My love for big bodied sedans comes from a video by DMX – ‘How It’s Going Down’ that came out in 1998. In the video, DMX drives an S Class 600 with chrome rims – what an iconic time in hip hop, I still love that video even to this day. When Volvo called me while I was in Kynsna test driving the X3 to test drive the new Volvo S90, I definitely agreed. When the car got delivered I remember that it was raining, but you can tell that the S90 has presence but that kind of presence that doesn’t shout. It was as if Volvo knew how impressed I was the BMW 5 series and they wanted to make sure that I have a hard time deciding which executive brand was better. Honestly I am still torn on which one did the best, so let me go into details maybe when I am done with this article I will be able to make a better decision.
As soon as you step into the S90 you understand that this is not the standard Volvo, the first thing you notice is that they got rid of the classic dashboard design, which I was really happy about. I have driven the V40 and I was really surprised by how great the drive was, definitely hated the dashboard because it was still stuck in the past. When you are inside the Volvo S90 you get the idea that you are in a luxury sedan and it’s worth every cent that leaves your account at the end of every month. The technology inside the car is quite on par with a lot of the competitors such as BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi for far less and there is a sense of value for money on with the S90.
The first thing I checked was the sound system and I was really happy with it because it’s a Bowers & Wilkins 19 speakers sound system, it also offers concert mode (The concert mode actually turns any song and makes it feel like you are at a concert) and individual sound focus. The overall design of the S90 is rather impressive understanding how boring the previous Volvo models were in the past, I believe that no one knows from far that it’s an S90 without checking out the back of it first. The front design is the most improved part of their design, it looks like it belongs in the present and the future and the lines are much more defined now. Volvo is coming into its own, much like that awkward nerd at school who everyone overlooked and now they have turned into a super model. Honestly, I can see myself buying this car based on the design, comfort, style, safety and the drive. The Volvo S90 R Design has everything you need and sensors around the car to help avoid any accident, its annoying to drive in the township because people there don’t understand personal space there, therefore the car is forever warning you of danger. In the S90 you also get Park Assist Pilot, Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Alert, Smartphone integration, with a 360 degree parking camera system.
For such a big car, it really moves and it handles well on the road 0-100 km/h in 7 seconds, I don’t mind that at all. I also love the noise that it makes when it’s on sport mode, it has that thing that says don’t mess with because I look big and the braking system is on point. The new feature that a lot of new cars have which I really love is the emergency braking system and the hazards come on to warn the car behind you.
The back seating situation is rather lovely, there are curtains and they are electronically controlled, even the head rest folds electronically as well in the event that they obstruct your view, which is a nice gesture. If you are driven in the Volvo S90, you will definitely enjoy the ride and it makes sense for executives who move in silence and love a very safe car. Its a serious alternative luxury sedan and it has everything you need for far less money, this is definitely a winner if you are looking for value for money. Fuel wise it’s not bad compared to its competitors, a full tank cost me about R800 which is not bad within this category. I had the S90 R Design which is the top of the range and with the same price you would get a BMW5 series 530d and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350d AMG. Volvo offers two petrol and two diesel engines for the R-Design in both all wheel and front drive. All engines for the R-design are 2.0 litre units and they are mated to an 8 speed geartronic transmission. The starting price is R883 300 but the one I was testing is about R1 024 000.