Review and Test Drive: 2019 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription

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The combination of elegant wood, fine leather, and other high-grade materials impresses.

Open the door and take a seat: you’ll find the seat’s contour accommodates all shapes and sizes and the bolsters are in just the right place.


Once comfortably ensconced in the S90’s driver’s seat, a simple twist of the start/stop knob fires up the Swedish four-cylinder engine that develops 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, paired to an eight-speed Aisin-Warner automatic transmission. It’s capable of bringing the car from a standstill to 60 mph (96 km/h) in six seconds and is rated at 21 mpg (11.2 l/100 km) in the city and 31 (7.5) on the highway.

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One would expect a Volvo to be chock full of standard safety equipment and the S90 does not disappoint.

The fun really comes when you engage the standard Pilot Assist function, which works above 30 mph (48 km/h) and up to 80 mph (129 km/h). Working in conjunction with the car’s excellent radar adaptive cruise, it is remarkably close to at least semi-autonomous driving although removing your hands from the steering wheel for more than 15 seconds will result in warning messages to take the wheel again.  If you don’t, it will be followed by more warning charms and it will ultimately disengage.  The system is intelligent enough to temporarily disengage during lane changes and then reengage automatically. The Pilot Assist system does require clear lane markers.

Meanwhile, shifts were smooth and with expected Scandinavian precision. The driver can modify the car’s behavior using the drive-mode selector, where Comfort delivers what it promises, while Eco causes the upshifts to occur earlier and hold back on kick down mode. Sport mode has a transformative effect, upshifts are at a noticeably higher rpm, kick down causes the car to politely jump and might even cause Gustaf, the company’s spokesmoose, to run for the hills.

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