First drive: 2017 Volvo S90 in Oman

First drive: 2017 Volvo S90 in Oman

Volvo is riding high on accolades for the Volvo XC90, and they implemented the same DNA used to create their successful SUV on to their all-new luxury sedan offering, the Volvo S90, which we got a chance to drive in Oman.

Looking at the exterior, the S90 features the brand’s new design language, which consists of a concave grille and “Thor’s Hammer” daytime running lights in the front. It is longer, wider and lower than the S80 model it replaces, making it longer than most midsize sedans, but shorter than most large sedans. While the front design exudes elegance, the rear taillamp design feels more inconclusive. While we appreciate the fact that the design is different from others, it might be a bit too subtle for some. There is an R-Design on offer as well, which spices things up a bit in the looks department.

The interior is clean and functional, as it carries the same cues as the XC90, with its big screen to access the infotainment system and climate control. While it draws a bit of grief early on to work the touchscreen while driving, the learning curve is small and soon you will get used to navigating through at least some of the basic menus. There is plenty of leather and soft-touch materials in the cockpit to give it a nice premium feel, although it does lack the fancier gimmicks you might find in the established German luxury brands.

Under the hood, Volvo uses the turbocharged 4-cylinder 2.0-litre engine, which is connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The standard model produces 254 hp and 350 Nm of torque, good enough to go from 0-100 kph in a claimed 6.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 230 kph. The higher models get a more powerful tune, which churns out about 320 hp and 400 Nm of torque. This helps it sprint from 0-100 kph in a claimed 5.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 250 kph.

We drove the top-end version of the S90 in the beautiful mountain roads of Oman. Like most new cars, there was hardly any feedback from the steering wheel, but steering was sharp and all-wheel-drive ensured there was no drama on the twisty roads. The brakes had excellent feel and made sure the car slowed down hassle-free when certain areas had goats running across the road!

While the S90 handles well, slight bodyroll was felt on some high speed corners, so the suspension clearly designed for a more comfortable ride, as it should be in this category. With just a 4-cylinder engine doing the job, the gearbox is kept busy in Sport mode, always looking to find the optimum gear to churn out the maximum power. However when cruising in the open highway, the engine shows one of its best characteristics of being highly fuel efficient, with numbers below 6 litres/100 km.

The luxury midsize car segment is a very tough bunch. While it may not be taking away too much market share initially from the established players, Volvo has finally created something in this segment after a long time for consumers to take notice. The S90’s core elements include comfort, practicality and efficiency. Combined with that unique front fascia, Volvo has a solid new offering.

Keep track of the latest prices and updates in the Volvo S90 buyer guide.

What do you think?



  1. saw the car in the flesh now a few times in europe this winter.

    very nice front and side designs, the rear looks horrible though.

    interior wise it looks decent, too.

    not sure how successful it will be here, but in europe it can become a serious contender for e-c, 5, a6..

  2. This is a really nice car . But we need to compare it with the new Skoda Superb 2.0 280 psi . I think the superb is the decade bargain. .

  3. great looks great design overall… welldone volvo after a long time… !!!

  4. Which area is this in Oman also how did the car go near the sea? Please do reply want to spend this eid in oman

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