By: Sala Masindane (@salaontop)
For as long as I can remember, the South African mid-size luxury segment has always been dominated by the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and, mostly recently, the Jaguar XF. These are all worthy contenders to the premium sedan throne. On the other hand, Volvo has always been perceived as a pretender to the luxury throne. This is no fault of the brand but rather a perception that exists in the market. Unfortunately perception is reality in certain instance. Buoyed by the groundwork laid down by the Ford Corporation when it owned Volvo and a major Chinese investment, Volvo designers have been working hard to close the quality and perception gap, and create a generation of revolutionary cars which are good enough (if not better) to compete and possibly de-throne the would be leaders. The charming XC90 has led the fight from the front in the Volvo revolution and the S90 T6 R-Design is here to carry on the good fight and march towards the victory parade.
Generally, as human beings we always try and look for imperfections if something appears to be “perfect”. Upon arrival of our test S90 T6 R-Design, we couldn’t help but notice that no matter how hard you tried, it was difficult to fault the S90 on anything. Be it the standard piano black Volvo grille, full leather upholstery, or the Active Bending LED headlights with Active Beam which resembles Thor’s hammer, the S90 seemed to hit all the right notes. True to Swedish form, these are not the only standard features on the three trims of the S90 (Momentum, Inscription and R-Design), the list also includes rear parking sensors, rain sensor wipers, multifunctional leather steering wheel and chrome window detailing just to name a few.
Just like the XC90, the new S90 is available with a range of 2-litre petrol and diesel engines, featuring an 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. The D4 and D5 engines provide diesel power, and T5 and T6 engines play the same role for the petrol power. The T6 engine pushes out a whooping 235kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. This is a lot of power but it is delivered very well in this sedan. The handling is superb and it is perfectly suited for both city driving and highway cruising.
Like the competition, the S90 T6 R-Design has optional extras that can be added on to personalise the car to your needs. These will increase the standard retail price of the S90 T6 R-Design which is R883,300 but unlike many competitors, the S90 T6 R-Design still has a long list of items which are generally considered to be optional extras like a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 9-inch Sensus Connect touch screen infotainment and Pilot Assist for semi-autonomous driving as standard features. I must say the additions that were on our test car are a necessary evil. Extras including, Bowers & Wilkins 19-speaker, keyless entry and starting (incl. hands-free lid opening & closing), Head-up display and 20-inch R-Design wheels took the car to the ultimate level in the luxury stakes.
Volvo has always been ahead in terms of safety and with the S90 that is still the case. The S90 has been integrated with IntelliSafe incorporating City Safety. This includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection (day and night), run-off-road mitigation and protection with impact-absorbing seats. That’s not all, autobrake at intersections for oncoming traffic, front collision warning with full auto brake, road sign information, lane keeping aid, lane departure and driver alert control are also included in the safety list.
The Volvo S90 prices are as follows:
Volvo S90 D4 Geartronic Momentum R698,500
Volvo S90 D4 Geartronic Inscription R742,000
Volvo S90 D4 Geartronic R-Design R727,500
Volvo S90 D5 Geartronic AWD Momentum R777,700
Volvo S90 D5 Geartronic AWD Inscription R821,200
Volvo S90 D5 Geartronic AWD R-Design R806,700
Volvo S90 T5 Geartronic Momentum R675,200
Volvo S90 T5 Geartronic Inscription R718,700
Volvo S90 T5 Geartronic R-Design R704,200
Volvo S90 T6 Geartronic AWD Momentum R828 400
Volvo S90 T6 Geartronic AWD Inscription R871,900
Volvo S90 T6 Geartronic AWD R-Design R857,400
All models come standard with a 5-year/ 100 000 km full vehicle warranty, full maintenance plan and roadside assistance, as well as laminated glass and Tracker Connect as standard.
Leave a comment