Mike West Road Test: 2017 Volvo S90

I am married to a Scandinavian who has owned a number of Volvos in her lifetime, including a 1998 Volvo V70 T5 that we drove until 2016. It was a sad day when the new owner drove off with a car that took our kids to soccer games and dance lessons. So when the S90 was delivered to our home it was like an old friend had arrived, at least for a visit. Yes, this beautiful S90 is a far cry from our old hearse like wagon, but some magical traits remain, like the most comfortable seats available, high quality materials rock solid safety and engineering.

The S90 is a striking vehicle, inside and out.

Under the hood is a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine connected to a seamless shifting 8-speed transmission. It’s not the most refined sounding engine, but it does a good job with acceleration and gas mileage getting you from zero to sixty in in around seven seconds and delivering an average of 23 miles per gallon.

As you can imagine with a premiere luxury vehicle, you can go crazy tacking on a plethora of options. But the S90 comes with a lot of standard equipment as well including Pilot Assist. This is autonomous driving light.

It steers and keeps you in your lane. Does it work? Sometimes. You can see what the future will bring, but right now, I trust myself more than computers to keep me on the straight and narrow.

The interior of this new S90 is beautiful. But with all of the stuff surrounding you and in front of you it will take a while for the owner to get used to how things work. Think of it like jumping from a Windows operating system to a Mac. Sure they do much of the same stuff, but in different ways. This system is complicated and deep. Once you get your personal settings set it will still takes weeks for you to grasp the many functions available via the 12-3 inch vertical interface that Volvo named Sensus, which by the way is bright and crisp. It’s the closet thing to a Tesla interface.

My car was outfitted with perforated Napa leather seats and other goodies like the incredible sounding Bowers and Wilkins sound system, which will set you back over 3 grand.

The S90 wouldn’t but a true Volvo without just about every safety feature available in a modern mid-sized sedan. Thus, Volvo earned a top safety award via the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Oh, and did I mention that this car is gorgeous? You will not mistake it for anything but a Volvo. A modern high end mid-sized luxury vehicle that will dent your pocketbook to the tune of over $60,000, if you opt for all available options.

The S90 is a great vehicle and a fine effort from Volvo. If your looking for something besides a BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class or Audi A6, do yourself a favor and take the Volvo for a test drive.

Mike West CBS

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