March 25, 2020 By Paolo de Borja Photos by the author C! March 2020 Issue

2020 Volvo S90 D4

Swedish Excellence

Are you in the market for a luxury sedan but have grown tired of the gorgeous but predictable German models? Well, let me present to you the 2020 Volvo S90 D4.

This Scandinavian saloon flaunts modern and robust lines. Upfront is a sharp and handsome design. It’s equipped with LED headlights with Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) running horizontally from each side of the two lamps. Believe it or not, these DRLs are actually inspired by Thor’s hammer, the Mjölnir. Active bending lights were a treat to witness as I drove the S90 around the city in the dark. The backend is indisputably stylish and unique as well thanks to the C-shaped taillights. Beautiful 19-inch 5-triple spoke matt tech diamond cut alloy wheels also come standard for this trim. The trunk opens and closes with the touch of button, a necessary feature to have for a vehicle in this class.

The four-cylinder twin-turbocharged diesel engine might seem underwhelming for a luxury car in this class but it performs quite well upon gaining a bit momentum. Complementing the engine is an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The S90 may be more affordable than its German counterparts but doesn’t scrimp on style, premium comfort, and technology. Inside, I was greeted by an interior that’s simplistic and neat while still strikingly luxurious. It looks just effortlessly beautiful. Facing me was a digital instrument cluster with crisp graphics. The engine is started by neither an ignition nor a push-start button, but with a small knob on the center console – a nifty touch. Soft and leather materials meticulously construct majority of the cabin, particularly the dashboard, steering wheel, center console, and door panels. The dashboard is visual ecstasy. It’s highlighted by a 9-inch touchscreen display at the heart of the infotainment system. My first thoughts on this was it’s like having an iPad-like device planted between blade-like air-conditioning vents. It’s not all about size, too. The system’s got good-looking graphics. It was also intuitive and quick to respond as I navigated and swiped through the controls. One advantage of having such big screen is that everything is organized properly and it’s easy to read each function on display. The 2-zone climate control is equipped with clean zone interior air quality system for the comfort of occupants.

What I particularly appreciated about the S90 was how fitting it is as either as a driver’s or passengers’ car. As the pilot, the experience I had surrounded by leather and soft materials, along with generous, up-to-date technology was extremely pleasant. The S90’s seats are one of the most comfortable car seats I’ve ever traveled with. You can also tell trace the origins of the car with the small Swedish-inspired tags on the sides. If you don’t feel like driving yourself, rear provides excellent legroom as well thanks to the slim design of the front seats. It’s ideal for businessmen and executive who’ve been used to the German luxury models and want something different.

In a world where premium cars have seen a marriage between luxurious and sporty notes in design and the way they drive, the S90 sits tight as a purely luxury vehicle. The suspension beams with sophistication and delivers a very relaxed ride. It also does a decent job blocking out external noise and tire noise. It feels like a proper Volvo.  And it wouldn’t be a Volvo is it’s not packed with an array of safety technology. Safety features include pedestrian detection system with large animal detection, lane keeping aid, pilot assist, adaptive cruise control, run off road mitigation, road sign information, cross traffic alert, driver alert, rear collision warning, and park assist. Pilot Assist is a semi-autonomous driving system, which works up to 130 km/h on clearly marked roads.

The Volvo S90 may not as hair-raising as its more popular rivals, but it keeps close to the respected identity the Swedish marque has built for itself over the decades with a smooth, luxurious drive, elegantly minimalist cabin, and a collection of safety features.



Engine Inline-4, 1969 cc, dohc 16V, Direct Injection Intercooled Twin-Turbodiesel, 8-Speed AT
Max Power (bhp @ rpm) 188 bhp @ 4250 rpm
Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm) 295 lb-ft @ 1750-2500 rpm


Top Speed 225 km/h (140 mph) Governed
0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph 8.2 sec.

Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

Fuel Milage (km/l) 6.42 L/100 kms. overall


Price as Tested (PHP) PhP 3,995,000.00
What's Great Simplistic yet unique and beautiful exterior, modern Volvo safety features, impressive 9-inch touchscreen display
What's Not So Arguable considering the price and identity of the Volvo brand but engine performance is still not at par with usual rivals
C! Editors Rating 9/10
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