Wednesday, April 5, 2017

(Self-Driving Video Included) 2017 Volvo S90 Inscription T6 AWD: The Brand’s Semi-Autonomous Flagship Vehicle

Highlight: This is one of the few semi-autonomous vehicles available on the market today.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $66,745 (Base Model:$47,945)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; LED headlights and taillights; LED foglights; a rearview camera; a pilot assist semi-autonomous drive system; a collision avoidance pedestrian/bike city safety feature; a large animal (or deer detection system); a run off road mitigation (and protection) system; a lane departure warning system; a rear park assist system; power folding rear headrests; door handle illumination; ABS; stability control; a temporary spare tire; and a tire pressure sensor

S90 Momentum Standard Features: 18-inch wheels; a power sunroof; an a variety of driving mode settings; leather power front seats; a leather steering wheel; an auto dimming rearview mirror; an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen display screen; keyless entry; a keyless ignition starter system; and a navigation system

S90 Inscription Standard Features: 19-inch wheels; 12-inch infotainment screen; dual tailpipes; power front seats with driver memory setting; power extender for front seats; heated/ventilated front seats; Nappa soft leather auto highbeam headlights; rear door manual operated sun shade;
a headlight high pressure cleaning system; AppleCar play; and a 4-zone climate system with a cooled glovebox

Optional Features: 20-inch wheels; retractable rearview mirrors; a blindspot information with a cross-traffic alert system; a 360-degree surround view camera; heated rear seats; a heated steering wheel; a power operated trunk lid; a heads up display system; a Bowers and Wilkins Premium audio system with a CD player; a premium rear air suspension system; and a charcoal headliner.

Standard Audio System: a 10-speaker AM/FM/Satellite audio system

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Charging Port: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Engine/Horsepower: 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder/ 250-horsepower

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage: 23-city/34-hwy (source:

What’s New: The S90, which replaced the aging S80, is the brand’s all-new flagship vehicle. It’s the first car and second vehicle, with a premium luxury swag-appeal, to be introduced by the Chinese-owned company. And, it’s the first car from the Sweden brand that combines the best elements of safety and design, both inside and out. In fact, the S90 is amongst a handful of vehicles on the market today with a semi-autonomous driving mode feature.

Why: For the first time, Volvo has a competitive flagship vehicle that plays in the midsize premium vehicle segment. While the S90 is not quite in the same league at the BMW 7-Series or the Lexus LS, this Volvo still manages to be a head turner. And, unlike recent Volvo cars, this one has style. Yes, the eye-catching exterior design, with its elongated hood and piano key-like bright grille work, screams luxury vehicle.

Beyond the exterior design and the Volvo's striking headlights, which mirrors the upscale XC90, the real magic of this vehicle is showcased with the modern, but elegant premium interior.

Volvo’s interior design team theme is centered-around simplicity. The interior of the S90 looks like a modern museum, especially when outfitted with optional concert-like see-through speakers, which are blended into the vehicle like contemporary art work. The S90 design team also adds a jewel-like ignition starter, which is located on the center console -- between the front seats. As opposed to a push button starter, Volvo’s design team has a keyless-type turn mechanism.   

Moreover, Volvo’s design team managed to hold its reign, with its signature seat design, offering next generation orthopedic seats that seemed lighter in terms of weight, but just as supportive. All of this and more compliments the interior stitching and button less design of the center stack infotainment system, which houses the audio, ventilation and navigation systems.

Furthermore, the S90 is a standout in terms of technology too, being that this is the only vehicle in the segment to offer a standard pilot assist semi-autonomous drive system, which still requires the driver to keep his hand on the steering wheel. We found this standard feature to be quite useful as we indicated in our video during rush hour stop-and-go traffic.

Overall, the brand, which is known for safety, not only is outfitted with a radar-activated cruise control system and a forward collision braking system, the S90, depending on the trim, includes a segment exclusive large animal detection system along with a run off road mitigation system. No other midsize luxury vehicles currently offer a feature to help navigate a deer or a moose.

But: To our surprise, the stylish vehicle lacked an adjustable sliding front sun visor and a power operated tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel. To our surprise, this highly automated vehicle is outfitted with a manually operated tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel.

Moreover, to add to our dismay, heated front seats are not standard on the base Momentum model. We are not sure why Volvo opted for these cost cutting measures.

Furthermore, for those seeking a six-cylinder or an eight-cylinder engine in this luxurious midsize sedan, they’ll have to look elsewhere. The Volvo is powered by two four-cylinder engines. The supercharged turbo four-cylinder, which is available in the higher end Momentum trim, pushes out a respectable 316-horsepower. So, as long as buyers aren’t seeking the traditional engine choices offered by many of its segment competitors, the folks at Volvo got you covered.

Lastly, because the Volvo S80 is one of the most advanced vehicles on the road today, some additional training time at the dealership is going to be required for the operator of this space age machine. There is literally no way one can master every feature on this vehicle during the actual day of delivery!

Verdict: The stylish and well-equipped Volvo is one of the few vehicles on the road today offering a driver assist feature, which allows the operator to temporarily turn the driving over to the artificial intelligence in the vehicle as long as there are markings on both sides of the roads, helping to guide the vehicle.

Volvo’s new flagship car will soon be available with a plug-in hybrid feature that will be added to the portfolio soon. So not only is the Volvo moving closer to becoming an autonomous vehicle it also embracing electrification, too.

With a brand that was on the brink of extinction a few years ago, Volvo is stronger than ever. It has so many things in its favor with the S90 cutting edge safety features, eye-popping stylish exterior, state of the art showroom interior and an array of fuel-efficient engines. The brand is making steady progress to compete against first tier luxury brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Lexus and Jaguar.

Competition: 2017 Genesis G80 (formerly Hyundai Genesis sedan); 2017 Lincoln Continental; 2016 Acura RLX; 2016 Audi A6; 2016 BMW 5-Series; 2016 Cadillac CTS; 2016 Cadillac CT-6; 2016 Jaguar XF; 2016 Lexus GS; 2016 Mercedes-Benz E-Class; and 2016 Infiniti Q70

No comments: