The Volvo V90 returns after nearly two decades

Discontinued in 1998 after only two years on the market, the V90 returned as Volvo’s flagship wagon in 2016. The new V90 is built on Volvo’s new Scaleable Production Architecture platform, which already underpins the XC90 SUV and the S90. As a result, the wagon also uses the same drivetrains as the S90, which in turn borrowed them from the XC90.

Likewise, the V90 features the same design language as the sedan and gets a similar interior, which makes it one of the most luxurious grocery getters on the market. Of course, the wagon received a redesigned rear end and a more practical interior with enhanced luggage space, but the sedan’s premium features and state-of-the-art technology are still there.

More good news comes from the availability department, as Volvo confirmed that the V90 will be sold in the United States too. Unveiled on North American soil at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, the V90 became Volvo’s first wagon in the U.S. in many years. Although the brand still offers the V60 on these shores, the V90 comes in Cross Country spec with a more rugged, crossover-like appearance.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Volvo V90.

Exterior

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior AutoShow
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The V90 is a significant departure from its predecessor, as Volvo dropped the boxy design in favor of a sportier roof section with a raked rear windscreen.

When Volvo unveiled the S90, it also revealed more than half of the V90’s design, as the two cars are identical between the nose and the B-pillars. We had no idea what the rear section would look like, but we assumed it should be similar to the XC90’s in order for the V90 to stay true to Volvo’s new styling language.

Now that the V90 has been unveiled, we have confirmation that the large wagon continues to employ Volvo’s traditional taillights that extend upward on the tailgate. At the same time, the V90 is a significant departure from its predecessor, as Volvo dropped the boxy design in favor of a sportier roof section with a raked rear windscreen. Although it looks sporty and modern, the new styling might prove upsetting to old-school enthusiasts.

COMPETING DESIGNS

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon
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While the rear end doesn't feel as sporty as the V90's, the front fascia is pretty aggressive.

Wagons may still be very popular in Europe, but they’re no longer a frequent choice in the United States, where drivers shifter to crossovers and SUVs. As result, there aren’t many wagons to choose from. In fact, when it comes to midsize premium models, the V90 has just one competitor — the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon. Unveiled for the 2017 model year, the E-Class Wagon is the utilitarian version of the company’s latest midsize sedan. Essentially an E-Class four-door with a wagon-style rear end, the German grocery getter is surprisingly elegant. All the sedan’s stylish design features are still visible from the nose toward the C-pillar, while the longer roof, broad shoulders over the rear wheel arches, and different taillights make it stand out in the lineup. While the rear end doesn’t feel as sporty as the V90’s, the front fascia is pretty aggressive and provides no hints that this is actually a wagon and not a sports sedan.

Mercedes E-Class Wagon Volvo V90
Wheelbase (Inches) 113.2 115.78
Overall length (Inches) 192.7 194.33
Overall height (Inches) 58.9 58.07
Overall width - mirrors included (Inches) 81.5 79.48
Track front/rear (Inches) 62.4/63.2 64.09/63.74

Interior

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Interior AutoShow
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The V90 is quite fancy for a wagon, even when compared with products from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Much like the exterior, the V90’s interior is also be based on the S90’s. Both the front and rear passenger compartments appear to be identical in terms of styling and equipment, meaning the wagon comes with the same dashboard with large wood inserts and vertical A/C vents flanking the tablet-like touchscreen, a tall and clean center console, and an overall premium feel — thanks to the numerous soft-touch surfaces and excellent fit and finish. In short, the V90 is quite fancy for a wagon, even when compared with products from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

While leg, shoulder, and headroom remain similar for the rear-seat passengers, luggage space increased dramatically thanks to the wagon configuration. Specifically, the V90 can take in 19.8 cubic feet of luggage in the trunk. And that’s with the second-row seat in place. Once it’s folded flat, trunk capacity grows to 53.9 cubic feet. These figures make the V90 not only one of the most luxurious wagons on the market, but also a practical grocery getter and a perfect vacation car. Volvo has yet to release full specs for the V90, but we’ll be back to update this section as soon as we have more info.

THE COMPETITION

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon High Resolution Interior
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The wagon can be had with either analogue dials and a seven-inch screen or the optional 12.3-inch display.

Needless to say, the V90 is one fancy wagon on the inside, but the E-Class isn’t bad either. Actually, I’d have a hard time choosing between the two, despite being a big fan of Volvo’s recent interiors. The reason for that is the E-Class gorgeous, S-Class-inspired design, and especially the three-layer dashboard with the round A/C vents in the center stack and the massive wood panel that extends into the doors. The instrument cluster is also based on the S-Class, but Mercedes-Benz changed just enough display features to make it unique. Speaking of which, the wagon can be had with either analogue dials and a seven-inch screen or the optional 12.3-inch display. These are paired with 8.4- and 12.3-inch infotainment screens atop the center stack, respectively. The new steering wheel with touch-sensitive buttons — a segment-first feature — can detect horizontal and vertical swipes just like the screen of a smartphone or tablet and allows the driver to control features of the infotainment system using only their thumbs. The infotainment system features redesigned menus and functions, as well as Linguatronic voice control.

As far as passenger headroom and legroom goes, the Volvo offers a bit more space up front, while the E-Class is roomier in the rear compartment. The Merc wins the shoulder room battle front and rear too, while cargo capacity is also in favor of the German wagon. Specifically, the E-Class can swallow 20.5 cubic feet of luggage with the rear seats up and up to 57.4 cubic feet with the seats folded flat. That’s 0.8 and 3.5 cubic feet more than the Volvo V90.

Mercedes E-Class Wagon Volvo V90
Headroom front/rear (Inches) 38.3/39.8 38.70/38.03
Legroom front rear (Inches) 41.3/36.0 42.16/35.86
Shoulder room front rear (Inches) 57.8/56.8 57.48/55.90
Cargo Capacity seats up/down 20.5/57.4 19.77/53.89

Drivetrain

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution
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Not surprisingly, since it rides on the same architecture as the S90 and XC90, the V90 uses the exact same engines as its siblings

Not surprisingly, since it rides on the same architecture as the S90 and XC90, the V90 uses the exact same engines as its siblings. Specifically, the wagon can be had with two gasoline engines, three diesels, and a hybrid (although some won’t be offered in certain markets). All drivetrains are built around 2.0-liter four-cylinder units.

The gasoline range includes the turbocharged T5 with 254 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and the turbocharged and supercharged T6, which generates 320 horses and 300 pound-feet. The former takes seven second to hit 60 mph from a standing start, while the latter hits the same benchmark in 6.1 clicks. Top speed is rated at 143 and 155 mph, respectively.

A T4 model with 190 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque is also available in certain markets.

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution
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Customers in need of a greener, more fuel-efficient wagon will be able to order the V90 with the T8 hybrid.

The diesel lineup consists of the D4, rated at 190 horsepower and 295-pound-feet of twist, and the D5, which cranks out 225 horsepower and 346-pound-feet. A D3 model with 150 horsepower and 236 pound-feet is available in some markets. The D3 is obviously the slowest car, needing 9.9 seconds to hit 60 mph, while the D4 gets to speed in a more exciting 8.2 seconds. Finally, the D5 needs only seven ticks. Top speed for these models is estimated at 127, 140, and 149 mph, respectively.

Customers in need of a greener, more fuel-efficient wagon will be able to order the V90 with the T8 hybrid, which pairs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged and supercharged four-banger and a 60-kW (80-horsepower) electric motor. The combo delivers 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque. Naturally, the most powerful drivetrain is also the quickest, pushing the V90 from 0 to 60 mph to 4.8 seconds. Top speed is limited at 155 mph.

All engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive is available for D3, D4, D5, T6, and T8 models. In the U.S., only the gasoline and hybrid setups are offered.

Volvo V90 T5 Volvo V90 T6 Volvo V90 T8
Engine 2.0-liter In-line, 4 cyl. turbocharged 2.0-liter In-line, 4 cyl. turbocharged 2.0-liter In-line, 4 cyl. turbocharged
Horsepower 254 HP @ 5,500 RPM 320 HP @ 5,700 RPM 320 HP @ 5,700 RPM
Torque 258 LB-FT 295 LB-FT 295 LB-FT
Battery type - - Lithium-ion battery
Battery content, total amount of energy (kWh) - - 9,2
Battery charging time***, at 16A / 10A / 6A fuse (hours) - - 2,5 / 3,5 / 6,0
Electrical motor max power (kW) - - 65 kW
Electrical motor max torque - - 177 LB-FT
Transmissions AW TG-81SC AW TG-81SC AW TG-81SD
Acceleration, 0-100 km/h 7,0 sec 6,1 sec 4,8 sec
Top speed 143 mph 155 mph 155 mph
Weight (Depending on type of engine, gearbox etc.) 4,038-4,631 Lbs 4,038-4,631 Lbs 4,038-4,631 Lbs

COMPETING PERFORMANCE

While the V90 crossed the pond to the U.S. with three drivetrains, including a hybrid combo, the E-Class Wagon will have just one one engine at launch. The German hauler will arrive in dealerships in E400 4Matic trim, which pairs a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, a 9G-Tronic, nine-speed automatic transmission, and an all-wheel-drive system. The engine pumps out 329 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque, which places this trim between the T6 and T8 versions of the V90. This model will also get a self-leveling rear air suspension as standard and optional Air Body Control for the front axle.

Mercedes-Benz will probably add a second drivetrain later on, but in the meantime, only European customers will get to choose from more options.

The German hauler will arrive in dealerships in E400 4Matic trim, which uses a 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine.

Specifically, Europe gets the base E200 with a 2.0-liter four-banger rated at 181 horsepower and 221 pound-feet and the E250 with 208 horses and 258 pound-feet. On the diesel front, the range will begin with the E200D and its 148-horsepower and 265-pound-foot 2.0-liter. The E220D will get the more powerful 191-horsepower and 295-pound-foot version, while the E350D will benefit from a 3.0-liter V-6 good for 254 horses and 457 pound-feet.

Mercedes E400 Wagon
Engine six-cylinder Biturbo
Horsepower 329 HP
Torque 354 LB-FT
Transmission 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic
Top Speed 155 mph
0 to 60 mph 6.5 seconds
Weight 4,431 Lbs

Safety

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior
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The V90’s safety features also mimic those of the sedan and include Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Run-off Road Mitigation, Run-off Road Protection, and the City Safety package will be standard. The latter is able to detect vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals and it’s always active above 4 km/h (2.5 mph).

Options will include Blind Spot Information, Rear Collision Warning, Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist, Distance Alert, Park Assist Pilot and a 360-degree camera.

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution
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The V90 is a semi-autonomous vehicle thanks to Volvo's new Pilot Assist feature.

Just like the S90, the V90 is a semi-autonomous vehicle thanks to Volvo’s new Pilot Assist feature. When activated, the system controls acceleration, braking and steering in order to help the driver follow the traffic flow within the current lane. The system reduces driver strain in tedious situations and increases safety, while also delivering enhanced speed and distance keeping in the lane.

THE COMPETITION

2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon High Resolution Interior
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The E-Class Wagon is just as well-equipped as the V90 safety-wise. Packed with several airbags and numerous driver assistance systems, the German wagon is also semi-autonomous. The optional Drive Pilot, which enables the vehicle to follow the car in front at speeds of up to 130 mph, uses automatic braking and accelerating. The Steering Pilot function also enables it to handle moderate bends, while the Speed Limit Pilot feature can automatically adjust the car’s speed according to on-the-road speed limits detected by a camera. These feature can be selected with the optional Driver Assistance Package Plus feature. Other driver assistance systems include Active Brake Assist, Attention Assist, and Remote Parking Pilot. The latter allows the vehicle to be moved into and out of garages and parking spaces remotely using a smartphone app.

Prices

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Pricing for the diesel-powered Volvo V90 starts from £34,555 in the U.K., which accounts for a £2,000 premium over the sedan version. For this amount, you can take home the D4 Momentum version. The D4 Inscription retails from £37,555, while the D5 AWD Momentum fetches £41,555 before options. Finally, the D5 AWD Inscription costs £44,055.

The V90 is not yet available in the U.S. in standard guise as of April 2018. Instead, Volvo is offering the Cross Country version, which features SUV-like cladding and higher ground clearance. This model retails from $52,300.

COMPETING PRICES

Pricing for the new E-Class Wagon is not yet available, but given that the outgoing model is priced from $59,900, the next-gen model should cost around $62,000 before options. This is indeed significantly more than what I expect the V90 to fetch, but this is the kind of difference that a Mercedes-Benz badge makes compared to a Volvo.

The only information about the E-Class Wagon we have so far is that the E220d is available from £37,935 in the United Kingdom.

Other Options

BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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While European consumers have access to other midsize premium wagons such as the BMW 5 Series Touring and the Audi A6 Avant, the U.S. market is restricted to the Volvo V90 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon only. If none of the two are appealing, you’re pretty much stuck with the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, which is significantly smaller and features less cargo room. However, if you don’t have a lot of stuff to haul, but still want a luxurious interior and a powerful engine, the 3 Series Sports Wagon seems like the better choice. The Bimmer comes with 2.0-liter inline-four rated at 240 horsepower and 255 pound-feet of torque or a 2.0-liter diesel generating 181 horses and 280 pound-feet. While neither are as powerful as the range-topping V90 T6 or the E-Class’ 3.0-liter six-cylinder, the 3 Series is definitely the sportier choice as far as dynamics go. Pricing starts from $42,950 for the gasoline 330i xDrive and $44,450 for the diesel 328d xDrive.

Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon.

BMW 5 Series Touring

2018 BMW 5 Series Touring High Resolution Exterior
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For those living in Europe, the brand-new 5 Series Touring is an actual option. Unveiled for the 2018 model year, the new Bimmer boasts a more contoured exterior with a beefed-up beltline and more muscular fascias, just like the sedan model. The wagon retains most of the aggressiveness of the four-door, which makes it an appealing choice to drivers looking for a sporty stance. As usual, the interior is packed with soft materials, high-grade leather, and state-of-the-art technology. The engine lineup is quite diverse. There’s the 530i with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo rated at 252 horsepower and 258 pound-feet and the 540i with the larger, 3.0-liter six-cylinder that makes 340 horses and 332 pound-feet. On the diesel front, you can choose between the 520d with 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet and the 530d with 265 horses and 457 pound-feet of twist.

Read our full review of the 2018 BMW 5 Series Touring.

Audi A6 Avant

2019 Audi A6 Avant Exterior
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The A6 Avant is yet another premium wagon that’s brand-new for 2018 and you can’t buy in the U.S. Essentially an A6 with a longer roof and a tailgate, the new Avant benefits from the company’s recent design language, which includes sharper styling cues and an overall sportier look. The redesigned cabin gained the continuous air-vent strip that we’ve seen in the Q7 and A4 a big displays in the instrument panel and the center stack. The seats are much more comfortable and materials have been improved all over the place. Elbow room and knee room has also grown, while the trunk can now take up to 59.3 cubic feet of luggage when the rear seats are folded flat. Only two drivetains are offered for now, but the lineup is expected to grow larger in the future. First on the list is the 3.0-liter TFSI V-6 that produces 340 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. This mill enables the A6 Avant to hit 62 mph in 5.2 seconds. The second option is the 3.0-liter V-6 turbodiesel, which delivers 286 horses and 457 pound-feet of twist. Both engines are fitted with a mild hybrid system for enhanced fuel economy. Transmission choices include a seven-speed S Tronic and an eight-speed Tiptronic. Both versions get the company’s familiar Quattro all-wheel-drive system, but upgraded for this specific model.

Read our full story on the 2019 Audi A6 Avant.

Conclusion

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Much like the S90 before it, the V90 promises to be a revolutionary car for the Swedish brand. The cabin brings more luxury than any other Volvo wagon before it, while the drivetrains seem to provide the perfect combination of power and efficiency. As far as styling goes, however, the V90 could go either way, as it really depends on where you stand. If you’re among those who disliked previous Volvo wagons because of their boxy rear ends, you’ll probably find the new V90 quite pleasant to look at. Old-school enthusiasts, on the other hand, might reject the sportier roof and raked rear windscreen and give Volvo heat for betraying its roots. While I’m a big fan of the old and boxy Volvo designs, I still think that the new V90 is a gorgeous wagon.

  • Leave it
    • High-performance version not likely
    • Not as roomy as the E-Class Wagon

Updated History

Updated 02/09/2016: Volvo officially confirmed that the new V90 will be unveiled on February 18 in Stockholm, Sweden. According to the company, "The V90 is a car that benefits from over 60 years of estate building heritage that started with the Volvo Duett which was launched in 1953 – the first car to meet the combined needs of drivers’ active leisure time and practical professional lives."

Updated 01/04/2015: The first images of the upcoming Volvo V90 leaked online revealing pretty much all we knew so far: its just a station wagon version of the recently launched S90.

Leaked Image

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior
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Rendering

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Press Release

The eagerly-awaited Volvo V90 was revealed today in Stockholm, Sweden. The stylish and versatile V90 is the latest in the luxury car maker’s top-of-the-line 90 series sitting alongside the award winning XC90 SUV and the recently-launched S90 luxury sedan.

Building on Volvo Cars’ indisputable heritage in the wagon segment, that began over 60 years ago with the Volvo Duett, the new V90 takes the luxury wagon a clear step forward in terms of aesthetics, materials and finish, while living up to the ultimately practical nature of any true wagon.

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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“We have a very strong position in the wagon segment,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars. “In many people’s minds we are known as the definitive wagon brand. While the Volvo brand today stands for more than wagons, we are proud to carry forward this rich heritage with the V90.”

The new V90 is the third car unveiled in Volvo’s top-of-the-line 90 series, all of which are built on the company’s specially-designed and fully modular Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), which has opened up a range of new opportunities in terms of how Volvos can be designed, built and equipped.

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Exterior
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“The modern luxury wagon is all about the intriguing combination of a luxurious experience with the functional origins of the wagon silhouette. The sophisticated ambience of our new Volvo Interiors is combined with a great cargo space, providing the right kind of functionality – whether through connectivity or cargo and storage solutions,” said Thomas Ingenlath senior vice president for design at Volvo Cars.

The new V90 delivers cutting-edge Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology, the most advanced standard safety package on the market, with large animal detection and run-off road mitigation, and class-leading connectivity including smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay.

2017 Volvo V90 High Resolution Interior
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Volvo Cars has also worked tirelessly on driving dynamics in the new model delivering a totally new and refined driving experience characterised by a sense of engaging control and predictability.

“We have a very strong offer in the V90. The T8 Twin Engine gas plug-in hybrid will deliver around 400 hp and a pure electric range of around 50 km,” said Dr Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.

The new Volvo V90 is scheduled to arrive in the United States in 2017.

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