Nearly 20 years ago, Volvo eschewed its famously boxy styling in favor of sleeker designs. Leading the way was the Swedish brand’s flagship model, and Volvo changed its name from S90 to S80 for the occasion.
Now, with the S80 being the stale design, the name is reverting to S90. All new for 2017, and sharing its underpinnings and styling cues with the critically acclaimed XC90 crossover, the new S90 brings a clean design aesthetic to the luxury sedan class. Volvo offers more interior room than an Audi A6 or Mercedes-Benz E-Class, yet sportier handling than a Cadillac XTS, Genesis G80 or Lincoln Continental.
Like the XC90, a highlight of the S90 is a lovely dashboard, with warm colors, rich materials and a big, user-friendly touch screen. And its four-cylinder engines offer commendable gas mileage: 25 miles per gallon even in the tested 316-horsepower all-wheel-drive T6 version.
The S90 isn’t ideal. Efforts to improve handling result in a stiff ride for a luxury car, yet the Volvo still doesn’t have quite the agility of the best sports sedans. And plenty of other luxury cars also have dazzling interiors. But the S90 is a credible option in a highly competitive class, especially if the style appeals to you. Prices start at $47,945.