Scandinavian design is known for its simplicity and functionality, and as the sole Swedish carmaker selling road-legal cars in the U.S., Volvo puts this aesthetic front and center with the 2018 S90 sedan. From the outside, there's a stately heft that used to be the domain of German car companies. This year, that heft is further emphasized as the car is 4.5 inches longer than the previous year. On the inside, it's elegantly simple, with impeccable materials and an undeniable air of luxury.
The S90 also rides high on Volvo's reputation for safety and comes with all of the latest advanced features found in other cars, as well as a few that are unique to the brand. The sedan's appeal is further bolstered by some of the most comfortable seats in the industry and a large, ultra-modern central touchscreen that reminds us of the massive screen in Tesla vehicles.
Pricewise, the 2018 Volvo S90 is in lockstep with midsize luxury sedans that include the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The S90 is quite a bit larger, however, approaching the dimensions of those competing companies' flagship sedans, so it could be argued that you're getting quite a bit more for your money.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Volvo S90 is a large luxury sedan that is offered in either Momentum or Inscription trim levels with a choice of three powerplants. The T5 models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (250 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque) paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. The T6 is both supercharged and turbocharged (316 hp, 295 lb-ft) and comes standard with all-wheel drive. The plug-in hybrid T8 adds an 87-hp electric motor to the T6 engine for a combined output of 400 hp, 472 lb-ft.
Standard features for the T5 Momentum include 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED foglights with corner illumination, a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, keyless entry and ignition, selectable drive modes, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with driver seat memory functions and power-folding rear headrests.
On the technology front, you also get Volvo On-Call remote feature control via a smartphone app, an 8-inch virtual instrument panel, a 9-inch touchscreen with Volvo's Sensus infotainment system, a rearview camera, a navigation system, and a 10-speaker audio system with USB/auxiliary input, satellite radio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
Standard advanced safety features include forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian animal and cyclist detection, the Pilot Assist semiautonomous driving system, a blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Run-off Road mitigation and protection, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, a drowsy driver alert system, and a traffic sign reader. The T6 Momentum adds heated front seats and a 12-inch virtual instrument panel.
The T6 Inscription trim extends the features list with 19-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, headlight washers, four-zone automatic climate control, a cooled glovebox, interior ambient lighting, upgraded wood interior trim, premium leather upholstery, leather coverings on the dash and door panels, ventilated front seats, power-adjustable front-seat side bolsters and thigh extensions, and power sunshades for rear windows. T8 models add a crystal shift knob.
The optional Convenience package is offered for all trims and includes front parking sensors, an automated parallel and perpendicular parking system, heated washer nozzles, a power trunklid, a surround-view camera system, a universal garage door opener and a 12-volt power outlet. Stand-alone options include an air-ride suspension, a head-up display, a Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system and a heated steering wheel. The Inscription trim is eligible for 20-inch wheels and the Luxury package (massaging front seats, heated rear outboard seats, ventilated rear seats, an upgraded rear-seat center armrest, additional leather coverings and a suede headliner).
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our Full Test of the 2017 Volvo S90 T6 Inscription Sedan (2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Volvo S90 has received some revisions, including the switch to a longer-wheelbase version. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's S90.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
audio & navigation
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.