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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 11°C
# Review
Review: The new Volvo V90 is the best-looking estate on the market
But is it as good as its German rivals?

VOLVO IS WELL known for its estate cars and this V90 model is a versatile, spacious and sophisticated model with a relaxed and refined drive.

Entry-level ‘Momentum’ models start at €47,745. The more sporty ‘R-Design’ models are priced from €50,745 and the luxuriously appointed ‘Inscription’ models start at €52,745.

I think the V90 is beautiful to look at, both inside and out and it really does stand out from its Teutonic rivals, which is a good thing.

The V90 is a luxury estate that is luxuriously equipped. As standard, even the entry-level ‘Momentum’ V90 comes with 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, leather upholstery, two-zone climate control with ‘CleanZone’ air-filtration system and rear park assist.

Volvo really has taken a clear step forward in terms of aesthetics, materials and fit and finish. Volvo interiors are some of the most impressive and beautiful on the market.

Melanie May Melanie May

Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system is also standard bringing with it a nine-inch touchscreen, satellite navigation, a sophisticated voice-control system and access to the internet. It is one of the best infotainment systems I have used as it is quick, bright and intuitive.

Now, most people are probably looking at buying an estate car for its load-lugging capabilities. The boot of the V90 can carry 560 to 1,526 litres. This is not as impressive as the Audi A6 Avant (565 to 1,680 litres) BMW 5 Series Touring (570 to 1,700 litres) or Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (640 to 1,820 litres). However, all those models are more expensive than the V90.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

Still, the size of the boot of the V90 will be more than adequate for most families and the boot is a very practical square shape with a low loading lip and a metal scuff plate for easy loading.

It also has a power-operated tailgate as standard meaning it can also be operated via buttons on the tailgate, on the key fob or from the driver seat by pressing a button on the dashboard. So very practical indeed.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

Being a Volvo, there are a plethora of safety features and Pilot Assist, Volvo’s semi-autonomous drive feature, is standard on every V90. This feature automatically keeps the car at a set speed or distance from the vehicle in front, automatically brakes and accelerates with the flow of traffic, and gives gentle steering inputs to keep the car within lane markings at motorway speeds up to 130km/h. It makes long distance cruising and stop/start traffic a bit more relaxing.

My test car was the 190hp D4 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel model with Powerpulse mated to an eight-speed automatic, front-wheel drive transmission.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

It is a very easy and comfortable car to drive, but a bit of a nightmare for me to parallel park on narrow Dublin streets with narrow parking spaces. I was terrified of curbing the 19-inch 10-Spoke Diamond Cut alloys (a €1,250 option). The front and rear park assist were much needed.

I was also told that I looked tiny behind the wheel of the car but I have to admit, visibility is great all around and it didn’t feel like a really big car (until it came to parking). It is also very easy to find a really comfortable driving position.

Out on the road, the V90 is a dream to drive on the motorway as it is so comfortable, smooth and relaxing inside the cabin. Even on the larger 19-inch wheels, the ride is supple and well composed, even over rougher road surfaces.

The 190hp is adequate for confident overtaking but the automatic transmission is a tiny bit sluggish when you put your foot down. When you do rev it, the diesel engine is a bit gruff but that settles down once at cruising speed.

The steering feels well weighted and is pleasingly linear and the car is easy to manoeuvre making urban driving relatively easy.

Dave Humphreys Dave Humphreys

Overall, the V90 is a versatile luxury estate that should be perfect for most Irish families. The cabin is roomy and storage is good and whilst the boot isn’t the most capacious it should be adequate for most users. Compared to rivals, it is competitively priced and well equipped and I think it is the best looking premium estate on the market.

READ: How to break-in your new car to boost its long-term durability >

READ: Review – MINI Cooper S E ALL4 Countryman PHEV >

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