, and it’s refreshing and modern, yet there’s something retro about the centre stack. It’s hard to pinpoint, but it feels as though Volvo’s designers took inspiration from a grand record player, and that isn’t criticism. It certainly doesn’t feel German and Volvo gently reminds you of the S90’s ethnicity with small Swedish flags sewn into the seats.
Volvo’s new touchscreen system has received criticism for its lack of user friendliness whilst on the move. Whilst to an extent we agree, after spending almost three weeks with the S90, we found that the driver is best to utilise the voice control or steering wheel menu short cuts and leave the main screen to passengers.
Fit, finish and use of materials are all excellent and the seats are supremely comfortable. Especially the front chairs which were soft, but supportive all round. Our test car also had optional seat heating.
At the back, the rear bench was also plush, but we felt the seat squab was a little too low and forced taller passengers into a “knees up” position. There are Volvo’s inbuilt child booster seats in the back seats, however we’re not sure that that the typical S90 buyer will have children of such a young age.
The S90’s true party trick is space. There’s lots of it. Front head and legroom and well beyond acceptable for the tallest of passengers and rear passengers are treated to vast amounts of legroom. One can truly stretch out and recline and just indulge whilst someone else does the work of driving.
Boot space is a sizeable 500 litres, although we did find the boot itself to be a little shallow.
Under the Bonnet
The Volvo S90 D4 Momentum is powered by a 2.0 litre twin turbo four-cylinder diesel engine that produces 140kW @ 4250rpm and 400Nm @ 1750-2500rpm. The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic that sends power to the front wheels.
The engine is relatively quiet and smooth as is the transmission, but performance is most generously described as “adequate.” It just seems that the S90 D4 Momentum isn’t really in a hurry, ever. But that’s fine and that suits the car’s very laidback and very Swedish nature. Volvo claims a 0-100 time of 8.2 seconds, but we felt it was a little slower than that.
Should you hanker for a more powerful S90, you may want to opt for an S90 Inscription D5 or T6, but if you’re happy with easy cruising, the D4 Momentum may suit you just fine.
Official fuel combined fuel consumption figures are 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres, and we averaged in the mid fives.
On the road
On the road the Volvo S90 D4 Momentum drives as any large luxury car should – light, easy and effortless. The steering is feather light and requires only the slightest of inputs, the ride is soft (even on the standard springs) without being flaccid and the handling is certainly focussed towards comfort, but it isn’t cumbersome or unpleasant.
Volvo’s Pilot Assist and adaptive cruise control systems that are fitted to the S90 D4 Momentum are excellent, and both felt natural in their reactions and dare we say it, a notch above the equivalent system fitted to Tesla models.
A couple of gripes we did have were that the Lane Keep Assist was a little too intrusive at times and the gentle but frequent tugging at the steering wheel did become disconcerting at times.
Additionally, whilst the image quality of the 360-degree camera system was excellent, the we felt that the reversing camera was mounted too low, and didn’t allow us to accurate gauge the breadth of the parking space.
Finally, and this is a complaint we raised with the XC90 T6, is that the start/stop system could not be disabled completely despite the fitment of an on/off button. This became particularly infuriating in heavy traffic.
The Volvo S90 D4 Momentum is covered by Volvo’s three year/unlimited kilometre warranty.