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2020 Volvo V90 Performance


#4 out of 6 in Wagons

MSRP
$51,450
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Volvo V90 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 7.4

The 2020 Volvo V90 has a smooth ride and stable handling, but it's not the most engaging vehicle from behind the wheel. Both the standard and available engines have solid horsepower ratings. However, fuel economy is low for the class.

  • "A turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder sounds complicated, but Volvo's runs effortlessly on the road. It reacts quickly when you hit the gas and delivers strong power at low engine speeds. The V90 has no problem merging onto the freeway or making a pass. In our testing, the Cross Country covered 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "A proper wagon ought to drive as well as it hauls, and the V90 delivers in this regard." -- New York Daily News (2018)
  • "The car is well-balanced, exhibits little in the way of body roll and is decidedly more car-like in its roadholding than traditional SUVs. But that doesn't mean the Cross Country gives up the ability to take on off-road trails or plow through snow. It's the perfect vehicle for winter commuting and back-country exploring." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The V90 comes with one of two 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The standard offering is a 250-horsepower turbocharged engine called the T5, and the optional T6 engine is a 316-horsepower turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder. The T5 is a good engine that should satisfy most shoppers, but models with the T6 engine have quicker acceleration. Keep in mind, however, that the optional engine costs several thousand dollars more than the base version. No matter which engine you choose, an eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard. It works well for the most part but struggles to shift at the proper time, and this is more noticeable when the transmission is in Dynamic mode.

With the base engine and front-wheel drive, the V90 delivers 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The city figure is low, but the highway figure is average among wagons. The V90 gets 21 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway with the available engine and all-wheel drive. Cross Country models have lower city and highway ratings by 1 mpg each.

  • "Naturally, the T6 has more thrust, which suits this roomy and refined machine, especially when it's loaded up. But the T5 is only slower in the sprint from 0-to-60 mph by 0.9 of a second (6.7 against 5.8). Performance from the T5 is adequate, but not thrilling considering it's propelling a pretty hefty car." -- Autotrader
  • "The V90 provides ample oomph for the daily commute along with predictable and confident stopping power." -- Edmunds (2018)
  • "This Volvo is in its element on a fast-moving highway, where its petite engine effortlessly keeps up with traffic while keeping engine revs low and potential fuel efficiency high. Around town, though, the transmission can occasionally lurch between gearshifts, especially in the 'dynamic' drive mode, which reprograms shift points in addition to stiffening steering and suspension feel for a more sporting character." -- New York Daily News (2018)

Handling and Braking

The V90 delivers a comfortable, relaxed ride with marginal body lean and direct steering. Still, this Volvo isn't the most engaging wagon on the market. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available. An available Cross Country model comes standard with AWD, and it has a higher ride height.

  • "Handling-wise, the V90 is tuned for comfort with a fair degree of precision." -- Autotrader
  • "The V90 provides ample oomph for the daily commute along with predictable and confident stopping power. A soft ride makes for somewhat floaty handling, but you'd only notice it if you're trying to set a lap record. This smooth-operating luxury wagon delivers the driving experience you'd expect." -- Edmunds (2019)
  • "As fun as it was to powerslide this big car on the ice, that's as enthusiastic and sporty as it gets. The steering itself is weighted nicely, even when it becomes heavier in Dynamic mode, and it's precise and accurate even just off-center. However, it lacks much feel, and it has a slow steering ratio." -- Autoblog (2017)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Volvo V90

MSRP: $51,450 - $59,450

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