The all-new Volvo S90 made a big impression when it was introduced for the 2017 model year, but when it comes to luxury sedans, bigger is generally better. For 2018, Volvo has delivered China’s long-wheelbase version of the sedan with a wheelbase and overall length that have been stretched by 4.7 inches, and on top of that, the lineup now adds a plug-in hybrid to the mix. The 2018 Volvo S90 T8 eAWD is designed to go up against large plug-in luxury cars like the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In and BMW 530e.
As more luxury brands embrace advanced powertrain technologies, the S90 T8 eAWD plug-in hybrid is an important vehicle for Volvo, and we recently go to sample this green luxury sedan decked out in the ultra-lux Inscription trim level.
2018 Volvo S90 Exterior
It’s almost impossible to notice the difference between the 2017 and 2018 Volvo S90, as the 4.7-inch stretch is well hidden in the conservatively designed body. Although Volvo design has stepped up substantially from the boxy, slab-sided sedans and wagons of its not-too-distant past, the S90’s design is still a bit on the generic side. The front end is the exception, though, with a concave grille flanked by narrow headlights with signature LED running lights, and from the rear, the more powerful T6 and T8 models are distinguishable by the integrated exhausted outlets.
As luxury rivals like the Lexus GS and Cadillac CT6 leaning toward the styling extreme, the S90’s reserved appearance might actually be a selling point to some buyers. With this being the hybrid model, the only key styling change is the addition of the plug-in port on the left front fender, and the more expensive Inscription trim level adds discrete touches like the 19-inch wheels, illuminated door handles and chrome trim.
2018 Volvo S90 Interior
While you won’t notice the increased length from the outside, passengers riding in the back seat of the 2018 Volvo S90 will definitely notice the difference. The entire rear seat area has been completely redesigned and an extra 4.5 inches of legroom has been added, and all S90 models now come standard with a panoramic sunroof. This stretch is not only enough to garner a best-in-class label, but it also gives the mid-size S90 more legroom than a full-size Mercedes-Benz S-Class, which means the S90 is fun whether you’re behind the wheel or in the back seat! And with the T8 eAWD plug-in hybrid, location of the battery pack under the body means that it doesn’t eat into cargo space either with a decent 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
As luxurious and accommodating as the 2018 Volvo S90 is, the top Inscription trim level transforms this car into a true flagship luxury sedan. The seats and door panels are lined with supple brown leather, which is accented by a stylish matte-finished walnut wood trim. Up front, the S90 Inscription gets heated and ventilated front seats, stitched leather on the instrument panel and a crystal gear shift knob from Swedish glassworks company, Orrefors. Things are even better for rear occupants with four-zone climate control and power rear sunshades (doors and rear window), and the rear passengers can control the sunshades.
For an even better experience, this tester was equipped with the $3,450 Luxury Package (massaging front seats, heated and ventilated rear seats, deluxe rear seat armrest, leather-wrapped sun visors and grab handles and a suede-finished headliner) and $2,550 Convenience Package (heated windshield washer nozzles, power-operated trunk, surround view backup camera and 12-volt power outlet). Standalone options included the $3,200 Bowers and Wilkins premium audio system, $900 head-up display and $300 heated steering wheel.
2018 Volvo S90 Powertrain
No matter which 2018 Volvo S90 you choose, this big sedan is going to have a 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder under the hood, but in the case of the T8 eAWD model, it upgrades to Volvo’s Twin Engine philosophy combining the benefits of a supercharger and turbocharger resulting in 313 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This gas engine powers the front wheels, while the 87-horsepower motor and lithium-ion battery send power to the rear wheels; thus creating Volvo’s eAWD system with a combined output of 400 horsepower.
This powertrain delivers an impressive balance of power and fuel efficiency with a 0-60 time of just 4.7 seconds and a top speed 130 mph. With a fully charged battery, the S90 T8 eAWD has an EPA-rated EV driving range of 21 miles along with fuel economy estimates of 71 MPGe**, and once the battery has been depleted, the big sedan still gets a decent 29 mpg** in combined driving.
2018 Volvo S90 Safety
The 2018 Volvo S90 has not yet been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but in true Volvo fashion, this big sedan delivers big on safety. Standard safety features include semi-autonomous Pilot Assist, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, blind spot information system with steering assist and updated version of Volvo’s City Safety. The optional Convenience Package also added Park Assist Pilot and Front Park Assist.
2018 Volvo S90 Overall
Volvo made a bold move by giving the S90 such a big update just a year after its introduction, but the end result is a big luxury sedan that lives up to its flagship status. If you liked the 2017 S90, you’re going to love the 2018 model. Not only is it bigger and roomier than its competition, but the new plug-in hybrid model gives Volvo a high-tech approach to be more efficient and powerful.
You can get behind the wheel of the 2018 Volvo S90 for just $48,100*, but if you want the added power and efficiency of the plug-in hybrid, the S90 T8 eAWD is priced starting at $63,650*. With all its added features and content, this 2018 Volvo S90 T8 eAWD Inscription had an as-tested price of $82,140.
Make sure to visit your local AutoNation Volvo dealership and test drive the 2018 Volvo S90 today!
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on 2018 EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.