2021 Volvo S90 B5 petrol mild-hybrid review, test drive

Volvo’s flagship sedan receives small beauty improvements and a new delicate-hybrid petrol engine.

Volvo S90 B5: what is it? 

Volvo, the Swedish luxurious brand at the rear of the ‘Ironmark’. Famous for constructing amongst the safest automobiles in the entire world. Autos that have a potent emphasis on ease and comfort, luxurious and clean cut structure. And this here is the new, updated S90 sedan, Volvo’s Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6 rival and now its most significant car. 

Now, quite a few of you, on the lookout at these visuals, may perhaps question ‘what’s new’? And you would be ideal. This car seems all but identical to the outgoing 1. Review the before car and this 1 back to back, having said that, and you can convey to the change. The major modify is to the chin of the car. While the before car had myriad surfaces and cuts and creases, this 1 is both equally simpler and cleaner. Apart from these tiny improvements, the S90 remains devoted to the primary. Very long in beam, and developed on a long wheelbase, with an elongated bonnet, a pushed back cabin and sq. shoulders, the S90 has a regal air to it. And this is genuine all around the rear as nicely, the place the ‘squared off’ boot and C-shaped tail-lights also glimpse distinctive. There are small improvements at the rear, but these are even extra tricky to determine and only exist at the quite bottom. A sure-hearth way to convey to the two S90s aside, having said that, is that the earlier generation gets a rectangular exhaust that is altogether missing on this new petrol car.  

What is new is what’s below the hood – Volvo’s two.-litre turbo-petrol, which puts out an electrically assisted 250hp. There’s no diesel in the variety now but the petrol is a delicate-hybrid, and the four-cylinder engine is assisted by a 48V electrical program that recuperates electrical electricity shed whilst braking and puts it back to the wheels as and when it can.

Less than the skin, the S90 is based on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture, just like the S60, and XC60 and XC90 SUVs. Curiously, it is the only luxurious car of this measurement to feature a transversely mounted engine up entrance. The rest all have longitudinally mounted engines and are predominantly rear-wheel pushed. Volvo claims a transversely mounted engine is safer in a crash but getting a single system for its variety of massive automobiles also helps simplify matters massively. As before, the car gets air suspension in the rear and a full host of Volvo basic safety methods and driver aids. Among them is radar-based Metropolis Protection that keeps a lookout for you and brakes if vital. Metropolis Protection can determine other automobiles, pedestrians, cyclists and massive animals forward of you, even at night. Oncoming Mitigation – a further world’s initially in basic safety methods by Volvo – detects other automobiles driving toward you and can brake quickly to support reduce the severity of the impression. The S90 will even proactively aid your evasive manoeuvres by utilizing the ESP or personal wheel braking to steer you out of issues (in accordance with your steering angle) and there’s even runoff mitigation that helps prevent you from ‘drifting’ off the highway when you are not having to pay attention.  

Volvo S90 B5: what’s it like to generate? 

The updated B420T2 petrol engine suits the S90’s total comfortable character to a T. It commences smoothly, with no loud starter whirr and remains unobtrusive and in the background at slower speeds. Then, simply because it responds smartly to a faucet on the throttle, it also feels energetic and usually on the ball. In truth, the S90 moves forward so simply, assisted by the 10kW max boost from the 48V electric program, whatsoever turbo lag there is gets simply masked. This can make it specifically fantastic in city targeted visitors the place you want your car to reply as before long as you faucet the throttle. Indeed, at instances, the S90 feels a little bit much too reactive at gradual pace, in particular when electrical support overlaps with turbo boost, and this demands a little bit of throttle modulation. But this, thankfully, is not anything you have to contend with on a standard foundation. 

What also can make it mild and simple to generate in the city is that the steering is oily clean and requirements quite minimal exertion, the S90 feels agile at low speeds and turns on a dime. The accelerator and brake pedals are mild and wonderfully set up and sprung, so they make driving the S90 particularly enjoyable. 

The ramp up in ability is not quite potent, having said that. In truth, it feels so clean and linear that this does not sense like a 250hp engine. Place your foot down just after the preliminary burst of ability and it merely gathers pace in an urgent method, instead than accelerate strongly. Efficiency does develop further more up the powerband, and by five,000rpm, the engine is pulling really really hard. Keep the engine spinning at all around this pace and the S90 does get a transfer on. It feels a little bit noisy and strained at higher engine speeds, but the general performance is substantially more robust now. Volvo claims the S90 requires 6.9sec to do -100kph and in the fascination of basic safety, as on all Volvos, best pace is confined to 180kph. 

The 8-pace gearbox is enhanced as nicely. While before it felt a little bit hesitant and reticent, this 1 is enhanced. It is nowhere around as intuitive or as fast as some of the very best gearboxes all around, but most of the hiccups we knowledgeable on before versions have been ironed out quite properly.  

What I do pass up are paddle shifters at the rear of the steering wheel . . .  shifting gears manually is not usually about extracting highest general performance. Normally it is extra about having superior command of the car, and that is when paddle shifters are these a pleasure to use. You can acquire handbook command of the gearbox, but to do this you have to have to slot the gear lever into handbook manner and then you can force still left to downshift and ideal to upshift not great. The program is fiddly to use and that is likely why Mercedes dropped it or evolved to anything nicer to use or extra intuitive.  

Also anything that requires some having utilised to is the gear selector. While the crystal best seems great, performance is not fantastic. You can not just pull the lever back and select Travel. Listed here you have to have two personal tugs – 1 to go from Park to Neutral and then a further to go from Neutral to Travel. Three-position turns, as you can imagine, are specifically galling if you are not utilised to this.

In which the S90 excels is in delivering a relaxed ride. Almost everything here – like the rigid chassis, the supple coil springs up entrance, the air suspension at the rear and the beautifully matched dampers – functions toward 1 goal. The chassis cocoons you from the highway beneath correctly. Insulation is not as fantastic as on Merc’s E-Class, but highway sound is negligible and double-glazed home windows do support continue to keep seem out. Volvo’s land yacht  rides in a supple, rubber-footed method, with medium-sized bumps and undulations dispatched simply. And then even when you appear upon some massive craters, the Volvo manages to acquire the edge off quite correctly. You do have to acquire treatment above massive pace breakers, in particular if the car is thoroughly loaded the long wheelbase and reasonably low ground clearance coming into enjoy here. 

While it rides nicely, what the S90 is not is a corner carver. The mild and simple to twirl steering feels a little bit disconnected at higher speeds, body command all around corners is not confidence inspiring, and whilst it has a decent amount of grip, pushing the large car more quickly and more quickly is not specifically fulfilling. Driving it in a comfortable method is just so substantially nicer. The S90 will be fantastic to generate above long distances. 

Volvo S90 B5: what’s it like in the cabin? 

Charming, in a phrase. Fantastically developed, tastefully made and place alongside one another, and with a great deal of classy bits scattered liberally all around the cabin, this is an atmosphere you usually glimpse forward to having back into. The structure of the sprint is acquainted, so are personal components here like the steering wheel, instrument panel, vertically aligned touchscreen and begin-cease knob. Volvo has also blended in a great deal of high-gloss chrome and piano-black bits into the structure, with out having absent from the Scandinavian vibe.

When it comes to features, Volvo’s vertically aligned display screen is acquainted, but there’s now extra performance like linked tech. Pre-installed­­ now are applications like Google Assistant, Google Maps, Spotify and others, and this can make utilizing the program substantially nicer. For those of you who love new music, there’s also some critically nicely-specified components, 1 of Bowers and Wilkins audio methods, between the very best all around. The S90 entrance seats also get backrest therapeutic massage (not for the seat), the crystal knob lends an air of sophistication and built-in with the car is an ‘advanced’ air cleaner, so critical with air quality plummeting these days. The S90, having said that, is much too reliant on the display screen, with much too quite a few features mounted here. Altering enthusiast pace, in particular on the transfer, is 1 these issue. While putting climate command icons at the bottom of the display screen helps and can make it superior than rival methods, utilizing it nevertheless demands you to acquire your eyes off the highway. Missing on the petrol S90’s centre console is a manner selector or roller . . . .the 1 that before could promptly acquire you from say a ease and comfort to a activity environment. No large decline, having said that, deciding on a sportier or extra dynamic manner barely can make a change on the S90. 

There’s a great deal of home in the rear of the cabin, as you can imagine. Masses of legroom, a properly angled backrest, and the seat, even though a little bit shallow and flat, is relaxed much too. It is just that you are sat a little bit low in the rear, and this usually means the back seat is not as relaxed as it could be. 

The S90 comes equipped with a fair amount of goodies. There’s a four-zone air-con program, ventilated entrance seats, side and rear blinds (the latter electrically actuated), a sunroof, nappa leather-based in sections, a sub-woofer, wireless charging, auto dimming mirrors and puddle lights. Driver aids contain lane preserving assist, blind place notify, and cross targeted visitors notify, between others. 

Volvo S90 B5: really should you get 1? 

If you are on the lookout for a luxurious car that is wonderfully developed, nicely equipped, refined, clean, silent and effortless to generate, the Volvo S90 B5 with its petrol engine is a potent contender for your revenue. It even seems distinctive, rides wonderfully and it is likely to be amongst the safest automobiles in its class. You are sat a little bit low in the rear, the S90 does not have a sporty bone in its body and Volvo dealers aren’t as prevalent as rivals. But if ease and comfort, quality, effortless general performance and getting anything a little bit unique charm to you, acquire a long really hard glimpse at Volvo’s S90 B5, which, at Rs sixty one.9 lakh (ex-showroom, India) is a good deal of car for not all that substantially revenue. 

What do you feel of the refreshed Volvo S90 sedan? Do allow us know in the feedback section beneath.

Also see:

Volvo S90, XC60 facelifts introduced in India