Volvo's wagon-rich history is on display with the 2018 V90, but those expecting a classic Volvo wagon experience may be in for a shock. The V90, like the related S90 sedan and XC90 SUV, is steeped in tech and style. If you're a wagon enthusiast, this new midsize luxury wagon is something you're going to lust after.
Based on exterior dimensions, the new V90 is very similar to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon. But the V90's exterior styling makes it look decidedly longer and sleeker than the E-Class. Inside, the V90 shares the same design and materials philosophy as the S90, with a large, centrally located touchscreen display, attractive wood and leather materials for the Inscription models, and carbon fiber and aluminum for the R-Design. Ergonomics are great for long-distance driving, and Volvo offers fold-down booster seats for the outer two rear-seat positions to help your young ones transition from child safety seats to regular seats.
It's true that a crossover SUV will likely make more sense from a practical standpoint. But here's the alternative if the idea of driving around in a glorified box doesn't appeal to your visual senses. The V90 also provides a measure of exclusivity without compromising too much on real-world use. If these attributes appeal to you, the 2018 Volvo V90 will be a great choice.
trim levels & features
All 2018 Volvo V90s come very well equipped, so you're basically paying for powertrains. The R-Design T5 and Inscription T5 start the lineup off with the lowest power and front-wheel drive. Some may find the T5 underpowered especially when fully loaded. The R-Design T6 and Inscription T6 provide more power and all-wheel drive that better matches the suspension and chassis. There's also a V90 Cross Country that features increased ground clearance and all-wheel drive and the engine found in the T6. It's reviewed here.
The Volvo R-Design T5 and Inscription T5 are equipped to nearly the same level and differ in interior materials, seat designs and colors. They both are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (250 hp, 258 lb-ft) driving only the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Inscription comes standard with heated and ventilated Comfort seats, leather upholstery, and its own exterior and interior visual trim package. The R-Design features a unique sport suspension calibration, comes standard with paddle shifters, and gets sport seats and R-Design specific interior and exterior trim, such as front and rear fascias, wheels and roof rails.
They both come standard with navigation, a panoramic roof and loads of safety tech such as blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, emergency braking and lane keeping assist. Optionally, you can add a Convenience package, which includes a top-down camera system, heated washer nozzles, a flip-up partition in the trunk area that holds grocery bags, and an automated parallel or perpendicular parking system.
The R-Design T6 and Inscription T6 are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that's both turbocharged and supercharged. At maximum power, it produces a stronger 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. And unlike the T5, the T6 comes with all-wheel drive. Otherwise when it comes to the interior and exterior, the T5 and T6 are essentially the same.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our First Drive of the 2017 Volvo S90 T6 Inscription Sedan (turbo and supercharged 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
Note: The S90 and V90 share identical powertrains and interior and exterior elements. Aside from the additional cargo volume in the rear, the two vehicles are essentially identical. Our findings remain broadly applicable to the V90.
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.