2017 Volvo S90 is one of the best cars to buy next year

The S90 is a four-door luxury sedan designed to square off against the world's best cars from Mercedes, Audi, and BMW. 

Paul Sancya/AP/FIle
The Volvo S90 debuts at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

We were ready to write off Volvo just a few years ago. Today? There may not be a car brand with a brighter future, and the company's luxurious S90 flagship sedan is perhaps the best evidence of that yet.

Following in the footsteps of the similar, but equally impressive Volvo XC90, the S90 is a four-door luxury sedan designed to square off against the world's best cars: The Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5-Series, the Audi A6, the Lexus GS, and the Cadillac XT6. That's some serious competition.

But let's take a look at what the S90 brings to the table.

First off, it's sexy from every angle. And that shouldn't really surprise anyone, since Volvo hasn't built a truly dull, style-free car in at least a decade. A new design language that could only have come from tranquil Sweden was ushered in by the XC90, and the S90 is clearly its sibling—albeit with its own special touches. Stunning tail lamps and an overall shape that honors the brand's boxy past help it stand out against rivals. There's an understated elegance that we appreciate because of the way it reminds potential buyers that, while they easily could have bought a BMW, they thought a little outside of the box (pun intended).

Inside, it's much the same, with a gorgeous infotainment integration and switchgear that puts rivals to shame. There's plenty of stretch-out space and the seats themselves are beautifully contoured.

If anything, the S90 gets even more interesting under its hood. 

There will be three choices for North America: a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in a T5 model, making 250 horsepower; a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in a T6, producing 316 hp; and a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 working with an electric drive system in a range-topping T8 Twin Engine. The T8 model will be rated at 400 hp for the U.S. market, but Volvo hasn’t yet released more details about this version, which will arrive later in the model year. These powertrains work through an excellent 8-speed automatic transmission, and for now T5 models have front-wheel drive while T6 models get all-wheel drive.

Even in T6 form, with its firmer Dynamic setting and the air suspension, the S90 feels quite softly sprung. But it holds true to Volvo’s target of “relaxed confidence,” in that the suspension loads up evenly and predictably and unloads out of corners with grace and finesse. The plush but well-controlled ride straddles a perfect middle ground for many touring needs, pleasing passengers without too much bobbing or pitching over imperfect surfaces—and it’s very quiet, thanks in part to active noise cancellation technology.

Stay tuned to see if the S90 becomes The Car Connection's Best Car to Buy 2017. 

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 2017 Volvo S90 is one of the best cars to buy next year
Read this article in
https://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2016/1024/2017-Volvo-S90-is-one-of-the-best-cars-to-buy-next-year
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today
https://www.csmonitor.com/subscribe