Volvo V90 – a very desirable Swedish steed

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Has the look and feel of a luxury car.
Has the look and feel of a luxury car.

Volvo’s staple buyer has changed over the last few years with the transformation of its range, from safe and worthy to dynamic and fashionable. The Swedish car maker has created a very cool, Scandinavian (even though they’re not all made there now) look to their line-up. Their high-tech march towards electrification includes plug-in, mild hybrid and pure electric models.

My particular Swedish steed was the V90 Recharge plug-in hybrid in R-Design specification. Essentially what that means is a traditionally spacious Volvo estate with a distinctly Scandinavian vibe. Despite the popularity of SUVs Volvo estates are still in demand, and for good reason. These are load carriers, not in the same league as the square box Volvos of old but still pretty impressive, they are also packed with luxuries touches.

Standard fare across all V90 models includes auto dimming mirrors, auto lights, high beam assist, auto wipers, keyless start, cruise, electric and power folding door mirrors, leather, heated front seats with electric adjustment and lumbar support, heated wiper blades, dual zone climate control and as you would expect from Volvo there is a plethora of standard safety kit.

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Prices start from €50,552/£42,995 and my test model, the Recharge plug-in hybrid,  R-Design, at €67,636/£57,525. Options included a fabulous power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof, cornering lighting, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and windscreen, memory passenger seat, Bowers & Wilkins sound system, adaptive dampers and air suspension, parking camera and a retractable towbar. This bumps the price to a not inconsiderable €78,392/ £66,675.

Power comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel-drive for any kind of weather. With added electric power the V90 passes the benchmark 100kph/62mph in just 5.9 seconds. In pure electric mode the Volvo can take you up to 52 miles, so more than enough for a commute.

Gear changes are smooth, the refinement is excellent giving the V90 an air of unruffled calm. It’s one of those cars that you feel could take you from one end of the country to the other and emerge with no aches or feeling in any way jaded. The interior is modern and minimalist but at the same time has the look and feel of a luxury car. It’s an object lesson in how interiors can look so classy yet remain practical.


In case you haven’t already gathered, I like Volvos and this one in particular.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Volvo V90 Recharge T6 AWD Plug-in hybrid in R-Design specification
  • Engine: Petrol electric hybrid – 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol & 87hp electric motor
  • Gears: 8-speed automatic
  • Performance: 0-100 kph (62 mph) 5.9 seconds/Maximum Speed 180 kph (112 mph)
  • Economy: 2.7l /100km (104.6 mpg) WLTP
  • Emissions: 47 g/km WLTP

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.


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