There’s no denying that the S90 makes a stylish statement, both inside and out. But to compete with the best luxury midsized sedans, it needs to match its European, Asian, and domestic rivals in refinement and performance. As it turns out, much of the Volvo’s appeal is only skin-deep.

Whether in the daily grind or on long-distance trips, the S90 falls short. The gruff-sounding engine mars the driving experience, and the ride is stiff and unsettled—with constant vibrations coming through to the cabin.

As for the car’s handling, the best we can say is that it’s competent and secure in corners, but uninspiring. Even with the most powerful engine, the S90 takes more than 7 seconds to complete the 0-60 mph dash, and the eight-speed automatic isn’t particularly smooth. The iPad-like touch screen requires too much swiping and tapping, a major driving distraction.

On the positive side, the all-wheel-drive S90 got an admirable 23 mpg overall in our tests. The roomy cabin is inviting, with wood and aluminum trim, and buttery soft leather wrapping the supportive seats. To Volvo’s credit, much of the advanced safety technology is standard.

The standard Pilot Assist semi-autonomous system can self-steer in some situations, but you still need to pay attention to the road.

Read the complete Volvo S90 road test.

2017 Volvo S90 interior

HIGHS: Seat comfort, fit and finish, standard advanced safety features
LOWS: Ride comfort, coarse engine noise, unintuitive controls
POWERTRAIN: 316-hp, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged/supercharged engine; 8-speed automatic transmission; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 23 mpg
PRICE AS TESTED: $61,855

This vehicle can be outfitted with a semi-autonomous driving package. Consumer Reports believes automakers should take stronger steps to ensure that vehicles with these systems are designed, deployed, and marketed safely. Please heed all warnings, and keep your hands on the wheel. To learn more about self-driving cars, go to CR.org/selfdriving.


Editor's Note: This article also appeared in the February 2017 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.