Volvo V90 - Options Guide and Verdict

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Volvo V90 – Options guide

Like any modern car, the options on the V90 are bewildering in the extreme. The version I drove had almost all the available extra tech features possible, but I don’t think you need all of them. Here’s my recommended spec for the Volvo V90.

D4 Momentum base spec (£34,555) – By all means spend extra on the more powerful D5 PowerPulse AWD (+£7,000) if you prefer, but most people will be perfectly happy with the standard D4 Momentum.

Apple CarPlay (+£300) – A standalone option, CarPlay is essential for any iPhone owner. Volvo’s integration is particularly smart given it works in a ‘windowed’ mode, allowing to you use other features at the same time. Android owners can ignore, obviously.

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Surround View 360-degree Parking Camera (£700) – This was one of my favourite tech features on the V90. It uses four wide-angle cameras to create a virtual ‘top down’ view of the car. Not only does this mean you get a camera view for every side of the car, but it’s extra-useful for checking you’re correctly inside a parking bay or fitting through tight gaps.

Winter Pack (£525) – The standard Winter Pack includes heated steering wheel, washer nozzles, headlight cleaning system and a heated front windscreen. The heated windscreen is a godsend during the winter months – only those with a garage large enough to house the huge V90 need not apply! The Winter Pack is available with ‘Head-up Display’, but it costs £1,125 and you can’t have the heated windscreen.

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12.3-inch Driver Screen (£400) – The standard screen is only 8-inches, but the 12.3-inch screen (above) is well worth the upgrade. It allows much more space for the navigation map in the centre, whereas the 8-inch version only has a small window for it and looks a bit rubbish given the space is designed for the 12-inch screen.

Power Driver Seat with Memory (£600) – This allows you to create profiles for the driver’s seat and door mirrors, so they will automatically move into your favoured position when you get in. The profiles are associated to the key fobs (two are provided), so the car knows who is driving the moment you unlock the car. Awesome if you share the car with your other half, which is likely given this is an ideal family car.

Blind Spot Information System Pack (£600) – This pack includes a selection of safety features, including Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Rear Collision Mitigation and Autodimming Exterior Mirrors. The blind-spot feature uses sensors to alert you to vehicles in your blind spot – a light appears in your mirrors when indicating. I found it really useful when changing lanes, especially on long journeys where your concentration might waver for a split second.

Cross Traffic Alert alerts you to traffic approaching from the side of the vehicle – handy when reversing out of driveways and the like. The final feature, Rear Collision Mitigation, detects imminent rear impacts and tightens seatbelts automatically.

These are all small things on their own, but they’re good peace-of-mind upgrades – especially the blind-spot alerts.

Volvo On Call (£450)
– On Call is mainly essential because it adds a data SIM slot to the front dash. You can use any SIM of your choice, so you’re not locked into some inflexible built-in option. You’ll want this for the built-in Spotify app and Yelp, among other things. It also adds several smart features, such as Stolen Vehicle Tracking, and car monitoring via Volvo’s app. You can unlock the doors remotely, keep track of journeys, fuel usage and various other parts of your car. There’s on further safety feature, too, as an operator will be alerted whenever your car detects a collision. They will contact the car and alert emergency services if necessary. Finally, you can start the car remotely to warm it up in winter.

Metallic Paint (£700) – Essential not just for aesthetic reasons, but for better re-sale value. There are also two Premium Metallic options that go for £1,000.

Total Cost: £38,830 on the road

Nice-to-Have Extras

Inscription Upgrade (£3,000) – This adds a decent range of options over the Momentum spec, including larger 18-inch alloys, a 12.3-inch driver display – standard is 8-inches – soft leather, keyless boot entry, LED foglights, powered passenger seat and loads of extra illumination. It’s not essential, but it’s a decent overall upgrade if you can afford it. The R-Design spec is similar but ‘sporty’ with lowered suspension.

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Bowers & Wilkins Speakers (£3,000) – Needless to say, they sound spectacular. Phenomenal bass, great detail and adaptable to a huge range of music. Are they £3,000 good? Probably not, so it’s a money-no-object option.

Winter Plus Pack (£1,100) – Similar to the Winter pack, but adds headlights that bend as you turn. This is, undoubtedly, very cool and has safety advantages, as it illuminates where you’re going rather than where you were. That said, it’s expensive, which is why it’s only a nice-to-have feature.

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Power Glass Tilt and Slick Panoramic Sunroof (£1,295) – Worth it if you can afford it – a panoramic roof in a car this large provides a great, airy feeling open or closed. If you want this and the 360-degree parking cam, select the Xenium Pack (£2,000), which includes both.

Active Dampers and Rear Air Suspension (£1,500) – The standard suspension offers a decent ride, but it’s less effective on larger bumps. Four-corner active dampers, and rear air suspension, will give you a silkier, bum-friendly ride. The rear air suspension is also available alone as a £950 extra.

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Should I buy the Volvo V90?

This isn’t an exciting car to drive, but that doesn’t matter – it’s luxurious, practical and the standard spec is excellent. The semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system is a standout feature compared to the competition, and the Apple CarPlay integration is the best out there. Volvo’s reputation for safety needs no explanation.

There’s no shortage of alternatives, of course, not least the outstanding XC90 SUV. But the XC90’s starting price is £10,000 more before you add any extras. Other similar-spec SUVs also come at a higher premium.

Among estate cars, BMW, Audi and Mercedes all offer excellent alternatives with some advantages, but the tech package on the V90 can’t be matched. It’s the only one to offer a comprehensive semi-autonomous system as standard – the E-Class has it as an option – and the overall infotainment system is excellent. 

Verdict

A modern estate car in every possible way, and good value to boot. No family could be disappointed by the V90.

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