Testing Volvo’s Capacities On A Frozen Lake

“Remember to turn in early. Use the throttle to steer, not the steering”, says Roger Wallgren from Volvo’s vehicle dynamics team as he rides shotgun with me in the XC90T8. The setting outside the XC90 that we’re sitting in is actually extremely dramatic. The car’s thermometer shows its -14 degree C and what the XC90 is standing on, used to be a lake where the Swedes go fishing in the summer. But in the winters, the top 60cm of the water freezes and it becomes strong enough for vehicles to be driven on it. Continue reading “Testing Volvo’s Capacities On A Frozen Lake”

Volvo V90 Cross Country: Its Main Rule Is Comfort

Emergence of newer segments and body styles is proof that the Indian automobile market is evolving fast. Now Volvo has decided to bring in its own iteration a station wagon. One meant for those wanting something different, practical and versatile too. India, get ready to welcome the country’s first cross station wagon, the Volvo V90 Gross Country. Continue reading “Volvo V90 Cross Country: Its Main Rule Is Comfort”

Brand-new Volvo XC60 2018 has entered production in Sweden

The production of the new Volvo XC60 has begun in Sweden. The first model, produced at the Torslanda plant was a T5 Inscription AWD with Crystal White painting, equipped with a 250 hp 2.0-liter turbo-four engine. There are two more engines for the 2018 XC60, including a supercharged and turbocharged plug-in 400 hp hybrid or 316 hp 2.0-liter one. Buyers will also be able to choose diesel models that will become available soon.

The new crossover was first shown during Geneva International Motor Show 2017, a month before the production started. The manufacturer noted that everyone involved in the production has come a long way and done a lot of work to prepare for this day, and they are proud of having done their job in such a short time.

The brand-new XC60 is meant to replace the older model, which first rolled off the production line almost ten years ago. The previous model has gained certain popularity, making up to 30 percent of Volvo’s total worldwide sales and becoming the best seller among mode-sized crossovers in Europe.

Some characteristics

The exterior of the second-generation crossover changed a lot. Volvo XC60 shares some similarities with XC90. Like Volvo’s 90 series (Volvo XC90/S90/V90), XC60 built on the shortened Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) modular chassis system. SPA made its debut in 2014 with Volvo claiming that it provides numerous improvements regarding driver’s protection in case of an accident.

Earlier, Volvo demonstrated how safe the new crossover is with a crash test. The results have shown that XC60 remained almost scatheless even after flipping over.

The crossover’s petrol-powered plug-in hybrid T8 Twin Engine is capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in decent 5.3 seconds.

Also, by developing SPA, Volvo has provided thousands of new jobs in such areas, as research, production, and development, just to name a few.

The list of XC60 features

The new Volvo XC60 has got a few advanced security systems, including the Oncoming Lane Mitigation system that prevents the car from entering the oncoming lane. In addition, the crossover received a semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system, which takes on the functions of acceleration, steering, and braking on roads with clearly visible markings at speeds up to 130 km/h. The last feature is optional. Besides, the SUV comes with additional equipment for ensuring a driver’s safety, including such assistance systems, as City Safety system, and Blind Spot Information System, and Steer Assist. And the last but not least, XC60 also got a CleanZone climate system for removing harmful particles from the cabin.

To sum it up

Overall, the new SUV’s innovative design and the number of features, including those ensuring a driver’s and passengers’ safety, makes the car compatible with its other models, presented on market. It’s an ideal solution, no matter whether you take your bride on a honeymoon or drive your kids to school. The new Volvo XC60 is already available in European countries, such as Sweden, Germany, and the UK.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country D5

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Rugged estate takes the fight to the Audi A6 Allroad and Merc E-Class All-Terrain

This new V90 model follows a legacy of other Cross Country Volvos that dates back to the launch of the original V70 XC in 1997. Conceived to bridge a gap between a load-hauling estate and a high-riding SUV, the V70 XC proved surprisingly popular with buyers in North America and Europe, thanks to its rugged yet understated looks and unshakable all-weather ability.

Continue reading “2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country D5”

Two Top Class Wagons – Mercedes E220d AMG Line Estate and Volvo V90 D4 Inscription

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Does anyone still want an estate car? The inexorable, illogical rise of the SUV and its crossover cousin might have displaced it as the default family car, but in a year bookended by rude shocks – the death of David Bowie, the ascension of Donald Trump – there’s something reassuring about the humble station wagon. They’re so stable that even when decorated with a death metal band, they’re not phased.

Continue reading “Two Top Class Wagons – Mercedes E220d AMG Line Estate and Volvo V90 D4 Inscription”

Blonde Ambition – Volvo S90

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New 5-serios rival comes no more stripped back than this: front-wheel drive, sub-200bhp diesel, non-air suspension. And still it’s brilliant

volvo-s90With drive-free rear wheels, mechanical springs (albeit of a novel composite and transverse leafy nature at the back) and a lowly four-cylinder diesel behind that strik­ing, P1800-inspired grille, the new-generation family Volvo comes no more ordinary than the D4 S90 in Momentum trim (until the planned manual version arrives). That it’s great suggests both an essential rightness to the engineering beneath Thomas Ingenlath’s stylish metal­work and that the upcoming fast S90/V90S could well be dazzling.

At the 90-series’ unveiling chassis guru Stefan Karlsson insisted that drivers defecting from M Sport BMWs would enjoy driving the new Volvo. ‘The handling is precise and the steering has very lit tie slack – it’s tight; you turn and the car reacts. In this respect it is best in class,’ he told a cynical CAR with admirable conviction.

Really? The XC90, with which the S90 and V90 share much, is an impressive SUV but some way adrift of an X5 in body control, steering precision and keenness in corners. It’s difficult to picture the S90 as a 5-series beater on driver appeal. Surely that’d have to wait for faster var­iants. Well, no. The S90 may share the XC90’s essential underpinnings but they’ve been completely re-calibrated, and everything here feels better than it did in the last XC90 I drove, a D5. This car’s four-cylinder D4 isn’t numerically spectac­ular – 1969CC, 188bhp, and 295lb ft – but on the road it never feels sluggish, with plentiful torque and a smooth, willing delivery that’s quieter and more refined than the XC90’s D5. The eight-speed ’box is a good match too, shifting intelligently and being grown-up enough to go without paddles.

volvo-s90-1The launch cars all sported optional rear air suspension and adaptive dampers but this 100% mechanical set-up has much to recommend it, with a perfectly struck ride/body control balance that smothers pot holes with more aplomb than any M Sport BMW I’ve driven while also staying composed and flat-ish at some pretty ambitious corner speeds. And while the steering might be a littie lifeless and light, it’s far more positive and slack-free than the XC90’s slightly vague helm.

What’s more, so agreeable is the S90’s lounge­-like interior, complete with low-slung and ergonomically divine driver’s seat, that your pas­sengers won’t even notice your distance-crushing pace. When you do arrive early everywhere, they’ll be unanimous in their praise for a Volvo the Ger­mans hoped would never arrive.

Owner Geely On Turning Up The Volvo Range Heat Using Polestar

BOSSES at Geely have hinted that the Chinese firm’s subsidiary Volvo could build more sporting versions of its cars in the future. Speaking at the reveal of the new S90 Excellence (right), Geely chairman Shufu Li confirmed recent speculation that his company had been in contact with British sports car maker Lotus, but denied suggestions it was ready to buy the brand from current Malaysian owner, Proton. “We never talked about acquisition,” Li volvo-s90said. “We have not made any arrangements and that is it.”

However, he did add that he is building a circuit that will be up and running next year.

When asked if it was purely for personal enjoyment, or whether Volvo could use the facility to test its cars, Li replied: “The race track is open for everyone.” Last year, Volvo finally bought out Polestar, the Swedish tuner and outfit that runs its European motorsport programme. When asked to respond to Li’s admission that his new track could be used for the development of more extreme models, Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson said; “A premium car mater also has to develop emotional value to justify the higher price. This is where a brand like Polestar comes into play.

“We have bought that brand and we are going to develop it in the direction of premium, pure performance cars. They will be developed in the direction of electrification. Polestar models will give a very high performance to our customers. ” It’s likely that a laster S90 saloon would be first on the list, because the Scalable Platform Architecture chassis -which underpins that car, the V90 and XC90 SUV – has been designed from the outset with electrification in mind.

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Excellence replaces front seat with foot rest and work station

The 401bhp S90 T8 Twin Engine hybrid -which was also shown in China last week – is a hint at what could come from the brand. Its output could be boosted to as much as 500bhp fora Polestar variant. It’s thought the tuning division will also be able to use Volvo’s smaller Compact Modular Architecture, which will underpin the next-generation V40 hatchback. This is also being engineered to support plug-in hybrids and pure EVs.

Volvo V90 D5 AWD

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Large estate arrives in its most potent diesel form and with all-wheel drive

The V90 marks the return of the classic big Volvo estate, albeit remodelled for modern tastes. Together with the S90 saloon, the V90 follows the XC90 in continuing the Chinese-owned car makers reinvention.

Volvo UK’s policy is to keep its model range simple. A 2.0-1itre diesel powerplant mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox is available in two forms: with front-wheel drive and 188bhp in the D4, or a all-wheel drive and 232bhp in the D5, tested here for the first time in the UK. The T8 Twin Engine, due later, is the sole petrol derivative and mates its 2.0-litre engine with an electric motor.

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The Swedish firm may have embarked on a new chapter, but the V90 feels as unmistakably Volvo as ever, which is to say it’s comfortable, cosseting and secure.

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It’s handsome, too, although the sleek profile sacrifices a little of the square-jawed practicality upon which the manufacturer’s reputation was built. Judge from the all-important load space: the Mercedes E-Class Estate trumps it for seats-up volume at 600 litres versus 560, but the V90 is comparable with the Audi A6 Avant (565 litres) and equal with the BMW 5 Series Touring.

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Sleek lines compromise boot space a little

There’s a power-operated tailgate as standard, split-folding backrests on the rear seats that make it possible to accom modate loads almost two metres long and a wide, low boot lip.

Up front, our test car’s powered panoramic sunroof (part of a £2000 option package) bestowed a light, airy ambience, enhanced by the wood and other plush-feeling materials of top Inscription trim. The seats are comfortable and the driving position is good, with plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment.

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Centre stage is a portrait-orientated 9.0in touchscreen, said to be an evolution of the one showcased in the XC90. There’s a pleasing logic to the ordering of menus and it’s easy to use once you’re familiar with its system of pinches and swipes.

On the move, the D5’s extra pace and traction compared with the D4 are immediately evident, not least because the higher-powered 2.0-litre engine has a little party piece to get things moving. PowerPulse uses an electrically driven compressor to blast pressurised air into the exhaust manifold under acceleration. It helps to spool up the first turbo, counteracting turbo lag and resulting in an impressively rapid and linear response.

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Driver engagement isn’t exactly this estate’s raison d’etre, but it’s not entirely lacking, thanks to that surfeit of power. All V90s get three driving modes: Dynamic, Comfort and Eco. Engaging Dynamic spices up the responses of the suspension, steering and throttle, but as with some similar set-ups, it isn’t completely successful; as well as quickening the steering, it incorporates some additional resistance that feels artificial. Comfort mode is perfectly adequate for this V90 in most situations.

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Our test car was fitted with the standard suspension rather than the optional (£950) self-levelling air springs at the rear. A back-to-back comparison suggested that the standard set-up creates more patter and noise over rough surfaces and invokes a touch more body roll during cornering, but not to the extent that it detracts from the V90’s capability as a comfortable cruiser.

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The cabin is plush and comfortable

volvo-v90-4We weren’t convinced by the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist system on the car we tried. It has merit, but it tends to track close to the nearside white line rather than being centred in the lane. On a motorway, it can feel like you’re being guided unnervingly close to vehicles on the left.

The majority of V90 buyers will find the D4 equal to their needs as well as cheaper to buy and run, but the D5 could hold appeal for those who prefer the reserved subtlety of a powerful all-wheel-drive estate to a more imposing SUV. Cars such as the 5 Series Touring claim victory in terms of dynamic prowess, but the Volvo has a distinct charm of its own.

Volvo V90 D5 PowerPulse AWD Inscription

A handsome, refined and spacious load-lugger with charm to burn, but cheaper D4 makes more sense


volvo-v90-3Price: £44,055
Engine: 4cyls, 1969cc, diesel
Power: 232bhp at 4000rpm
Torque: 354lb ft at 1750-2250rpm
Gearbox: 8-speed manual
Kerb weight: 2000kg (est)
0-62mph: 7.2sec
Top speed: 145mph
Economy: 57.6mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band: 129g/km, 25%
Rivals: Audi A6 3.0TDI Avant, BMW 530d Touring

Soaring SUV Sales Turn Volvo Into A ‘Crossover Company’

VOLVO IS ON track to sell significantly more SUVs and crossovers than any other type of vehicle by the end of the decade, according to Peter Mertens, the brand’s research and development boss. Speaking at the unveiling of the new V90 Cross Country, Mertens said the arrival of the XC40compact crossover in early 2018 would be a landmark for Volvo. The XC40 is one of three all-new 40-series models and will go on sale before the hatchback and estate versions. Mertens said the customer shift to crossovers and SUVs was driving sales in its largest markets, especially Sweden, the US and China. Volvo won’t say how many XC40s it expects to sell in a full year, but it’s likely to be close to six figures. Last year Volvo sold 503,127 cars globally.

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New XC40 was previewed by the 40.1 concept

According to the company’s figures, sales of all of the brand’s Cross Country and XC models together totalled just short of 267,000 units, which means more than 50% of sales are already crossovers and SUVs. The biggest-selling model globally was the now ageing XC60, which shifted 159,617 units last year. The next bestselling model was the V40 hatch, at just 83,357 units. Volvo also sold 40,261 examples of the all-new XC90, 30,175 XC70s and 23,274 V40 Cross Countrys. In the first six months of this year, the new XC90 was up strongly at 51,810 units, pointing to full-year sales of more than 100,000 units. The XC70 was also 10% up, with 19,250 sales in the same period, and the V60 Cross Country sold 10,316 units. Only XC60 and V40 Cross Country sales slipped slightly back.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate Vs Volvo V90 Vs Audi A6 Avant

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The fight to the best executive holdball just got fiercer with the arrival of the new Mercedes-Benz E Class Estate and Volvo V90. Can Audi’s A6 Avant keep them at bay?

This is how interesting Volvo is at the minute. Everyone involved in this test, bar me, has been calling it the ‘Volvo V90 triple test’. It’s really not, you know. The V90 has been available for, ooh, months. The freshest car here – even if going on sale a couple of months after the V90 makes it the equivalent of a second-born twin in car age terms – is the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate.

But although the E-Class Estate is why we’re here today, there’s just something reassuringly familiar about an E-Class wagon, isn’t there? It’s a constant, as reassuringly ever-present as your garden fence.

The V90, though. Ah, well, that’s something else. Of course, there is always a big Volvo estate, but rarely has one been such an integral and noticeable part of its company’s resurgence. Not since the 850, in fact – that boxy, five-cylinder, BTCC- dwelling, ‘Shock: a Volvo that’s great to drive’ cover-story car – has there been such a hubbub (some call it a kerfuffle, some a brouhaha) about a big Swedish wagon.

So, go on, that’s where we’ll begin. The S90 saloon/V90 estate is the second model to arrive under Volvo’s big Chinese-backed plan to sell more cars. It’s based on the same basic architecture as last year’s XC90, a car we like a lot, but is unencumbered by the necessity to have a tall 4×4’s body, and with another year’s development under its belt, it ought to be even better. It arrives here with a 187bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine (all Volvos are 2.0-litre fours these days), driving the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and called the D4. In mid-range Inscription trim, it’s £37,555, before options. This one is modestly specced up to £40,730.

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V90 has identical outputs to the Audi

Then there’s the E-Class. Its range is bigger and more complicated, with SEs for comfort and AMG Lines for ‘greater sporty feel’, or something, and this is the latter. There are V6s but this is an E220d, which has a 2.0-litre diesel making 191bhp. It’s longitudinally mounted but unique in this company in that it drives the rear wheels, and via a nine-speed automatic gearbox. The list price is £40,430, which is on the nose of the Volvo, but its optional equipment takes the price to £50,895.

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There’s 191bhp and 296lb ft in the Merc

Unfair? Well, when we make the call to see if we can test something appropriate for a few days, we don’t get the full run of an online configurator as you might if you were speccing one to run yourself. Or maybe you don’t, either. Some options will add a bit of pizzazz here or there, but the short of it is that all three of these cars are technically comparable and that the market for big executive wagons is as fiercely competitive as any other. You’ll find one and it’ll be pretty close mechanically and in its spec to another, within your or your fleet manager’s budget.

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A6’s 2.0 TDI puts out 188bhp, 296lb ft

Third up, then, is the estate that has been on sale for the longest: Audi’s A6 Avant. It, too, has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel, also longitudinal but driving the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. It makes 187bhp and in this Black Edition – which, like an AMG Line, brings sportier trim, although ‘sporty’ is a relative term in 1800kg estate territory – costs £40,915.

As standard, the Black Edition has 20in alloy wheels, whose effect on ride quality Audi has presumably attempted to mitigate by fitting this one with £2000 of air suspension. The E-Class gets air springs at the rear as standard but coils on the front. This Volvo has coil springs on the front and a composite leaf spring on the rear, but if you wanted air, it would cost you £950 at the front or £1500 allround. Right? Right.

In short, then: three big estates, all within a few quid a month of each other and all within 13mm in length of each other, at a smidgen below five metres long. And, well, I don’t know about you, but there’s always something very appealing about a big wagon, I find. So much more so than a saloon, even a luxury one from the class above. Much more useful, much better looking, much less ‘airport taxi’.

In fact, swing from a current- generation Mercedes-Benz S-Class and into this E220d and you’ll not think that you’ve stepped down a class in quality at all. The lavish dashboard and its four big, round central air vents are a bitsteampunk, a bit nautical. Mostly, though, it feels so classy because the E-Class gets Mercedes’ latest-generation infotainment, lined up front and centre. The dials are digital and the central screen is bigger than my telly, so much so that a full-screen sat-nav is just too distracting. There are brilliant little swipe- sensitive control nodules on each steering wheel stalk. On the centre of the transmission tunnel sits the main rotary controller and, well, all of this infotainment malarkey is a bit like Apple versus Samsung versus Sony: if you get used to one system, you tend to swear by it. But the latest- generation Mercedes system is a gem and it sits within a cabin that’s extremely high on fit and finish.

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E class’s 12.3in main screen costs extra but the cabin is impressive even without it

But no more so than the V90, which, like the XC90, has a lovely interior. That portrait touchscreen, though, eh? All 9.0in of it. I thought it was the best thing in the world last year, but that was before this 12.3in thing turned up on the Mercedes (albeit for an extra £1495). I’m starting to think that a rotary dial with touch-sensitive pad is easier to use on the move than a touchscreen, too, but still, the Volvo is terrific inside. It feels as exquisitely put together as any car in the class and it’s so light, so airy.

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V90’s light, airy feel is created by the choice of materials and clean-looking design

You might think that’s because its window line is lower than in the other two, specifically the Audi, which has the most austere, dark cabin, but a back-to-back sampling of the two driving positions suggests it ain’t so. It’s simply that the Volvo’s material and colour choices, not just on leather but across the whole trim, and buttons and all, is more vibrant, lively and relaxed. The V90 feels like my kitchen, the A6 Avant like my hi-fi. And I’d rather live in my kitchen than my stereo. Not that there’s anything wrong with the way the Audi feels put together. Its infotainment is easy to use, if less savvy, due to the age of the car (a new model is two years away) and there are analogue dials.

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Audi’s infotainment is easy to use; conventional dials are the clearest of this trio

Guess what: unlike the other two, you can’t change the appearance of them and it doesn’t matter a lot. They’re the clearest of the trio, and I don’t know about you but that’s pretty much all I want from a speedometer. Each of these cars has an excellent driving position. You could say the Volvo’s seats are the flattest or the Mercedes makes the best space of its transmission tunnel because the gear selector is on a column stalk rather than being a big, clunky stick occupying valuable cup space. But then I’d rather the wipers and indicators didn’t share the same stalk. Swings, roundabouts, details: all are comfortable. In every case, you can tell that this is where they spend the time and care. The premium German brands stick their biggest, baddest new technology on their flagship luxury saloons, but the nub of it is that this is where the money is, where the volume is and where the really hard buyer decisions are made. So they don’t take risks. They look at every detail of every rival and they nail it precisely. In terms of impressiveness inside, then, the order goes Mercedes, Volvo, Audi. In terms of appeal, I’d swap the first two.

All three have boots. Of course they have boots, with power-operated tailgates as standard or by option, but pointlessly either way. Volvo makes no pretence about who won the argument over space or style: the designer did, and the V90’s sloping roof means the luggage volume is 560 litres with the seats up, rising to 1526 with them down. The Audi does a little better with the seats in place, at 565 litres, and 1680 with them down, but the E-Class is, at 670-1820 litres, the car in which to move your offspring to university. I can’t really imagine a time when I’d fill a V90 to bursting, but if you could, the E-Class is the way to turn.

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E-Class: roomiest at 670-1820litres

 

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A6: 565 litres; 1680 litres seat down
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V90: least spacious at 560-1526litres

The E-Class’s extra capacity doesn’t mean there’s less rear accommodation, either. At 5ft l0in, I get more than a hand’s width of head and knee room behind my own driving position in any of them, but the A6 feels the most claustrophic and the Mercedes has the cheapest- feeling materials in the back, so the Volvo has the choice rear bench.

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A6 Avant exerts strong control over body movements but isn’t rewarding to steer

Except that in the Volvo, you’re not party to the best ride comfort. There’s nothing wrong with it, per se. In fact, there’s a contented, slightly loping ride quality that feels like a big Volvo estate in the grandest tradition, and when the chassis is loaded up in a corner or under braking, it deals with the extra inputs pretty well.

It’s on 18in wheels and relatively generous 245/45-profile tyres, which, I’m sure, is a help. But there’s a little knobbliness over some surfaces that pushes through into the cabin and sometimes into the steering, which is otherwise beautifully smooth, with just the right amount of self-centring, and not overly slow, even at three turns lock to lock.

“The A6’s body movements are more tied down than the V90’s, but it feels no more agile”

Dynamically, the V90 has the measure ofthe Audi, whose air suspension can’t overcome the brittleness, partly, presumably, caused by the 255/35 tyres and partly because Audi is generally happy to sacrifice some comfort to retain better body control. The A6’s body movements are more tied down than the Volvo’s, but it feels no more agile. Its steering is far less satisfying, too. It’s quick enough, at 2.8 turns, and alert and responsive in the first part of the turn, but there’s no consistency to the feel or weighting. Sometimes it’s overly light and doesn’t pullback to the centre enough; at other times it feels heavier while giving you no particular reason for being that way.

Still, how important is the steering in a big estate? Important enough: it’s the thing you use all the time, after all, as much so as the engine.

In which area, the Audi bests the Volvo hands down. In isolation, the V90’s unit is fine. The D4 lacks the compressed-air-assisted step-off of the more powerful D5 engine, but response is good anyway and it easily settles to a 1750rpm-at-70mph cruise, where wind and road noise are both restrained. But the Audi’s motor is quieter, and more responsive more often, to the extent that you just notice it less, which is above all the telling thing in a car like this.

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V90 is a comfortable high-speed cruiser, but it isn’t quite as refined as the E220d

Then there’s the E-Class. Mercedes says it has quietened the E220d’s engine since the saloon’s launch, and although I think it’s a touch more audible than the Audi’s unit at idle, unlike the V90’s, you barely hear it once you’re underway. It feels no faster than the other two. Its 7.7sec rather than 8.5sec 0-62mph time you can most likely attribute to its rear-drive layout, and combined with quick, 2.4-turns-between- locksteering and a sense of agility and purity that’s missing from the driving experience ofthe other pair, the E-Class is the most satisfying to drive. It’s not the least comfortable, either, despite the AMG Line set-up and its 245/40 R19 tyres. There’s quick initial lean but body control is good after that, and the general ride is composed and settled – as absorbent as the Volvo but as controlled as the Audi.

Greatest drive satisfaction over a twisting, bumpy road is supplied by the E220d
Greatest drive satisfaction over a twisting, bumpy road is supplied by the E220d

That seals the Mercedes a win by a clear head, then – especially in a mag like this, written for people like you, who like driving. No shame that the Audi – still a fine car – sits in third place only two years before it will be replaced. But the margins are tight between all three, and if you like just sitting in a nice place – and who doesn’t? – then the Volvo will suit you as well as any car on earth.

SPECIFICATIONS

Mercedes-Benz E220d AMG Line Estate

mercedes-volvo-audi-result3Price: £40,430
Engine:
4cyls, 1950cc, diesel
Power:
191bhp at 3800rpm
Torque: 295lb
ft at 1600-2800rpm
Gearbox: 9-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1780kg
0-62mph: 7.7sec
Top speed: 146mph
Economy: 67.3mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band: 109g/km, 21%

Volvo V90 D4 Inscription

mercedes-volvo-audi-result1Price: £37,555
Engine:
4cyls, 1969cc, twin-turbo, diesel
Power:
188bhp at 4250rpm
Torque: 295lb
ft at 1750-2500rpm
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1696kg
0-62mph: 8.5sec
Top speed: 140mph
Economy: 62.8mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band: 119g/km, 23%

Audi A6 Avant 2.0TDI Ultra S 190 Black Edition S Tronic

mercedes-volvo-audi-result2Price: £40,915
Engine:
4cyls, 1968cc, diesel
Power:
188bhp at 3800-4200rpm
Torque: 295lb
ft at 1750-3000rpm
Gearbox: 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Kerb weight: 1800g
0-62mph: 8.5sec
Top speed: 140mph
Economy: 61.4mpg (combined)
CO2/tax band: 119g/km, 23%

RESULTS

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1ST E-Class Estate is the best load lugger of the moment – and also pleasing drive

2ND V90 has one of the world’s best interiors, with an engine and driving experience that are comfortably good enough

3RD A6 Avant can still hold its head high in this company – particularly in the engine department

Volvo P1800

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There has never been a Volvo like the P1800, for this was a one-time flight of fancy by the sober Swedes, who already had a reputation for building sensible sedans. As a sports car the P1800 certainly looked stunning, every sensuous curve and lean line suggesting athletic prowess. But under that sharp exterior was most of the engineering of the Volvo Amazon, a worthy workhorse sedan.

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