In a world that is forever trying to get us all into eco-friendly compact cars, Volvo can often be found ploughing it’s own steady path, and we can be ever so slightly relieved that, 20 years on from its first incarnation, Volvo are pulling the red curtain back on a brand new Volvo V90 estate.
We first got a glimpse of the new V90 at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016 but we’ve had to wait until now for the big pricing reveal. The V90 will share similarities with its equally premium brother the S90 saloon of course, but will cost about £2000 more. The V90 also shares the same Volvo SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform with the S90 and XC90 SUV.
Back in 1997, the Volvo V90 estate was introduced as a direct replacement for the outgoing 960 Estate, with the first V90 showing only minor differences to the 960 at the time – a simple rename, or maybe a gentle introduction for a new model you might say.
60+ years of Volvo heritage
Delve a little deeper though and you realise that Volvo’s pedigree in family estate design goes back even further, to the Volvo Duett station wagon maybe, which was launched in 1953 and continued in production until 1969 and also could be bought as panel van. It managed to offer users a crossover for delivery purposes as well as for a family to comfortably carry more – or larger – items. Perfect for going on holiday.
“We have provenance in the estate department” says Hakan Samuelsson, Volvo’s Chief Executive, and who could argue? Volvo have now sold around 6 million estates worldwide which makes up about a third of all Volvos sold since the company’s origins in Gothenburg way back in in 1927. In 2015 Volvo set a new sales record with global sales amassing 503,127 cars over around 100 different countries – a rise of 8% on the previous year.
What we can expect from the new V90
So can we expect big things of the new V90? Well yes, the estate will offer some high tech comforts for the driver; like a 360-degree camera, which will provide a bird’s eye view to aid parking, Apple CarPlay connectivity on the central touchscreen, a Bowers & Wilkins stereo system – plus Pilot Assist.
Pilot Assist is probably the tech that is most interesting here; a leap on from the cruise control that impressed us all so much on luxury cars only a few years ago, Pilot Assist allows the driver to not only maintain a set speed, but also gives steering input keeping the V90 within its designated road markings. Volvo call all this semi-autonomous driving – a combination Adaptive Cruise Control and Pilot Assist, utilising radar technology, automatic acceleration and braking and steering.
The V90 has 2 luxury trim levels, Momentum and the higher end Inscription. The car is 1.9 metres wide, 4.9 metres long with a total luggage capacity of 1,526 litres. Unsurprisingly for a Volvo, standard safety equipment is as good as ever, with road sign recognition (which will probably do a better job than many drivers out there), run off road mitigation, large animal detection along with the now expected high standard of airbag technology and crash protection.
The new V90 starts at £34,555 for the D4 diesel, which includes such luxuries as heated leather seats and the aforementioned Pilot Assist. The all-wheel-drive D5 (with 232bhp compared to the D4’s 187bhp) will cost you upwards from £41,555 and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds, not so bad for an estate.