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First Drive

First Drive: Volvo V90

Volvo V90 B6 AWD
The story: The V90 gets Volvo's latest Google-based infotainment system in a mild upgrade of the big, comfortable and practical estate
Category:Executive
Key rival:BMW 5-series Touring
Price:£53,845
Efficiency:35.3mpg
Emissions:182g/km
On sale:Now

 

Big, petrol estate cars don’t really fit into the modern company car landscape that’s all about EVs and SUVs, but that doesn’t stop them being brilliant. This is especially the case when they’re a Volvo V90.

First Drive - November 2021 - Volvo V90 - Image 6User choosers that want and, usually, need a large estate car don’t have the option of going fully electric yet. And if you’re covering greater distances a plug-in hybrid doesn’t make sense.

This is where non-plug-in hybrids such as the V90 B6 make the most sense.

With all-wheel drive as standard the 2.0-litre 300hp B6 is one of the most cosseting and easy ways in all conditions to cover long distances and large loads thanks to a 551 litre boot.

With such a high power output, the B6 is obviously fairly quick, but that’s really not the point. What it enables is effortless cruising, easy overtaking and, if you’re so inclined, a braked towing capacity of 2,200kg – higher than any other V90.

To emphasise the point that this is not a sporty car, there is no ‘sport’ mode on the automatic gearbox. You just select drive and off you go. This approach should be celebrated for its simplicity.

Volvo has recently upgraded the V90 with its latest Google-based infotainment and connected car system.

First Drive - November 2021 - Volvo V90 - Image 5The upgrade from Volvo’s own system has some noticeable advantages mainly around the simplicity of searching for a satnav destination. The Google navigation also brings better real-time traffic and routing information. The only disadvantage of the new connected system is that if, for instance, you find yourself without phone coverage such as the Highlands of Scotland then you can’t search for a destination or get route guidance. It’s an admittedly unlikely possibility, but it happened to us.

The interior overall matches the rest of the car, being simple, elegant and of very high quality.

Only the car’s CO2 figure, which sits in the 37% benefit-in-kind band, will put company car buyers off. For those taking the cash, the V90’s an excellent option.

TRISTAN YOUNG

First Drive: VOLVO V90

 

 

The verdict

A great car that will cope with everything life throws at it. Only a high BIK rating keeps it from being a more successful company car.