Published in CAR REVIEWS

2018 Volvo S90 stakes claim as a legit luxury sedan Featured

May 29, 2018 Hit: 325 Written by 
The Volvo S90 is no pretender in the luxury sedan segment, holding up well against bigger-name competitors.
The Volvo S90 is no pretender in the luxury sedan segment, holding up well against bigger-name competitors. Photo by Matt Myftiu/

It’s a sign you’ve really made it -- when you can pick up that high-end sedan and tool around town in true comfort and luxury.

But what do you choose? Will the traditional German offerings tempt you? How about a domestic variety like Cadillac or Lincoln? Or an Asian model like Lexus or Acura?

But hold on for a second, let’s not forget about Volvo, the Swedish brand which continues to impress with its new luxury models.

I recently spent some time in a 2018 Volvo S90, and I’m back with a full report on what it has to offer.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle:: 2018 Volvo S90
  • Price as tested:: $69,140 (starts at $48,100)
  • Best feature:: Comfort, design, power
  • Rating:: 4.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?:: Luxury sedan buyers seeing a well-designed and fun-to-drive alternative to the usual suspects


Technically a mid-size sedan, I basically viewed the S90 as a full-size offering. It’s that roomy inside, and the back seat has its own climate control as well as sun shades on the rear windows.

Inside and out, Volvo offers a high-end, but still classy look. The beauty of the interior is among the best in the class (and coincidentally had the best new car smell I’ve experienced in a while).

The outside of this ride is long, low and sleek -- with a sharp but understated grille.

The is extremely comfortable seating inside and truly high end materials. Despite having less name recognition worldwide, Volvo is no pretender in the luxury car realm.

Among the features offered are a panoramic moonroof with power sunshade, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and walnut wood inlays.

In addition to being offered as a sedan, the S90 is available as a wagon too (called the V90).


My test vehicle featured a 2.0-liter super and turbo-charged four-cylinder engine; paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Output comes in at 316 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. There is also a hybrid version available, which offers 407 horsepower. A base turbo-only engine offers 250 horsepower.

The 316 horsepower offering I tested was a blast to drive. While smooth and quiet on the freeway and regular roads, it could also pour on the power as you desired, particularly in Dynamic Drive mode. It's easy to adjust drive modes too, via a button on center console.

Handling and responsiveness was also top-notch. While its rivals are famed for their astute driving characteristics, the S90 isn’t far away from reaching them.

Both AWD and FWD are offered on the S90.


First, let’s talk about the Volvo infotainment system, Sensus Connect.
Featuring a 9-inch tablet like touchscreen, this system is unique in the automobile world. It’s not the best out there, but it’s definitely growing on me even though it still has quirks (i.e. … the system takes too long to load up when you get in car; Navigation process is more cumbersome to enter info than other vehicles). You get Bluetooth connection and six months of satellite radio.

It’s a very safe car with lots of helpful features, and you can also turn features on and off (i.e. lane departure would be turned off in a construction zone to avoid excessive warnings). The S90 offers: Antilock brakes; Hill start assist; Rear park assist and camera; standard automatic emergency braking and more.

Drive Assist (self-steering) is also standard. This is no surprise as Volvo has been at the forefront of automated vehicles.

A Collision Avoidance system detects vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals.

The lane keeping aid worked well for me during my time in the S90.

Official fuel mileage numbers on the S90 are 22 city/31 highway/25 combined, which are good numbers in the luxury sedan segment vs. the competition.

The S90, by most people’s standards, is an expensive ride. My test vehicle with all the trimmings came to just over $69,000; base price starts about $48K. There are two trim levels: Momentum and Inscription.

What’s interesting is when you compare the price of the S90 to its biggest rivals, it often beats them, which is one of Volvo’s go-to points as it tries to gain share in the luxury market.


Sedans aren't as popular as they once were, but one area where they do continue on pretty strongly is the luxury realm. And if you want an impressive luxury sedan option, the Volvo S90 does not disappoint in terms of comfort and design and power.

======== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

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Matt Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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