Business class? So the middle between economy and first? That means there is still room for improvement, i.e. at first class level? Slow down: I drove the Volvo S90 T6 and was quite taken with the Swedish sedan. Volvo is back and could represent a real pound in the upper middle class with the S90 - but more so with the V90. At least that's what the segment was called when crossovers and blurring classes were not yet the order of the day.
Business Class: That sounds like a high level, understated luxury and comfort. That fits. The Volvo S90 can be described with these three virtues. You can imagine the rest. The End. Driving report done. .. but joking aside: These three attributes apply very much to the Volvo S90, but they serve more as headings. So let's get started!
Its appearance can actually be seen below the high level. You can see at first glance that the designers have taken great pains not to let the vehicle come across as exuberant. Swedish understatement with a pinch of fitness. For example, the front looks very wide and stately. The upright, self-assured grille stands steeply in the wind and now shows a shape on the inside. It reminds a little of a ripped shark mouth. And together with the daytime running lights in the design of "Thor's Hammer", an overtaking prestige is created that is not unimportant in the business sedan class.
The side finally shows the size of the Volvo S90: At 4,96m, the Volvo S90 is very stretched. It is only one centimeter longer than the SUV XC90. An accident? Not quite. Both models are based on the same platform, which goes by the name of SPA. The abbreviation stands for scalable product architecture and means that almost all components - such as the length or the wheelbase - are variable. But only the distance between the front wheel and the A-pillar remains the same and is fixed. For the S90, this means that it does not necessarily have to assume the dimensions of the SUV. With its elongated wheelbase, it doesn't look as compact as the XC90, but more elegant and elongated. The only good thing is that the wheel size on the test car was 20 inches: Everything below seems almost lost in the almost huge wheel arches. 21-inch wheels are also available as an option.
Finally, the spirits of the Volvo S90 are divided. Sure, Germany is Kombi-Land and not as focused on limousines as abroad. But here the Swedish reluctance left the brushes of the design team. The rear view looks jagged and exaggerated. The taillights, which look like two overturned "Us", still match the fashionable character. The many beads and edges are a little too much of a good thing. One thing in advance: the station wagon can do that much better. He is a real pretty boy who ... is not an issue here.
So I have the interior described as well. There is no grandiose landscape here that is bursting with pomp, but a tastefully decorated designer loft. However, the cold that is associated with it now and then is lost - very pleasant. Nothing seems exaggerated, exaggerated or effect-chasing, but solid, noble and high quality. So it is very fitting that all materials not only act as if they were of high quality origin, but also are. Wood is wood, aluminum is aluminum and leather is leather.
It's also nice that the processing is at a high level. No chattering or chirping, everything fits well in place. Only the operation requires some getting used to. Everything can be controlled via the almost huge touchscreen in the center console. But the nesting is a bit overwhelming when driving. The air conditioning is also operated via the screen, which is a bit of a hassle - especially on torture routes when you slide back and forth on the touchscreen and instead shift the view of the navigation map. But the secret lies in the approach. You have to understand the entire infotainment like a smartphone. After all, we deal with it every day and master it almost blindly. Anyone who approaches the matter with the button mind of past automobile models will fail, struggle or be annoyed. So rather wipe the swiping gestures of the smartphone on the vehicle and be happy. Especially since there is a nice clean look in the interior.
It is also created through generosity. The space in the front is beyond any doubt. You have space to stretch out and even tall people don't come into contact with the headlining - but that's what you expect from business class. In the plane, you can finally stretch out a little in business class. However, this is somewhat limited in the rear of the Volvo S90. Here, too, there is basically enough space for the passengers. The head does not have to be retracted in row two, even though the roofline drops off like a coupé. The knees can also develop, only the feet are a little tighter. Especially when the front seats are adjusted in the lowest position. But that doesn't make the German premium competition any better.
Let's finally get to the driving impressions from the interior. As mentioned at the beginning, the Volvo S90 T6 was allowed to compete for the exit. 320 PS does the aggregate, which is an announcement. BMW delivered an 550i of the E60 series, for example with an 367 PS eight-cylinder as top engine - in addition to the M5. Here, however, Volvo saves on the S90: The Swedes refrain from six or even eight cylinders and rely on a turbocharged four-cylinder turbo with 2.0 liters of displacement. The performance that the unit develops is all the more impressive.
But this mainly applies to the paper form. The 320 PS are guided to all fours by four-wheel drive, but do not make as much an impression as the regular table values suggest. For the standard sprint, the business sedan should only need 5,9 seconds - despite the weight of around two tons. The end is at politically correct 250 km / h. But the power delivery is fairly calm and reflects the overall impression of the vehicle. The S90 can rush forward at any time, but usually it doesn't want to. So the Swede makes a quick, but not a sporty impression.
Why also? After all, with the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF - to name just a few - there are enough dynamic representatives in this class. Even the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class is leaving its traditional home of exuberant comfort and indulging in dynamism. Good thing the Volvo S90 doesn't see this as its main credo. With its stoic calm, it has a downright decelerating effect. You want to cover long distances with it, like hardly any other vehicle in this segment.
This can be seen in various places. The chassis, for example: It filters out bumps so cleverly that you could almost believe that the roads had improved suddenly. Bumps and potholes hardly get through and do not bother the occupants. Only when you really pay attention to it - or do you want to pay attention to it - do you feel the feedback of the spring-damper elements. But if you take it easy - for example on the country road - the all-wheel drive shows an enormously high mechanical grip. If you overdo it with your sporty plans, the control systems gently reach for the large sedan. The steering is nice and creamy and shows a successful mix of servo support and accuracy. One searches in vain for nervousness or exuberant precision. Therefore, the question also arises whether you need the driving mode selection at all. Dynamic, Comfort and Eco are available, but do not influence the characteristics of the Swede very much. But does that bother anyone?
No, certainly not. After all, a business limousine is designed to make long stages as stress-free as possible with high travel speeds. And the S90 is ideally suited for this. Speeds of around 180 km / h occur almost automatically on the highway and are hardly noticeable. Accordingly, the Swede is the new comfort king in the business segment. With character, high quality and independence. Wasn't that one day of stuttgart domains?