What is it?
The big, elegant luxury saloon may be one of the oldest vehicle concepts of them all, but it’s alive and well in the enduringly handsome shape of the Volvo S90. Contrary to what you might have heard, it’s also been doing some decent business. Five years after the S90 was launched, in 2020, the car remained more popular in the UK than the Volvo V90 wagon was.
Will it continue to be so popular, though, now that Volvo UK has taken the decision to remove the cheaper mild-hybrid combustion-engined versions of this car, and to offer it exclusively in Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid form? From the outside looking in, the decision to keep the cheaper engines on in the equivalent V90 (in which you can’t have the T8 PHEV powertrain, incidentally) but to remove everything but the T8 in the S90 does seem a strange call - turning this into more of a de facto halo model of a kind than a body derivative. It means that, while you could get into a diesel-engined S90 from less than £35,000 back in 2016, it takes a little over £55,000 to get into one now.
Equivalent tax-efficient plug-in hybrid versions of the latest BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class can be had a fair bit cheaper. So what is there to make saloon connoisseurs content to pay a premium for this car?