Ticking All The Right Boxes – Volvo S90 T5

In recent years, Volvo have been on the roll to refresh and rebrand themselves in Malaysia by bringing in a whole host of new cars. On the 30th October 2018, the Volvo S90 T5 Momentum is being introduced in our local shores. On paper, the Volvo S90 T5 seems to be ticking all the right boxes for the spec as a premium car that is sold in Malaysia. Let’s see how the car fare in real life, and did it really tick all the right boxes of a modern day car?

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The Volvo S90 carries the new corporate look that 1st seen on the Volvo XC90. It has a very boxy look that reminiscence of the Volvo of old, but Volvo design the edges to look softer and more elegant. This also make the Volvo S90 looked muscular and handsome which I really like.

To blend in with the handsome front end, the Volvo S90 comes with a sophisticated looking “Thor” hammer design daytime running light inside their LED headlights. The taillight is also LED combination taillight that blends in well with the whole car. The 255/40 R19 rims and tyres that brings a sense of sportiness to the otherwise elegant looking sedan.

Stepping inside the Volvo S90, you will be able to spot plenty of similarities in terms of design and layout of the dashboard with the XC90 SUV. As the S90 that we’re testing is the T5 variant, there are bound to have some differences in trim levels. The S90 T5 comes with iron ore décor instead of the un-lacquered wood trim found in the higher spec S90. The iron ore décor don’t look out of place and give the S90 T5 interior a very modern look.

Orrefors Crystal gear lever have now been replace with a more conventional gear lever inside the Volvo S90 T5. While the 9” colour touchscreen infotainment is fitted across the range of the S90 is similar, the infotainment is hooked up to a 10-speakers sound system instead of the Bowers and Wilkins sound system in the T5 variant. Even without the B&W sound system, the regular speakers do provide sufficient sound quality for your day to day use.

The heads up display has also been remove from the Volvo S90 T5. For the seats inside the S90 T5, Volvo used regular leather seats rather than nappa leather, but the regular leather is on the softer side to make you comfortable sitting on it. The front seats gets plenty of seat adjustment to get you into comfortable seating position, but T5 variant do lose out in some finer adjustment like 4 ways lumbar support and powered seats extensions for both drivers and front passengers that can be found in the T8 variant.

For the rear, the Volvo S90 T5 do have plenty of space for you to feel like a boss. There are ample legroom and headroom for the rear passenger. Another unique feature that I only see in a Volvo is the child bolster seat, it provides additional height for children to be seated at the back while being able to use the 3 point seatbelts. Being a boss, you will definitely bring the S90 for golf games, the 500L boot space will be able to swallow up to 2 or more golf bags when you want to go for your golf game.

One thing that Volvo never skimped on is on safety as Volvo has always been linked to the word “safety”. For passive safety, there are the regular 7 airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Start Assist (HAS), Hill Descent Control (HDC), 2 ISOFIX at the rear seats.

For advance safety, Volvo fitted the same set of advance active safety system that you can find on the T8 variant. Those safety system are Driver Alert Control (DAC), Road Sign Information System (RSI), Collision Avoidence and Mitigation with Intersection Support, Run Off Road Mitigation with Road Edge Detection, On-coming Lane Mitigation, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Cross traffic alert (CTA), Pre-prepared Restraint System (PRS), Run Off road Protection, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), and Post Collision Auto braking.

The T5 badging at the back indicates that the Volvo S90 is powered by a 2.0L inline 4 engine with turbocharger that pumps out a healthy 254hp at 5,500rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1,500 to 4,800 rpm. The supercharger that is featured on the T6 and T8 variant of the S90 is also being removed. While you don’t get the supercharger, the S90 T5 do come with the same 8-speed automatic transmission as the other S90 variant.

On the go, the 2.0L engine provided decent performance to lug this car around. As this is an executive sedan, the engine and transmission is more suited for those who wants a comfortable cruiser. This is further complemented by the smooth shifting 8-speed transmission to keep the engine running within the power band. During hard driving, there is a tendency for the engine to feel lethargic due to the turbo lag during gear shifts.

Suspension on the Volvo S90 is the sophisticated double wishbone upfront and multilink at the rear. Even though the suspension setup seems like a sporty setup, the damping is tuned more towards comfort tune. This means that the drivers and passengers in the car can waft along on highway while staying planted at speeds. The electric power steering also reflect the comfortable setup of the car by being light during slow drive and weight up at speeds.

Braking performance for the Volvo S90 T5 is provided by the 4 wheel disc brakes, the brakes are sufficient for the S90, and is easy to modulate. NVH in the S90 is top notch as the interior of the S90 is very quiet while idling or during highway drive, the vibration and noise from the engine is also kept to a minimum.

Why would I say that this Volvo S90 ticks all the right box? While the S90 T5 might not get all the fancy trims, but you still get the whole host of advance safety system and its also 300kg lighter than the T8 variant which makes the car more nimble. Priced at RM338,888, the S90 T5 is RM50k cheaper than the T8 variant. Volvo provide 5 years or 120,000km warranty coverage for the Volvo S90. The Volvo S90 T5 can be had with Crystal White, Mussel Blue, Onyx Black, Osmium Gray, and Bright Silver.

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