Big wagons are something of a tradition for Volvo, but the only similarity between the Volvo V90 and the automaker's wagons of yore is the basic shape — and truth be told, even the shape bears little resemblance. The Volvo V90 is notable for many things, not least of which is its long, low body, which makes wagons like the Mercedes E-Class look downright frumpy.
The V90 shares its cabin with the S90 sedan, and that's a good thing. With its clean lines, sparing use of trim, and a portrait-style control screen, which operates much like a tablet, the V90 is the epitome of clean Scandinavian design. What the V90 lacks is the practicality of a crossover SUV. The V90 has plenty of room for people and their stuff, and it can be had with weather-beating all-wheel drive, but it lacks the higher seating position of an SUV. Still, if you want a car with plenty of space but don't want to drive around in the same old box as everyone else, the Volvo V90 is an appealing choice.
Current Volvo V90
Volvo sells the V90 in four models; there are two engines (T5 or T6) and two trim levels (R-Design or Inscription). The V90 T5 features a 250-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, while the T6 gets the same engine tuned for 316 horsepower (with the power increase coming via an innovative supercharger and turbocharger combination) and all-wheel drive. Inscription models emphasize comfort, while the R-Design has a sporty theme with a tighter suspension and more heavily bolstered seats. Both versions are similarly equipped, with leather upholstery, navigation, a panoramic sunroof, and a list of safety features as long as your arm (this is a Volvo, after all). Options include a selection of useful cargo management accessories and an automated parking system.
Volvo V90 T5 models can feel a bit short on oomph, so we recommend the T6 for its extra snap and the additional grip of all-wheel drive. We spent most of our time with an Inscription model, and though we thought the grippy tires and accurate steering held great promise, the handling wasn't great. The R-Design model, with its sport-tuned suspension, might address some of our concerns.
We are very fond of the Volvo V90's interior. Design and finish are top-notch, and the touchscreen interface is intuitive, though it can be slow to respond when the car is first switched on. The front seats are excellent — we expect no less from a Volvo — and the back seat is generous. The cargo bay is massive, storing up to 54 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, and it offers grocery hooks and cargo tie-downs. This is where Volvo's wagon heritage comes in handy — the Swedes really know how to haul.
Used Volvo V90 Models
The second-generation Volvo V90 was an all-new model introduced for 2018.
The original Volvo V90 was introduced in 1997, though only the name was new — it was a rebadged version of the existing 960 wagon. The V90 received no changes for 1998, its last year of production.