2020 Volvo V90

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2020 Volvo V90 Review: Modern-Day Classic

Gone are the days of the chunky old station wagons. In a market brimming with luxury sedans and practical SUVs, the only way for the wagon to survive is to blend the two together and deliver a unique product. This is where the Volvo V90 comes in. The Swedish brand has always had a good reputation for safety and reliability, but now it is making a strong move towards adding style and luxury to this list. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in two states of tune, maxing out at 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, the V90 might not have the kind of power you'd expect from a wagon, but it's the interior that really impresses. High-quality materials, loads of standard comfort and driver-assistance features, and plenty of space make the cabin feel like a real lounge on wheels. Against stiff premium rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Volvo V90 holds its own quite well.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 9 /10
  • Fuel Economy 9 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 10 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 10 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 9 /10
9.2
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2020 Volvo V90 Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 V90?

Very little changes for the V90 in the new year. Pilot Assist with parking assist, front and parallel, is now available, while the R-Design trim gets gloss-black mirror caps and window trimming, with integrated roof rails coming standard. Some changes have been made to the exterior color options too, with four fewer hues to choose from for 2020.

Pros and Cons

  • Elegant Swedish design
  • Spacious, well-appointed cabin
  • Plenty of standard and available tech
  • More car-like handling than an SUV
  • Appealing fuel economy
  • All-wheel-drive limited to pricier models
  • Not as much cargo space as some rivals
  • Turbocharged four-cylinder lacks power and refinement

Best Deals on 2020 Volvo V90

2020 Volvo V90 Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
T5 R-Design
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$51,450
T5 Inscription
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$53,450
T6 R-Design
2.0L Twincharged Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$57,450
T6 Inscription
2.0L Twincharged Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$59,450
See All 2020 Volvo V90 Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

The V90 is remarkably engaging to drive, despite its more laidback appearance and cushy interior. Riding closer to the ground and not standing nearly as tall as an SUV, the wagon offers far better handling dynamics. Steering is accurate if a bit light, though the lack of feedback is a bit disappointing. Luckily, a choice of Comfort or Dynamic driving modes helps to improve immersion. Unfortunately, all this impressive handling comes at the cost of comfort, with the ride feeling a bit stiff for a more premium vehicle. The available rear air suspension helps here, but it can only be paired with the T6 powertrain, which offers even worse ride quality than the T5. The Volvo V90 may be a fun driver, but it performs best when treated as a more luxurious cruiser. Set to Comfort mode, it rolls down the highway with little fuss, once you get used to the somewhat heavy-handed driver-assistance features, that is.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Volvo V90 a good car?

Station wagons are a blast from the past, as crossover SUVs have muscled the classic American staple out of the market. With very few genuine wagons remaining, the V90 stands out for its unique and handsome styling and premium interior. Not quite as flashy as some pricier rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the Volvo still delivers an enjoyable driving experience, whether you're in the pilot's seat or lounging in the spacious rear seats. True, the V90 isn't quite as practical as an SUV, or even the E-Class, with a little less standard trunk space, but it makes up for it with impressive mileage figures and engaging handling dynamics. When it comes to a daily driver that offers an excellent blend of style, practicality, and fun, the Volvo V90 is hard to beat, and you definitely give it a look if you find yourself hauling the family around town or over long trips on a regular basis.

Check out other Volvo V90 Styles

2020 Volvo V90 Comparisons

Volvo V60 CarBuzz
Volvo XC90 Volvo

2020 Volvo V90 vs Volvo V60

The smaller sibling to the V90, the Volvo V60 is still a wagon in the traditional sense. However, in typical hand-me-down fashion, the little brother doesn't get access to the more powerful supercharged T6 engine. It can be had as the potent T8 Polestar Engineered model, though. Nevertheless, the base T5 under the hood of the V60 doesn't have as much weight to lug around, so it gets slightly better performance figures and a better fuel economy of 22/33/26 mpg. Following the same big brother/little brother analogy, the V60 doesn't get quite the same level of premium interior. Naturally, the smaller size of the V60 means there isn't as much passenger space to go around and the trunk is slightly smaller at 23.2 cubic feet. At the end of the day, the V60 is simply a smaller, cheaper version of V90. However, all this extra everything comes at an extra cost, too. The entry-level V60 will cost you $11,800 less than the V90 - $6,000 if you compare R-Design models. Still, if price isn't a primary factor in your decision-making, the Volvo V90 is better in every way.

See Volvo V60 Review

2020 Volvo V90 vs Volvo XC90

In a sense, the Volvo XC90 is the SUV version of the V90. Similarly sized in terms of length and width, it also gets the same two powertrain options as the wagon. However, the SUV is heavier and a bit more unwieldy, lacking the same sub-six-second sprint time as the V90. It also doesn't handle quite as well, with standard crossover-style dynamics as opposed to the more car-like handling of the wagon. In most other ways, the XC90 is very much alike to the V90. The interior can be dressed in the same plush Nappa leather upholstery and there is plenty of space for passengers in the first two rows of seats. Unlike the V90, though, the SUV can seat up to seven, thanks to the third row of seats. However, this comes at the cost of standard trunk space, with only 15.8 cubic feet on offer behind the third-row. Compare the space behind the second row, though, and the XC90 comes out well in the lead, with 41.8 cubic feet. In terms of safety and comfort features, the two vehicles are identical, so what it really comes down to is how much space you need. The V90 wagon can seat five in excellent comfort and still manage a decent amount of cargo, while the XC90 can seat up to two more in decent comfort with excellent cargo space. If you want to rival the luxury of the V90, the XC90 can be had with second-row captain's chairs, although this reduces overall capacity to four.

See Volvo XC90 Review
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