Volvo V90 D5 PowerPulse AWD Momentum
What is it?
VOLVO’S had considerable success down the years in the large, upscale estate car market. Now let’s meet the latest name in the frame, cue the imposing new Volvo V90 estate.
Big and classy, the V90 takes to the stage as Volvo’s effective replacement for the V70. Underneath, the V90 has much in common with Volvo’s hit XC90 SUV. That’s to say, the two cars share the same state-of-the-art modular platform and set of efficient new generation 2.0-litre four cylinder engines (all designed in-house by Volvo, by the way).
So, in fact, does the new Volvo S90 saloon which replaces the S80 (and launches alongside the V90).
True to form, Volvo’s debutant bristles with sparking new tech and content. As the story begins in the UK, there are three model grades: entry-level Momentum; racier R-Design or full luxury Inscription.
There are also two engines. The D4 comes with 190hp and 119g/km for C02. Or there’s the punchier D5, with 235bhp and 129g/km. Both come exclusively with 8-speed automatic transmission. (A T8 Plug-In Hybrid will launch in 2017).
Volvo will further spice up the action next year with the just-revealed, high riding V90 Cross Country.
Here and now, however, it’s this V90 Momentum D5 that’s under review. It comes with standard all-wheel-drive, 8-speed automatic transmission and a P11D business car value of £41,500.
Whisper it, but it also has the likes of Mercedes, Audi and BMW very much in its sights…
- Time was when Volvo estates were almost willfully chunky and stolid in appearance. The V90, with its graceful, elegant styling, said to be inspired by clean, minimalist Scandinavian design, is anything but. Visually it’s stunning.
- Volvo has also given the V90 a ‘calm and luxurious’ interior design to match. The level of quality and attention to detail is outstanding throughout the cabin. It really does feel a special, well-ordered place to be.
- Decent performance and high level refinement from the Volvo’s 1969cc four cylinder turbodiesel (235 ps) which comes with trick PowerPulse technology to cut turbo lag. Quoted 0-62mph acceleration (6.9 secs) is pretty sparkly too.
- Fluid, sure-footed handling from the V90’s all-wheel-drive chassis, coupled with a supple, compliant ride (even on 18-inch alloys) are further strengths. It’s not overtly sporting (like German premium rivals) but a quiet relaxing car to drive.
- Plentiful room for five, just as you’d expect. The V90 estate body also comes with a big low and wide boot area, with Volvo quoting a 560-litre capacity with rear seats up and 1,526 litres with seats folded.
- Extensive standard spec includes Volvo’s slick Sensus infotainment sat nav system operated via tablet-style 9in centre console touch screen or voice controls. Seamless integration of your iPhone via (optional) Apple CarPlay.
- Volvo’s City Safety now upgraded to include large animals (horses, elks etc) visible by night or day. Run-off road mitigation is another trick safety system, applying the steering if it detects the car is about to leave the road.
- Pilot Assist is a new semi-autonomous drive technology, working with adaptive cruise control and auto steering and brake inputs to keep the car within lane markings (up to 80 mph) even with no other car in front.
- The big Volvo’s combined economy figure of 57.6 mpg is not to be sneezed at.
- One level down, the V90 D4 Momentum will likely attract more business buyers. It’s slower but cheaper (P11D of £34,500) and company car tax of £264.50 per month (for 40% taxpayer) beats the D5’s £345.83 rating by quite some way…
- Or you might want to hold on for the T8 Plug In Hybrid coming in 2017 which promises to be even more low tax friendly with C02 emissions of just 47g/km. On the flipside, the techier T8 is bound to be higher priced, though.
- The V90, in terms of pure capacity, is not the ultimate load lugger that the V70 was. It’s still competitive, sure, and highly practical, day-to-day. But the likes of the Mercedes E-Class is now actually ahead for pure luggage space.
- We tried the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist technology on the M4. It works, but, driving hands-free, we found the system (automatically) cuts out after a spell if you don’t keep your hands on the wheel. So not quite the real deal… yet.
Straight out of the box, the new V90 looks a home run for Volvo. Its latest premium estate car entrant mixes style with Apple-like quality (especially inside) in a highly impressive way. In the metal, the V90 looks and feels a quality item and has the comfort, refinement and technology to match.
If business budgets permit, we’d recommend going for this D5 over the lower-powered, front-drive D4 as it has more pace and with the 4WD chassis, the D5’s handling is more intuitive. Combined economy of 57.6mpg is not far off the D4’s 62.8mpg rating, either.
That said, with light steering and mild body roll through bends, the Volvo is not a German-style sports wagon, nor is it meant to be. Volvo has set the V90 up differently to its main rivals (A6, E-Class and 5-Series) and therein lies part of the car’s appeal.
In other words, the V90 goes its own way and within this new age family, this D5 Momentum would seem to be a particularly appealing all-rounder.
The Low Down on: Volvo V90 D5 PowerPulse AWD Momentum
|Doors and body style||5-door premium estate|
|Engine/gearbox:||2.0 4cyl turbo diesel/8-speed manual transmission|
… and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||n/a|
|Road tax (VED)||Band D|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2016/17 to 2018/19||25%, 27 %, 29 %|
|Benefit in kind 2015/16 to 2017/18||£10,375/ £11,205/ £12,035|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||£1,110/£92.50|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||£2,220/£185|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£2,075/£173|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£4,150/£346|
|Figures correct at time of posting||September 2016|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|