The 2021 Volvo V90 is a wagon that envelops you in luxury and tech with a refined ride. It stands apart from the sea from SUVs and crossovers but still provides the versatility you want in a family- and cargo-hauler. However, the V90 doesn’t have as much room as some rivals and the infotainment system has a higher learning curve than most.
Base Price: $54,900
As Tested: $67,740
Mileage: 20 mpg city/30 mpg highway/24 mpg combined
The five-passenger V90 debuted for the 2018 model year and has received minor changes in the years since. The 2021 model gets some interior and exterior tweaks.
The 2021 Volvo V90 comes in R-Design, Inscription and Cross Country trims. Starting prices range from $51,800 to $57,800. The Cross Country adds standard all-wheel-drive, a lifted suspension and more rugged styling.
The standard engine, called the T5, is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. My tester has the optional engine, the T6, a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder that produces 316 horses and 295 pound-feet. Both engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive is standard with the base engine, and all-wheel-drive is standard with the optional engine.
The T6 can hustle. It’s quick off the line with no turbo lag and easily propels the V90 to freeway speeds for merging and passing. While the V90 can’t really be described as sporty, it is agile and corners well. The ride is exceptionally smooth, oblivious to rough roads and bumps.
Fuel economy is good for a luxury wagon, but not so good compared to other SUVs and crossovers. EPA ratings for my tester are 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway with a combined rating of 24. I got 24 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Premium gas is required.
The interior is elegant, upscale and spacious. Volvo is sure taking a lead when it comes to creating a luxurious cabin. Materials and trim are top notch, the design is clean, and every stitch is perfectly in place. You feel pampered just being there. Seats are comfortable and supportive and offer multiple adjustments so you can find the perfect position. Passengers in both rows enjoy good leg- and headroom. My tester has the optional massaging front seats which make me never want to leave the car!
Standard features include proximity keyless entry, rearview camera, quad-zone automatic climate control, Nappa leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats with memory settings, nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system, 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Bluetooth, navigation, satellite radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, voice recognition, Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless device charging, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cooled glove box, universal garage door opener and panoramic sunroof.
Available features include ventilated and massaging front seats, power-adjustable front-seat side bolsters, heated rear seats, heated steering wheel, 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, cabin air filtration system and rear-window sunshades.
Standard driver assistance technologies include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, oncoming collision mitigation, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive headlights, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and the Pilot Assist active driving system that provides steering assistance and helps maintain the distance to the vehicle in front of you.
Available driver assistance technologies include surround-view parking camera, automatic parking assist and a head-up display.
The tablet-like Sensus Connect infotainment system looks great but takes a while to learn how to use it. The system can be slow to respond to touch or voice commands, and some functions are buried in sub-menus. There are physical knobs or buttons for volume, tuning and some climate adjustments, but you have to go through the infotainment system for everything else which can be annoying. The system does get easier to use once you become familiar with it.
The V90 has less cargo room than other wagons. There are 19.8 cubic feet with both rows in place and 53.9 cubes with the second row folded. A hands-free power liftgate is standard.
Beautiful and elegant interior
Lots of passenger room
Lots of standard and available features and tech
Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Different from all the SUVs and crossovers
Less cargo space than other wagons
Infotainment system takes getting used to
Spendy price tag
My tester starts at $54,900. The Climate Package is $450 and adds heated windshield wiper blades and integrated booster cushions in the second row. The Lounge Package is $2,800 and adds ventilated Nappa leather upholstery front seats, four-zone automatic climate control and CleanZone air filtration system, rear sun curtains, rear side doors, front seats with power-adjustable side support, four-way power lumbar, backrest massage, and power cushion extenders, passenger memory seat, tailored dashboard and upper door panels. The Advanced Package is $1,700 and adds a graphical head-up display, 360-degree surround view camera and high-level interior illumination. Metallic paint is $645. Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system is $4,000. Four-C adaptive air suspension is $1,200. Air Quality with advanced air cleaner is $250. 20-inch 5-V spoke Alloy wheels are $800. Destination charge is $995 bringing the grand total to $67,740.
The 2021 Volvo V90 offers the practicality of an SUV in an elegant and upscale wagon with a beautiful interior and refined ride. It doesn’t have the cargo room of some rivals and fuel economy isn’t great. But you’ll want to check it out if you want a luxury wagon.