“Volvo V90 T6 Inscription AWD Wagon”
A Wagon for non-wagon Lovers
Wagons, or more specifically “Station Wagons” were once immensely popular as the preferred mode of transportation for the revered iconic “Family Vacation”. Then, they seemed to fall out of favor and drifted into near extinction, being compared to the Soccer Mom’s minivan. Well, they’ve made somewhat of a resurgence and are once again regaining their prominence. Particularly the European variety, where they never really fell out of favor.
Volvo, the Swedish automaker identifies their wagon models with a “V “ designation. The 2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD Inscription is a stellar example of the old station wagon format, but in a much more sophisticated way. It is essentially a sporty luxury sedan with an extension that provides greater versatility and functionality.
WAGONS ARE BACK
Volvo wagons deliver a blend of a premium luxury wagon traits, and when the Ford Motor Company relinquished its hold on Volvo, when it was sold to Geely, a Chinese multinational automotive manufacturing company headquartered in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China, which has allowed the manufacturing process to remain autonomous. Bottom line, it’s still a Swedish vehicle that’s now a Chinese property.
TWO TO CHOOSE FROM
The V90 actually comes in two forms, as a regular wagon, or in Cross Country form. Visually, the two are differentiated only minimally – the Cross Country features black gloss trim elements and sports a metal stud grille compared to the waterfall grille of the V90. Black gloss substitutes the window surround chrome trim, and there is black or color-matched trim around the wheel wells. U.S. customers may roll on either 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels shod with Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires.
The regular V90’s ground clearance is 6.0 inches.], while the Cross Country clears the ground by 8.3 inches (only 1.1 inches less than Volvo’s XC90 crossover without air suspension), Acquisition of the regular, smaller-volume V90 must either be ordered online through Volvo’s Concierge website, or by participating in their overseas delivery program, traveling to the factory in Torslanda, Sweden, to take delivery. The vehicle is then shipped to a U.S. dealer for the finalization of the purchase.
My test 2018 Volvo V90 came with the T6 engine in an AWD configuration. The base price was set at $57,950., while the price as tested came to $69,340. after factoring in the Maple Brown metallic paint, complemented by the Beige and Charcoal leather interior and additional options which included: the Convenience Package, Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound System, HUD, Outer Child seat, Premium rear air suspension, tailored dash, 20-inch Inscription alloy wheels and the Destination charge.
SUPERCHARGED AND TURBOCHARGED
Propulsion is provided by a transversely mounted 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve supercharged and turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine with Direct Injection that produces 318 horsepower at 5,700 rpm, while also developing 295 pound feet of torque at 2,200 rpm. Motive force is geared to the droving wheels via an electronically controlled eight-speed GEARTRONIC automatic transmission with auto Stop/Start..
The delivery of power from the supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter T6 inline four-banger is linear and smooth except for the auto stop/start, which tends to-be on the surgey side. The supercharger compensates for any turbo lag, though there’s some noticeable roughness at idle. The standard electronic Haldex-type all-wheel-drive biases more torque to the rear when the electronic stability control is turned off.
Performance oriented consumers may be able to boost performance by ordering Polestar’s Performance Optimization package, which provides approximately 70 significant modifications. Optimization, which is primarily a software program, changes the throttle mapping, boosts horsepower and torque, and adjusts shift speed, and it may be accomplished at the port or factory.
The V90’s wheelbase happens to be the same as the Volvo S90 sedan, but the overall length is shorter. The wagon now tips the scale in a range from 2,050-2319 lbs. depending upon equipment.
SUMMARY:Four drive modes include Eco, Comfort, and Dynamic, where the power is sent to the rear axle only when needed. A full 100 percent is directed to the rear if the front wheels are on ice for maximum stability and traction.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The heated seats and steering wheel are standard, along with the Thor’s Hammer daytime running lamps. The V90, like all new Volvo models, features the Sensus infotainment system with a large touchscreen and a number of screen menus to search though for various commands.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo comes with 19 speakers. The key fob or a foot kick below the sensor opens the rear hatch.
The V90 Inscription also provides a panoramic sunroof as part of its standard equipment menu, and in spite of the extra glass out back, the V90 wagon only tips the scale at roughly 100 pounds more than last year’s short-wheelbase S90 Volvo. It’s also an inch shorter in length and 1.3-inch taller overall. the difference is most noticeable in the cargo space, but there’s also a more spaciousness in the cabin as well. Compare the15.4 cu-ft of trunk space for the S90 versus 25.5 cu-ft of volume for the V90, which increases to 53.9 cubes with the rear seats folded down.
SMOOTH AND COMPLIANT
The 2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD is both smooth and compliant, on par with most any midsize premium/luxury sedan or crossover on virtually every level. The steering feel is precise, with the electric power assist being somewhat on the light side.
In the final scheme of things, even if if you are not a wagon fan, the Volvo V90 T6 AWD Inscription represents the iconic Volvo wagon, with appealing, almost sexy good looks, Impressive performance and added versatility and functionality over its sedan counterparts.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2018 Volvo V90 T6 Inscription
Base Price: $57,50.
Price as Tested: $69,340.
Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve supercharged and turbopcharged inline four-cylinder with Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 318 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 295 @ 2,200 rpm
Transmission: Electronically controlled eight-speed GEARTRONIC automatic with auto Stop/Start..
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / AWD.
Suspension: Front – Double wishbone, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.
Rear – Integral axle with transverse composite leaf spring, hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar – Air Suspension optional.
Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBD and EBA.
Tires: Pirelli P-Zero 255/35 R20 mounted on 8-grooved-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 115.8 inches
Length Overall: 194.3 inches
Width: 74.0 inches
Height: 58.1 inches
Curb Weight: 2,319 lbs.
Turning Circle: Not listed.
Fuel Capacity: 15.9 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city / 31-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.31
0 – 60 mph: 5.8 seconds – Top speed=130 mph.
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.