The Volvo S90 is not quite like the other luxury sedans. It’s uniquely sized, fitting in between mid-size and full-size competitors in terms of interior space and price, and it also offers a standout design sense inside and out. Think of it as a Mercedes E-class rival but with extra rear-seat space and a distinctly Scandanavian twist. Volvo offers two all-wheel-drive powertrains, both with four-cylinder gasoline engines and all-wheel drive: the base B6 with a 48-volt hybrid system, and the Recharge plug-in hybrid with more powerful electric motors and a battery pack that can provide an EPA-rated 38 miles of electric driving range. The S90 is aging gracefully and still looks modern and chic, but its driving experience isn’t as refined as some rivals so it may not fully live up to your luxurious expectations.
What’s New for 2024?
The S90 Recharge plug-in hybrid is now available in the lower Plus trim, reducing its base price by several thousand dollars. There is a new color called Vapour Gray Metallic and metallic paint is now standard—though the previous Black Stone and Thunder Gray Metallic hues are no longer offered.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Now that the Recharge plug-in hybrid is available in the less expensive Plus trim, we’d choose that configuration for its combination of value and power. It’s significantly quicker than the base B6 four-cylinder setup yet provides better fuel economy and a useful amount of electric-only range.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
With the 295-hp B6 mild-hybrid powertrain under the hood, the S90 delivered a solid 6.4-second zero-to-60-mph time in our testing. Although that’s slightly slower than the previous T6 model, the hybrid powertrain’s low-end torque and responsive eight-speed automatic transmission helps maintain the car’s perky feeling off the line. The previous iteration of the plug-in hybrid Recharge version blasted down our test track, matching results of the six-cylinder BMW 540i xDrive (4.5 seconds) in our 60-mph testing, and we haven’t yet tested the even more powerful hybrid setup introduced for 2022. We’re also hoping that the revised hybrid powertrain smooths out some of the hiccups from before. Handling is surefooted, but the trade-off is a ride that hardly feels like terry cloth. Rough stretches of road transmit more vibrations into the cabin than in more softly sprung competitors. The steering has a weighty feel, but it isn’t as direct or as precise as it should be, which erodes the S90’s perceived athleticism.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Official ratings for the 2024 model year aren’t yet available, but we don’t expect it to change from 2023. Models equipped with the B6 powertrain previously earned EPA fuel economy ratings of 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway while the hybrid Recharge models earned a rating as high as 66 MPGe combined. On our 75-mph highway fuel economy test, the S90 with the standard B6 powertrain returned 29 mpg. For more information about the S90’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The S90’s cabin is by far its most impressive feature. A mixture of high-end materials—open-pore wood, genuine leather, brushed metal, and finely grained plastics—come together in a cohesive and undeniably modern space. The 14-way power-adjustable front seats are all-day comfortable and should fit all body shapes. The S90 lacks features we’ve come to expect in this segment, though. A manual steering column makes a surprising—and disappointing—appearance, as nearly all of the Volvo’s rivals offer power adjustments. The S90 sedan will meet the needs of most drivers, and models with the folding rear seatback offer a cavernous cargo area. Have even more gear to cart around? Check out the V90, the S90’s wagon-bodied sibling.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The S90 is as connected as any of its rivals, and it relies heavily on its infotainment touchscreen to control many of its functions. All S90s feature a 9.0-inch infotainment touchscreen mounted in the center of the dashboard. To adjust simple functions such as the heated seats or the optional head-up display, the user must interact with the system. This is becoming par for the luxury-brand course, and some systems are more user-friendly than others. The S90’s system is easy enough to use, but the driver will have a learning curve before feeling comfortable enough to make changes on the go. Volvo’s latest Android-based infotainment system now supports Apple CarPlay and offers over-the-air software updates.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The S90’s long list of driver-assistance features is impressive, and Volvo offers most of it as standard equipment. For more information about the S90’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning
- Standard lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Volvo offers a class-standard four-year warranty and includes all scheduled maintenance for the first three years. Genesis offers longer warranty coverage for owners of its G80and G90 sedans, but they’re the outliers in the segment.
- Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles