Volvo has been on a real new powertrain blitz recently, with a whirlwind of EVs, PHEVs and mild hybrids being added to its model ranges.
However, while in many cases this has changed nothing about the cars in question except what’s under the bonnet, it’s a different story with the firm’s executive cars – the Volvo S90 saloon and the Volvo V90 estate tested here – where new engines have coincided with a good old-fashioned facelift.
Admittedly, the changes aren’t earth-shattering, but they include new LED tail lights with sequential indicators, new fog lights, a new spoiler design, and a new, lower front bumper. It’s a subtle makeover, but the Volvo V90 was already a handsome machine, and the changes only enhance its aesthetic appeal.
Interior changes include two rear USB-C charging points, replacing the previous 12V outlet, and a new air cleaning system – even more subtle than the exterior changes, then, but the interior does remain comfortable and, predictably, hugely spacious, although while the boot appears huge in isolation (it’s nearly long enough to be adult sleeping accommodation even with the rear seats in place) it’s actually no bigger than those found in rivals such as the Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.
As for those powertrain changes, Volvo has applied its entry-level approach to electrification, in the form of mild hybridisation. Every engine in the range (except the PHEV) now comes with 48V assistance, including the 197hp and 235hp diesels, and the 197hp, 250hp and 300hp petrols.
The 300hp engine, badged as the B6, it’s clearly not going to be the most popular powertrain for fleets, with the less powerful variants offering better economy and emissions (the B6 sits in the top 37% BIK tax bracket). However, the B6 does offer highly impressive performance, with the ability to propel the V90 from 0-62mph in just over six seconds, and the mild-hybrid system, which as far as it goes, is well integrated, supporting the engine when accelerating and allowing its revs to drop to idle when coasting. It helps the B6 to 36.2mpg on the WLTP cycle, which is good going for a car this size with this much power.
Source: Business Car
Author: Sean Keywood