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No changes this year.
The Volvo S90, the luxury car formerly known as 960, is nearing the end of its life span. Volvo is concentrating on the popular 70-series models (C, S, and V) until more new product reaches the United States. Certainly a replacement is imminent for the rapidly aging 90-series models.
S90/V90 styling is attractive, and cuts wind drag at speed. Under the clean lines are a strong chassis and competent suspension. The 2.9-liter inline six produces its power and torque peaks at low rpm for better driveability. The business-like interior contains a few oddly placed controls, but is a nice place to spend time. Seats are supremely comfortable front and rear. Still, the fact remains that this car is smaller inside, heavier and more expensive than the S70/V70. Worse, it's less powerful than all but the base S70/V70, and gets worse gas mileage.
What's the S90/V90 got going for it? A full load of standard equipment, for starters. Leather interior, alloy wheels, power sunroof, antilock brakes, automatic climate control, premium sound system, heated exterior mirrors, dual power seats and a multitude of power accouterments are all included in the base price. Rear-wheel drive for better balance and dry-weather handling is a plus. Wagons add an integrated child safety seat. Standard side-impact airbags are nice, and the creased sheetmetal stands out in a class of look-alike blob-mobiles.
The S90/V90 competes in the overcrowded near-luxury segment, and is a good choice for conservative folks looking for something a little different. Fully optioned, an S90 runs about $36,000. But does it offer value? We don't think so, particularly with the larger, more powerful S70 GLT sitting next to it in the showroom.
Laura's old car was costing her a small fortune every month for gas and repairs. She didn't even want to drive her kids to the park any more. But buying a new Kia Soul changed all that.