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  • Matthew Keegan
    Contributing Editor - November 15, 2017

    2018 Volvo S90 OVERVIEW

    The Volvo S90 sedan brings a Scandinavian touch to a competitive segment, delivering a beautiful design and a level of elegance on top of cutting-edge safety features. In its sophomore year, the big Volvo grows up in a very literal way.

    What's New for 2018

    One year removed from its return to the market, the 2018 Volvo S90 sits on an extended wheelbase, adding 4.5 inches over the previous model year. The standard wheelbase model is no longer offered in the US. A T8 plug-in hybrid electric vehicle joins the product line.

    Choosing Your Volvo S90

    Volvo offers the 2018 S90 with standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive and divides the model line into two classes – Momentum and Inscription – then offers further separation based on three powertrains: T5, T6 and T8. Fortunately, if you're at all familiar with Volvo's engine nomenclature, this makes plenty of sense.

    Like the XC90, T5 models have a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, generating 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque with standard front-wheel drive and available all-wheel drive. This model makes an EPA-estimated 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway or 23/32 for all-wheel drive.

    The all-wheel drive only T6 line comes with a 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 316 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. This model delivers an EPA-estimated 22/31 mpg city/highway.

    The all-wheel drive T8 adds an 87-horsepower electric motor to the T6’s engine, delivering a combined performance output of 400 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Look for an estimated 29 mpg or 71 mpge with an electric-only range of 14 miles.

    All 2018 S90 models come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

    Standard features include LED headlights with "Thor’s hammer" daytime running lights, automatic high beams, and fog lights. Also included are extractable side mirrors, puddle lights, a moonroof with a power sunshade, dual tailpipes and 18-inch alloy wheels.

    Interior equipment includes leather upholstery, power front seats with lumbar support, dual-zone climate control, a 10-speaker audio system with satellite radio, and USB ports. Volvo's Sensus infotainment system is lovely to look at, offering drivers a huge, portrait-oriented touchscreen display that's easy to reconfigure to display the most pertinent information.

    Safety features are excellent and that’s no surprise — we’re talking about Volvo. Blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear automatic emergency braking, and rear park assist camera are all standard. But the crowning achievement is Pilot Assist, Volvo's comprehensive suite of active driving assists that make the S90 (and its V90 and XC90 counterparts) some of the most advanced cars on the road. Packaging adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and a bunch of other goodies, it's the closest most consumers can get to a semi-autonomous vehicle on today's market. It's also standard.

    If you prefer a color other than the standard Black Stone, you’ll pay $595 for one of seven metallic colors.

    Plug-in hybrid buyers may also qualify for a $5,002 federal tax credit on top of whatever state and local incentives are in their area.

    Most S90s offer an array of standalone options, in addition to the trim-specific packages. A head-up display is available for $900, a 19-speaker Bowers and Wilkins audio system adds $3,200, heated seats are available as a $500 standalone option (unless they're standard, of course) as is the $300 heated steering wheel, and an air suspension, for improved comfort and handling. Finally, if you fancy the dark look, a black headliner adds $200.

    The only universal option package is the $2,550 Convenience Package, which adds a surround-view camera, an automatic parking assistant, front parking sensors, a power trunk lid, a compass in the rear-view mirror, and heated washer nozzles.

    T5 Momentum

    Priced from $49,095 (including a $995 destination fee), the T5 Momentum comes with the standard engine and front-wheel drive. Add $2,100 for all-wheel drive, while 19-inch alloys add $800.

    Available option packages include the $2,550 Convenience Package, the $1,000 Momentum Plus Package (a 12.3-inch TFT display in place of the traditional gauge cluster, headlights that turn around corners, heated headlight washers, and four-zone automatic climate control), and a $750 Heated Seats/Steering Wheel Package, which adds exactly what it says it does while saving $50 on the a la carte options.

    T6 Momentum

    Upgrade to the $55,095 for the T6 Momentum and you'll score the more powerful, twin-charged engine as well as standard all-wheel drive. Beyond that, the T6 Momentum adds heated front seats and the Momentum Plus Package's 12.3-inch TFT display.

    Those additions effectively eliminate the need for the T5 Momentum's Heated Seats/Steering Wheel Package – a heated wheel is still available as a $300 standalone option – and reduce the Momentum Plus Package's price to $700 (it still adds four-zone climate control, heated headlight washers, and bending headlights). The Convenience Package is unchanged both in terms of content and its $2,550 price tag.

    T6 Inscription

    Starting at $59,595, the T6 Inscription replaces the HID headlights with LED units, and adds 19-inch alloy wheels, four-zone climate control, a 12.3-inch digital driver display, Nappa leather upholstery, Linear Wood trim, powered bolsters and thigh extensions on the heated/ventilated front seats, and a leather-lined dash.

    The biggest option change is the new $3,450 Luxury Package. While pricey, it adds massaging front seats, heated and ventilated rear seats, and leather upholstery on the pillars, grab handles, and sunvisors. Since 19-inch wheels are standard at this price, Volvo ditches the Momentum's optional 19s and replaces them with 20-inchers for the same price.

    T8 Momentum

    The most affordable path to Volvo's plug-in hybrid powertrain, the T8 Momentum still isn't cheap, starting at $64,645. Beyond the innovative powertrain, it adds unique exterior aesthetics (a new grille and unique 19-inch alloys), a crystal shift lever from Orrefors, and Dark Flame Birch wood trim to the standard Momentum trim. Functional improvements include a standard four-zone automatic climate control system and the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

    Those last two additions drive the price of the Momentum Plus Package down to just $500, which feels a bit rich for heated headlight washers and active front lights. Other than that change, the T8 Momentum's options sheet is the same as the T5 and T6's.

    T8 Inscription

    The top-of-the-line T8 Inscription costs $69,145 and as its name suggests, it marries Volvo's T8 plug-in-hybrid powertrain and its aesthetic upgrades to the Inscription trim level. Like the gas-only Inscriptions, the only notable upgrade is the Luxury Package, which is totally unchanged from the T6.

    CarsDirect Tip

    The new plug-in hybrid model intrigues us, but the T6 Inscription is the most popular model, and for a very good reason too. Its robust engine and all-wheel drive is the performance and handling combination you want. Add in the Luxury Package and you’ll enjoy a cabin that lines up with the best models from Germany.

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