What is it?
There was a time, about fifteen years ago, where the combination of a boxy Volvo body and the T5 bootlid badge struck fear into the eyes of car criminals and speeders across the country.
Whereas today you’re overwhelmingly likely to be pulled over by a diesel BMW of some vintage, the UK traffic police of the early 2000s favoured Volvos, and their particular weapon of choice was the V70 T5. Its combination of unassuming looks, long-legged comfort and powerful five-cylinder turbocharged petrol motor made it ideal for the multi-purpose role of policing Britain’s roads.
Now, things have changed - not just in the constabularies but also on the forecourts. Volvo as a brand has transformed, as have its products, and in the V70’s successor, the Volvo V90, the T5 badge carries much less significance than before.
For starters, it now refers to a four-cylinder engine, albeit one that’s still heavily turbocharged. But it’s also no longer the range-topper. Far from it, indeed, as the T5 sits above the entry-level T4 in a petrol range that runs all the way up to the 401bhp T8 plug-in hybrid.
Despite this new mid-range status, the V90 T5 is still a large family estate that cracks 0-60mph in just 6.7sec. In the R-Design Pro spec we have here, it's also a £46,000 car before options. So, should it be back on the traffic cops’ shortlist?