We named the Volvo S90 our 2017 Design of the Year, but the AUTOMOBILE All-Stars competition is a completely different game. Like all other contenders the big, stylish Swede had to put its best foot forward to make the strongest case for a trophy.
Volvo considered its best foot to be the $66,105 S90 T6 AWD Inscription that it sent our way. Power comes from a supercharged and turbocharged version of Volvo’s 2.0-liter I-4, which makes 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque — no small sum, but not huge either, considering the S90’s 4,222-pound curb weight. It is mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic that sends power to all four wheels.
Goodies found on this well-equipped example included cooled front seats, a heated steering wheel, 360-degree view camera, Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system, 20-inch wheels, and Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system.
Given the S90’s DoY pedigree, it’s hardly surprising that our judges were keen on the design, inside and out.
“Most of the pleasure to be found in this car comes from simply being in it. The cabin is filled with light and trimmed with natural materials, a breathtaking exercise in Scandinavian design,” noted contributor Michael Jordan. “Following the tasty XC90, the S90 brings a breath of fresh air with its lovely design and serene cabin,” echoed another, while another editor opted for a movie reference, noting, “To paraphrase Derek Zoolander, its really, really, ridiculously good looking.”
However, some found the view somewhat spoiled by the powerplant.
“The twin-charged inline-four is perky enough, strongly motivating the S90 up Mt. Charleston, but it lacks any real character and feels a little flatter than it actually drives,” mused features editor Rory Jurnecka. “Its turbo four isn’t quite as satisfying as bigger displacement engines with more cylinders,” said another tester.
Will the Volvo S90 add an All-Stars trophy to put next to its Design of the Year award on its mantle, or will its four-cylinder motivation make our judges think twice? Come back on March 11 to find out.
2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription Specifications
|PRICE||$53,945/$66,105 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||2.0L turbocharged and supercharged DOHC 16-valve I-4
316 hp @ 5,700 rpm, 295 lb-ft @ 2,200 rpm
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD sedan|
|EPA MILEAGE||22/31 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||195.4 x 79.5 x 56.8 in|
|0-60 MPH||5.7 sec|
|TOP SPEED||130 mph|