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Volvo's growing momentum

VROOM: Price range: £34,465 - £57,705

THE LUXURY saloon market is highly competitive and dominated by the class-leading Germans. However, if you want something completely different you could do worse than consider Volvo’s impressive S90.

I must confess that I was taken aback by just how competent this Swedish offering was. It certainly looked the part and performed at a high level during my seven days of evaluation. The Volvo has been designed to provide comfortable and relaxing progress, rather than being exciting to drive. That said I took a memorable Sunday trip to Brighton and the S90 ticked all the boxes. I got out of the vehicle and felt as fresh as when I had started! When cruising it’s excellent and an admirable lack of wind or tyre noise.

I could bang on about the car’s roadworthiness but I want to take time out to wax lyrical about the fantastic leather interior and overall trim that makes it a pleasure to be in the cabin of the S90. Apart from being a great drive the Volvo often draws praise for the comfort of its seats – it’s an area where the company invests a lot of money – and the new S90 is no exception.

The standard leather-upholstered seats offer fantastic support and comfort, which makes for a very relaxing driving experience as I found out on the way to the South Coast. The S90 uses some superb materials and boasts high-quality workmanship, while everything is laid out intuitively, too. I was like a schoolboy in a sweet shop while being engrossed with the nine-inch, portrait orientated touchscreen - which not only looks fantastic, but is also easy to use, with just about every function operated from the screen.

Operating the Sensus infotainment system is simple too. The graphics are sharp and the screen responsive, so it feels more like you’re operating a tablet computer than a car’s infotainment system. The dials are easy to read while the steering wheel is wonderfully tactile as well.

Instead of the usual dark wood that you’ll find in other cars of this sort, it uses lighter woods, which illuminates the cockpit. Four decent sized adults will be able to travel in the S90 with ease, as there’s a very generous amount of space in the back. There’s also 500 litres worth of space in the boot, so shopping, golf clubs and general bric-a-brac can all be accommodated. The S90 certainly got my attention and admiration.

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