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First Drive

First Drive Volvo V90 R-Design

D4 R-Design
The story: Every premium brand needs an enhanced styled model at the top of its range these days, and just like Audi S-Line or BMW M-Sport, Volvo has the R-Design combination of stunning (albeit kerbable) 18-inch alloys, bodykit and uprated interior trim, including sports seats.
Category:E Segment (Luxury)
Key rival:BMW 5-series
On sale:now

The Volvo V90 looks great, with the R-Design trim level visibly enhancing a big estate car that already turns heads with its classy and imposing front end in particular. 

The Volvo V90 R-Design is a car with an allure that does nothing but grow the longer you spend with it. Volvo has always been good at building comfortable and sensible cars, and that hasn’t dissipated with the increased style. That style continues inside, with the big vertical nine-inch infotainment screen dominating the interior. 

Volvo is trying to push its brand to sit alongside the premium German trio of Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and the V90 makes a strong case against the respective models from those three. Not only is it almost £2000 cheaper than any of them, it also has, according to KwikCarcost, better residual values than any. Emissions of 119g/km put it in the right ball park, so as an all-round package, the Volvo V90 makes sense on every level.  

The verdict

The R-design model looks fantastic and enhances an already-stylish car that makes great sense financially for anyone who's happy to eschew the premium German badges.