Volvo V90 review 2020

Find out more about the Volvo V90 in the latest MOTORS Review

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Out of 5


  • Very practical
  • Plush interior
  • Well-rounded range of powertrains


  • Fairly expensive
  • Not particularly entertaining to drive
  • Deprecation
Model review

The V90 is a nameplate which, while only appeared back in 2016, can trace its roots back to large Volvo estates such as the V70. That car began production in 1996 and ran until the 2000. It featured the boxy shape the manufacturer is known for, meaning it was very roomy and spacious inside. 


The V70 could be had in a rugged XC trim, which featured all-wheel-drive and off-road inspired styling – a variant the current car possesses today in the form of the Cross Country version.  


As a successor to the V70, the V90 took over the mantle of Volvo’s large, practical estate car. It began production in 2016 and offers buyers a very appealing all-round package. It demands quite a premium price, but that being said, it’s also a very premium product. 

Current model

As mentioned before, the V90 began production in 2016, and is the largest estate Volvo currently offers. It may not be the king of the class when it comes to practicality, but it still offers plenty of space. Couple that with a good quality cabin, a sleek design and a selection of economical, yet punchy powertrains, and the V90 is an attractive proposition. 


The attractiveness continues when behind the wheel too, as the V90 drives rather well. It’s not quite as enjoyable to pilot as some rivals like the BMW 5 Series Touring, but it’s incredibly comfortable and relaxing. It also feels fairly planted and actually takes corners with ease despite the subtle ride. That being said, some buyers may want a more entertaining driving experience, as well as the comfort, and unfortunately, they may be a tad disappointed with the V90. 


Inside, buyers can expect all the benefits of a modern Volvo, meaning good quality materials, a minimalistic approach to the dashboard and solid build quality. There’s really not much to fault in this department. 

Value for money

New V90 models start at £39,835, which, in comparison to rivals, is pretty good. It’s well priced for the class, with the likes of the Audi A6 Avant starting at £41,475 and BMW 5 Series Touring available from £39,890. 


On the used market, cheapest examples of the estate go for a little over £15,000, which is a bit of a bargain considering the car’s age and immense practicality. Overall, the V90 offers good value for money.  

Looks and image

The V90 is a very attractive car in our eyes. Especially in R-Design and Inscription trim, the model is uber sleek, sporty and stylish. There’s also an rugged-looking Cross Country version featuring four-wheel-drive and 65mm of added ground, for those wanting a V90 that can venture off the beaten track. That being said, every variant of this chic Volvo is quite the looker. 

Video review

Space and practicality

Volvo has a reputation for building comfortable and practical estate cars – and the V90 is no different. Despite the car’s more stylish packaging than the boxy models of old, it’s still pretty massive inside. Interior space is in the plenty, with a lot of room for passengers to get comfortable in the front and rear.  


In terms of boot space, there are larger alternatives, but the V90 should offer enough room to satisfy most. At 560 litres and 1,526 litres with the rear seats folded down, it’s a very useful space. Plus, the boot opening is wide, and the load lip is low, meaning putting items in the back is easy. 



The V90 features a well flushed out range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain options. On the entry-level side of things, there’s a 187bhp 2.0-litre petrol called the T4 – this is the cheapest engine – followed by a 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel named the D4.  


On the other end of the spectrum, buyers can opt for powerplants such as the T8 Twin Engine, which is a PHEV powertrain comprised of a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder petrol, as well as an electric motor. In total, it has 390bhp – pretty impressive. 

Running costs

All V90’s should prove cheap to run – the diesel and hybrid options in particular do well in this department. For example, the D4 is said to return around 58.9mpg and emit 127g/km of CO2, which is fairly good. Step up to the D5, and that fuel economy figure drops to a still respectable 50.4mpg, while CO2 emissions rise to 146g/km 


The petrols aren’t too bad though. For instance, the base T4 petrol claims to get around 41.5mpg and emits 158g/km. However, those wanting the cheapest running costs may want to opt for something like the T8 and its PHEV powertrain. It only emits 43g/km and is said to return 148.7mpg – although that figure will be incredibly hard to hit.  

Things to look out for

Volvo, as a brand, tends to have a good reputation when it comes to reliability, and this shows in driver surveys. Seeing as it began production back in 2016, it’s still relatively early days when it comes to predicting the car’s long-term reliability, but the majority of buyers should be pleased with their purchase. Overall, the V90 should serve owners well, with no stand-out issues to report at the time of writing.  



There are some properly good large estate cars currently on the market. Models like the BMW 5 Series Touring, Audi A6 Avant and Skoda Superb estate – although the latter is considerably cheaper – are all very appealing in terms of practicality and usability. The V90, however, does get a lot right, making it a definite class leader contender and one that buyers should take a look at if they’re in the market for a stylish, premium, practical estate car.  



Due to the V90 being made by a premium brand, the V90 faces a tad bit more depreciated than the average estate car. However, due to the car’s practicality, desirability and plush interior, depreciation isn’t terrible and the V90, especially on the used market, is a good buy. Yes, it must be mentioned that in the less than five years the model’s been on sale, certain examples have lost a fair bit of value, but that’s to be expected, and, on the plus side, means it’s a used car bargain. 

Trims explained

Currently, there are four trim levels to choose from – Momentum, R-Design, Inscription and Cross Country.


This is the base trim level. It comes with a generous amount of kit though, such as 18-inch 10 spoke turbine alloy wheels, a high gloss black front grille, automatic LED headlights with active high beam, as well as an illuminated gear knob.

Priced from £39,835


This is the next step up. Opting for this trim level treats the V90 to equipment like a gear shift paddles, lowered sports chassis, 19-inch alloy wheels, sports floor mats and a head-up display in the windscreen.

Available from £43,285


Step up to the Inscription trim, and buyers can expect a few luxuries such as linear walnut inlays, a power passenger seat, front seat backrest massage, luxury floor mats and colour coordinated door mirrors.

Starting at £44,035

'Cross Country'

This rugged trim level gets lots of goodies like drive mode settings, hill start assist, keyless drive, heated power door mirrors, a rear park assist camera, front LED foglights, front park assist and two-zone electronic climate control.

Priced from £46,985


  1. The Volvo V90 Is suitably stylish and particularly practical
  2. It’s the largest estate Volvo currently offers, sitting above the smaller V60
  3. It starts at £39,835 new
  4. Cheapest used examples go for just over £15,000
  5. Inside and out, the V90 looks sleek and stylish
  6. The model offers plenty of cabin and boot space, although not class leading
  7. There’s a well-rounded range of powertrains to choose from
  8. Diesel, as well as PHEV power, will offer the cheapest running costs
  9. Rivals such as the BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant all want to give the V90 a run for its money
  10. Decent trim level selection

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