There is no question that the arrival of the all-new Volvo S90 made many of Volvo’s main rivals sit up and pay attention.
Why? Because the new S90 has really stolen the show on the likes of the new BMW 5-Series or the Mercedes E-Class for example.
Volvo have produced a stunning looking, high tech saloon that boasts the very latest in automotive technology and all wrapped up in a very high quality, beautifully screwed together package.
Available with either a manual or 8-speed auto with the option of front wheel drive or all-wheel drive the new S90 will have a broad appeal.
Prices start at €43,900 for the D3 manual.
Two trim levels are offered Momentum and Inscription.
The subject of this weeks road test is the S90 D5 diesel AWD Auto.
So has it got any street Cred?
Both its German rivals from BMW and Mercedes follow a pretty similar formula when it comes to their exterior design.
However the new S90 is a welcome breath of fresh air. Its an imposing looking saloon with bold lines and a very attractive and distinctive style.
So it stands out from its Teutonic counterparts.
So yes it has serious street cred!
So what’s it like inside?
The cabin is quite simply a work of art.
It looks more designer bespoke than a mass produced vehicle, from the beautiful stitching in the soft leather, to judicious use of aluminium and piano black trim it looks more like the inside of a car costing three times as much. In addition the huge central portrait touchscreen which allows the driver to operate a host of functions, from audio, climate, navigation, reversing camera and so forth to the perfectly milled chrome switches and the neat chrome starter switch all go to create that truly exclusive feel.
Much as I like the new BMW 5-Series this cabin just feels way more special in a very high quality way.
The standard specification is vast and too numerous to detail here, but items such as “Pilot assist” City safe with autobrake, Pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, with auto brake, as well as radar that senses an impending rear end impact and tightens the seat belts accordingly, road sign recognition, active cruise control, lane assist and much more complete the comprehensive package.
Really it beats all its rivals here, with huge levels of active and passive safety.
With a truly sumptuous cabin, vast amounts of legroom (class leading) and a decent boot its a a luxury super saloon.
What’s under the bonnet?
My test car was powered by the D5 diesel PowerPulse auto, which produces 235 bhp and is mated to a lovely 8-speed auto gearbox.
Volvo claim a 0 to 100km time of 7.9 seconds and it certainly feels lively, with bags of mid range torque.
While it is a four cylinder it is smooth and refined and proves frugal too burning just 6.6 litres of diesel per 100km over my 700km road test in variety of road conditions.
So Whats it like to drive?
Supremely refined, with punchy acceleration and safe secure handling.
If there is one area that the new Volvo does not do as well as some rivals its in the ride quality which can feel a bit choppy on poor road surfaces.
That said I really enjoyed the overall driving experience, it is not as dynamic as the new 5-Series but at the end of the day the sum of its parts is so very good you will not be thinking that unless you drive both back to back.
So what’s the final verdict?
Until now there really has not been a car that could truly rival a BMW 5-Series or Mercedes E-Class, but that has all changed now!
The new Volvo S90 is a game changer.
No other car offers this level of quality and bespoke built feel at this price while also offering the very latest in high tech automotive technology.
You feel special driving this car, everything about it feels just right, from the moment you walk up to it to the second glance you give it as you walk away.
This Svelte Swede has made the Germans take note. They don't have it all their own way anymore!
The S90 Powerpulse AWD costs from €56,400.