Volvo V90 Review 2022

Volvo V90 At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Volvo V90 is the big Swedish estate car redefined for the 21st Century, and is a big step in the brand repositioning itself as a genuine contender to the established premium German brands.

+Beautifully finished cabin, high level of standard equipment, extremely impressive safety technology.

-Smaller boot than rivals, Apple CarPlay a cost option.

Insurance Groups are between 27–44
On average it achieves 73% of the official MPG figure

With a practical boot, a beautifully-finished cabin, generous standard equipment and some of the best safety equipment of any car on sale, the Volvo V90 is a very impressive car. It’s family-friendly, easy to drive and extremely comfortable, making it a great alternative to the usual Audi, Mercedes-Benz and BMW executive estates.

The V90 is a clever piece of automotive design; you can tell it’s a Volvo estate car without having to think about it, but it doesn’t look overly boxy or anything other than modern and stylish. That same design theme also runs into the cabin too, which is discreetly stylish. Perhaps more importantly, there is plenty of space inside too.

Load volume with the rear seats in place is 560 litres, which is plenty for large suitcases or trips to a garden centre – but the cheaper Skoda Superb has more boot capacity for less money. That said, the V90 is still easily big enough for most families, especially in the back row where leg and headroom is enough for adults to sit in comfort.

The cabin is wonderfully finished, with leather upholstery as standard and a variety of upmarket finish options including metal or open grain wood inlays. Quality is seriously impressive – the V90 feels beautifully built, with a real sense of luxury, plus it’s packed with the latest technology, most of which is controlled from a large touchscreen.

The iPad style interface is intuitive, operating climate, in-car settings, connectivity and audio, with support for apps like Spotify. Navigation is standard and includes European maps and traffic updates, or iPhone owners can use their own navigation via Apple CarPlay, although that is a cost option rather than a standard feature.

There is a huge range of safety tech fitted to all V90 variants, including a semi-autonomous driving system that assists with steering and speed on motorways. Autonomous emergency braking is standard too – and it can detect pedestrians, cyclists and large animals like deer as well as other vehicles.

The engine line up in the V90 is quite unlike its key rivals, mainly because Volvo is continuing to push forward with its switch to electric vehicles and a phasing-out of pure combustion engined models. What that means for buyers is that the petrols and hybrids use the same 2.0-litre turbocharged engine, just with a different power output depending on how much you spend or with the addition of hybrid technology to alter the power output, while the two diesels are also differently-tuned versions of the same 2.0-litre four cylinder unit.

On the road the V90 feels quite big, which isn’t great on narrow country roads or in car parks, but elsewhere the car is extremely easy to drive and very comfortable, riding well over lumps and bumps. It isn’t quite as enjoyable through corners as the BMW 5 Series, but there are no complaints on a long motorway journey.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate is bigger, but it’s also more expensive, while the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant aren’t quite as luxurious or well-equipped, making the V90 an extremely tempting choice, and a family car that is especially easy to recommend to safety-conscious buyers.

Ask Honest John

How can we get a good deal on a new car?
"We have a 2017 Volvo V90 D5 that has done 50,000 miles. It is bigger than we need.Given the price of second hand cars we wonder whether we should just look to get a new car (trying to negotiate a discount for cash) on the basis ours may have increased in value as well. We would then sell the V90 on through an organisation that buys cars if necessary. A mid-sized estate (such as a Golf) would suit us well. Do you have any advice on our approach and any suggestions as to what we should consider? Our budget is probably £18,000 to £20,000. Due to infirm knees we would prefer an automatic."
Getting a good deal on a new car will be the difficult bit. Used car prices are inflated because there's a shortage of new cars. A dealer will be reluctant to offer a good deal for cash - they make commission from finance sales. As a replacement for your Volvo, a Volkswagen Golf Estate sounds like a good choice. We'd also recommend a Kia Ceed Sportswagon or, if you can find one within budget, a hybrid Toyota Corolla Touring Sports. Also consider SUV alternatives like a Skoda Karoq.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is the Volvo V90 estate too wide for narrow lanes and bridges?
"I'm keen to buy a good (petrol auto) cross country estate rather than an SUV. The Volvo V90 Cross Country is very well-reviewed and V90 depreciation is so strong that a 2019 V90 CC seems cheaper than a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. But I've just noticed their extra width compared to an SUV. We have family in Dartmoor - so lots of narrow bridges and narrow lanes. Some bridges are 7-foot wide, some are even narrower. Does that rule out a V90 Cross Country? One day, post-Covid, we might even want to park at an airport - again width restrictions are often used. How do drivers cope? Thanks. "
The V90 Cross Country is certainly a big car, but there are much bigger cars on the market. People often buy large SUVs like the Range Rover without giving it a second thought. With the door mirrors folded in, a V90 Cross Country is about 1.9 metres wide, so should get over most of the bridges you've mentioned. As for airport car parking, most restrictions are wide enough to squeeze a van (or a van-based people carrier like those popular with airport taxi firms), so that shouldn't be an issue. Look for one with the optional 360-degree camera if you're concerned.
Answered by Andrew Brady
I want one last great diesel estate car. What would you recommend as a simple option?
"I drive 25,000 business miles per year and do not think battery-electric would be suitable for my next vehicle. I recently saw an advert for the advanced technology on an Audi diesel and it frightened me the number of systems all capable of requiring a £1000 repair bills at some point in their life and all superfluous to a steady motorway cruising. What mechanically-simple, comfortable, diesel estate car would you recommend as the last best in breed diesel?"
All diesels are becoming increasingly complicated in order to meet stringent emission regulations. You're not going to find a simple modern diesel but, for your mileage, I wouldn't be too concerned. Problems occur when people use diesels for regular short journeys and the diesel particulate filter (DPF) becomes blocked. For 25k miles a year (presumably mainly on the motorway), a modern diesel will suit your needs well and should be very dependable. A Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate or BMW 3 Series Touring would be a lovely choice for 25k miles a year. Also consider a Volvo V90 as a comfortable, slightly left-field choice.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Should I keep my diesel car if my mileage has dropped?
"I own a diesel 2015 BMW 5 Series estate with 51,000 miles - which I love. However, since retiring, my mileage is very low. A pre-owned 5 Series PHEV is frankly too expensive for me now. What would you recommend considering the driving dynamics of the 5? Or should I keep my car?"
It's likely to get problematic as it gets older if you don't take it for regular runs up the motorway. Lots of short journeys could lead to a blocked diesel particulate filter (DPF). A petrol or hybrid model would be a much better choice. A BMW 520i could be a good replacement, or consider a 3 Series if you don't need a car quite so big. We'd also recommend a Mercedes-Benz C- or E-Class, or a Volvo V90.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Volvo V90 cost?