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$50,550 - 63,200 MSRP

2020 Volvo S90 Review

The Volvo S90 ranks in the middle of the luxury midsize car class. It features a high-end and roomy cabin, excellent safety features, and good fuel economy, but a low predicted reliability rating keeps the S90 from ranking higher.

Pros & Cons

  • Elegant and spacious interior
  • Comfortable seats
  • Lots of standard safety features
  • Zippy, fuel-efficient engine options
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating
  • Relatively small trunk

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Volvo S90 ranked #5 in Luxury Midsize Cars. Currently the Volvo S90 has a score of 8.1 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 20 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 8.1
Safety:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.9 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Volvo S90 a Good Car?

The 2020 Volvo S90 isn’t perfect, but overall it’s a good luxury midsize car. The stylish S90 has a fantastic interior with top-notch materials, a sleek minimalist design, and a tablet-like touch screen. The sculpted front seats are among the best in the business for long-haul comfort, and there’s abundant space for taller passengers up front and in the back. The S90 also impresses with its many standard safety features, composed handling, and lineup of powerful yet fuel-efficient engines. The biggest issue holding back the S90 is a low predicted reliability rating.

Should I Buy the Volvo S90?

You should definitely consider the S90 if you’re shopping for a luxury sedan. The S90 is sleek inside and out, packed with standard tech and safety features, and pleasant for daily driving. That said, there are competitors worth checking out, like the BMW 5 Series and Genesis G80. Both of these sedans rate higher for predicted reliability than the S90, and the G80 is significantly less expensive to buy.

Compare the S90, 5 Series, and G80 »

Should I Buy a New or Used Volvo S90?

The Volvo S90 launched in 2017 as an all-new model, and it replaced the S80 sedan. There have been a few key updates since. The 2018 S90 added a new plug-in-hybrid variant, and a few features that were previously optional became standard, like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and blind spot monitoring. The 2018 model also gained a longer wheelbase, which added about 5 extra inches of rear legroom. For these reasons, we suggest skipping the 2017 S90.

There were no major changes for 2019, but for 2020, Volvo discontinues the T5 four-cylinder engine and front-wheel-drive setup. This means that the 2020 S90 packs a more powerful standard engine, but the car isn’t as fuel-efficient. Most critics disliked the T5 engine for its merely adequate power.

If you’re considering an older model, be sure to read our 2017 S90, 2018 S90, and 2019 S90 reviews to help make your decision. Also check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 S90 »

We Did the Research for You: 20 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve analyzed 20 Volvo S90 reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and fuel economy estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

This 2020 Volvo S90 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2017.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Does the Volvo S90 Cost?

The 2020 Volvo S90 has a base MSRP of $50,550, which is about average for a luxury midsize car. The starting price jumps to $63,200 if you want the S90 plug-in-hybrid model. Less expensive options in the Volvo lineup include the XC40 SUV ($33,700), S60 sedan ($36,050), V60 wagon ($39,650), and the XC60 and XC90 SUVs ($40,150 and $48,350, respectively).

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Volvo dealer.

Volvo S90 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Volvo S90 or Audi A6?

The Volvo S90 and Audi A6 have similar strengths. These luxury cars both have posh interiors, comfortable and roomy seats, and state-of-the-art infotainment systems. There are some notable differences though. The A6’s suspension provides a smoother ride than the S90’s on uneven pavement. On the other hand, the S90 carries a lower starting price than the A6, and it’s outfitted with more standard safety features. Test-drive both models to see which you prefer.

Which Is Better: Volvo S90 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

The Mercedes E-Class is one of the few luxury midsize cars with an interior that can outshine the S90’s. The E-Class is impeccably well-trimmed, its seats are lounge-chair cozy, and it’s outfitted with a jaw-dropping infotainment system. The Mercedes-Benz also rides smoother than the S90 on rough roads, is offered in more body styles (sedan, coupe, convertible, and wagon), and is available with more engine options – including high-performance six- and eight-cylinder variants. However, the E-Class costs more than the S90, and its predicted reliability rating is low. If your budget allows, pick the E-Class.

Compare the S90, A6, and E-Class »

S90 Interior

How Many People Does the S90 Seat?

The Volvo S90 is a four-door sedan with five seats. Its power-adjustable front seats are exceptionally supportive and well-cushioned, and they remain comfortable even on longer drives. The rear seats are similarly plush and cozy, and there’s generous head- and legroom for adults in both rows.

Leather upholstery and heated front seats are standard. Ventilated and massaging front seats, heated and ventilated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel are available.

S90 and Child Car Seats

The S90 has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats, as well as an upper tether for the rear middle seat. 

S90 Interior Quality

The S90 has one of the nicest interiors in its class. The cabin has a striking minimalist design, and there’s a large, vertically oriented touch screen on the dashboard. Most surfaces are trimmed with high-end materials, including wood, brushed metal, leather, and soft-touch plastics.

S90 Cargo Space

The Volvo S90 has 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space, which is a bit small for a luxury midsize car. That said, the trunk has a wide opening, making it easy to load bulkier items. The rear seats also fold with the push of a button. Opt for the roomier Volvo V90 wagon if you need more storage space.

S90 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The S90 is equipped with Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, which includes a 9-inch touch screen, navigation, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 10-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, and a USB port. The tablet-like touch screen manages most of the S90’s functions, from tuning the radio to the climate controls and heating the seats. The system does have a learning curve and could benefit from a few more buttons and knobs, but overall, it’s user-friendly once you get the hang of it.

The screen has slick graphics, and it operates much like a smartphone with tap, pinch, and swipe gestures. If you’d prefer it to mimic your smartphone, there’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which is standard in all models. Other standard features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a digital gauge cluster.

Options include quad-zone automatic climate control, a 13-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, a 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen stereo, and power rear sunshades.

Read more about interior »

S90 Performance

S90 Engine: Quick and Quicker

The 2020 Volvo S90 is offered with two powertrains: T6 and T8. The entry-level S90 T6 has a 316-horsepower turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder engine. The S90 T8 pairs this engine with a 10.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor on the rear axle. Together, this hybrid combination produces 400 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard.

Both of these setups zip the S90 around confidently. The twin-charged T6 engine provides nice low-end torque for accelerating briskly from a stop, and the S90 can dash from zero to 60 mph in about six seconds. There’s ample power for climbing hills and passing other vehicles at highway speeds. The eight-speed automatic transmission fires off quick yet smooth gear changes.

The T8’s battery assist gives the S90 even more acceleration: Zero to 60 mph takes a brief 4.8 seconds. This hybrid system feels similarly refined, though it can occasionally hesitate if you really stab the throttle. This isn’t likely to be an issue in most driving situations.

S90 Fuel Mileage: Decent

The S90 T6 gets an EPA-rated 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which is about average for the luxury midsize car class. The S90 T8 plug-in hybrid gets an excellent 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving, and it can drive up to 21 miles on all-electric power. The T8 is also rated at 60 MPG equivalent combined. For more information, read What is MPGe?

You can charge the S90 T8 at home using a 120-volt power outlet. This method recharges the battery in about seven hours. Level 2 public chargers or a 240-volt power outlet can fully recharge the T8 in just three hours.

S90 Ride and Handling: Middle of the Road

The S90’s driving dynamics are a mixed bag. The sedan feels stable and composed around sharp turns, and its optional adaptive air suspension does a good job of soaking up bumps and dips in the road comfortably. On the other hand, the standard suspension sends jitters and jolts through the cabin, especially when outfitted with the 20-inch wheels. Its heavy steering has a lackluster response as well. Consider opting up for that air suspension.

Read more about performance »

S90 Reliability

Is the Volvo S90 Reliable?

The 2020 Volvo S90 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Volvo S90 Warranty

Volvo covers the S90 with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. The S90 T8 models are covered by an additional eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

Read more about reliability »

S90 Safety

S90 Crash Test Results

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the 2020 S90, which is common for luxury vehicles. That said, the IIHS named the very similar 2019 S90 a Top Safety Pick.

S90 Safety Features

The S90 comes standard with a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, automatic high-beam headlights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Available safety features include a head-up display, adaptive pivoting headlights, a surround-view parking camera system, and hands-free park assist.

Read more about safety »

S90 Dimensions and Weight

The Volvo S90 is 16.7 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,135 to 4,579 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Volvo S90 Built?

Volvo builds the S90 in Sweden and China.

Which Volvo S90 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Volvo S90 is available in three trim levels: Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription. The base S90 Momentum is the best option for most shoppers. It’s well-equipped with standard features, along with a peppy turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. It’s also offered with a considerable array of options.

That said, you’ll need to upgrade to either the R-Design or Inscription trims if you want the S90’s plug-in-hybrid powertrain. This setup is available only in those models.

Volvo S90 Momentum

The base S90 T6 Momentum trim starts at $50,550. It’s equipped with a 316-horsepower engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive. Standard convenience features include a 9-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, a 10-speaker stereo, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start.

Also standard are leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, birch interior accents, a panoramic moonroof, LED headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Standard safety features include a rearview camera, parking sensors, forward and rear collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist.

Options include heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel ($750), a Harman Kardon sound system ($800), hands-free parallel park assist ($200), and 19-inch alloy wheels ($800). The Advanced package ($2,850) adds a head-up display, a surround-view parking camera system, adaptive headlights, and a power trunk lid.

Volvo S90 R-Design

The sporty S90 T6 R-Design trim starts at $53,650. It comes with the same T6 engine, transmission, and all-wheel drive system as the base model, and it also includes quad-zone automatic climate control, front seats with extendable thigh cushions, an R-Design steering wheel and grille, rear sunshades, metal interior accents, the Harman Kardon stereo, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

You can upgrade the R-Design to the T8 powertrain, which adds a 400-horsepower plug-in-hybrid system. It starts at $63,200.

Most options carry over from the Momentum trim. An adaptive air suspension ($1,200), a 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins stereo, bolstered R-Design sport seats ($750), and 20-inch alloy wheels ($800) are available.

Volvo S90 Inscription

The luxe S90 T6 Inscription trim starts at $53,650, and the S90 T8 Inscription retails for $63,200. These models boast the same powertrains and standard features as the R-Design, with the addition of ventilated front seats, walnut interior accents, and a restyled grille.

Most options carryover from the Momentum and R-Design trims. The only additional option is the Luxury package ($3,450), which adds massaging front seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as heated and ventilated rear seats.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Volvo dealer.

See 2020 Volvo S90 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Volvo S90 has a lot going for it. Its distinctive styling turns heads, and its sculpted leather seats provide all-day comfort. The S90 also offers composed handling, spry turbocharged engines, and lots of standard tech and safety features.

That said, the S90 isn’t a leader in the luxury midsize car class in any one area. Many of its rivals are sportier, more powerful, and more luxurious than the S90, and they cost less. There are several competitors that rate higher for predicted reliability as well. The S90 is a good car, but you should shop around first.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The 2020 Volvo S90 is fighting the good fight for luxury sedans as armies of crossovers continue their relentless advance. Classified as a midsize car, the S90 is almost as spacious as a full-size sedan. The quality of the materials is suitably lofty, and the equipment offerings are generous, especially in terms of safety equipment. The prices, meanwhile, aren't quite as daunting as those of the German competition. … There are no high-performance S90 variants along the lines of BMW's M cars, just increasing levels of splendor as you go up the trim levels." -- Autotrader
  • "The 2019 Volvo S90 luxury sedan offers buyers all the attributes expected of a luxury brand, but because it isn’t as commonplace as a BMW 5 Series or an Audi A6, it also comes with a fair bit of exclusivity. The S90 has all the latest bells and whistles including semi-autonomous driving capability. But it also has a look all its own, with a stunning interior and massive rear seat that dwarfs that of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Cadillac CTS." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • Sporting a style all its own allows the S90 to stand out from the prevailing luxury-brand status quo. Its interior design is as simplistic and elegant as the exterior and provides acres of passenger space in both front and rear seats. The S90 serves as a rolling technology showcase, too, as Volvo has equipped it with futuristic driver-assistance features. … If the S90's ride and handling were as refined as the rest of the car, it would create even more of a disruption in this highly competitive field of luxury sedans. Still, Volvo's goal to create a safe and comfortable driving experience is noble, and the S90 comes in such a stylish wrapper that it's easy to understand why it's so appealing." -- Car and Driver (2019)
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