Meet the Volvo V90 T5 estate or station wagon.
Still, station wagons aren't popular in Malaysia and we surmise that this is likely due to an association with hearses. However, there's no denying that a well-equipped and kitted out station wagon from a Swedish premium car marque is a marvellous creature to experience, especially on long weekend drives.
Priced at RM393,888 on-the-road without insurance, this 5-door, 5-seater station wagon is a wonderfully comfortable transporter.
The distinctly Scandinavian premium leather clad interior, with smooth dark wood trim and chrome door handles, has an upscale look while the seats hold our bodies comfortably, and are akin to premium furniture.
Highlights include the high-performance audio system with 10 speakers (6-channels, 330W), and the state-of-the-art CleanZone Interior Air Quality System (IAQS).
CleanZone monitors incoming air and shuts the cabin's air intakes if harmful substances are detected while a multi-filter reduces the levels of dust, pollen, particles and chemical odours.
The powered tailgate with hands-free function provides more convenience.
There is an impressive amount of space and the rear seats fold flat.
To store luggage for a weekend getaway, the V90 offers 560 litres of space (volume to glass line - rear seats up) or 1,526 litres (volume to roof - rear seats down).
To hold small items in the cabin, there are also front seat-back nets and shopping bag hooks.
The large nine-inch Sensus Connect colour touchscreen display is intuitive, and gives access to car functions such as radio, rear headrest fold, lane keeping aid, rear view camera, parking aids and temperature controls.
With Volvo Cars renowned for automotive safety, it's a given that the V90 has a barnful of advanced safety and driver assistance systems.
Standard kit includes the Intellisafe package which has Volvo’s City Safety, an advanced Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) system that can detect and mitigate collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals.
Also included is Run Off Road Mitigation, which is an auto-steer function that helps to keep the car on the road.
There is also a semi-autonomous drive feature, Pilot Assist which can keep the car on course within lane markings and functions up to 130kph.
Regarding its road manners, our V90 tester ran on Pirelli P Zero high performance tyres sized 245/45 R18 and handled corners very proficiently when we tossed it around at some speed.
The electric powered steering was very well tuned, and felt well-weighted and chatty.
There is plenty of muscle from the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine delivering 254hp at 5,500rpm and maximum torque of 350Nm from 1,500 – 4,800rpm.
This is mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic that delivers power to the front wheels.
In the V90, the driver can choose from four driving modes: Comfort, Dynamic, Eco and Individual.
By switching between the modes with the roller control in the centre console, one can adapt the powertrain, steering and other vehicle characteristics.
For example, Eco mode adjusts the powertrain and air-conditioning for better fuel economy while Dynamic mode is calibrated for sporty driving, with quick engine, gearbox, steering and braking responses.
Now, the V90 promises 6.8 litres per 100km on mixed highway/city driving but bear in mind, this car has a 1,743kg kerb weight and a powerful turbocharged powertrain.
So if fuel economy is an important concern, one had better be very gentle on the throttle.
Of course, in an masterfully designed oasis of comfort like the V90, one would normally not be in a hurry to get anywhere.
Volvo V90 T5 estate
Engine: 1,969cc 4-cylinder turbocharged
Maximum power: 254hp at 5,500rpm
Maximum torque: 350Nm from 1,500 – 4,800rpm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Acceleration (0 to 100kph): 7.0 seconds
Features: Airbags, Engine Start-Stop with ECO+, Hill Start Assist (HSA), Hill Descent Control, City Safety with Collision Avoidance and pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, rear collision warning and mitigation support, Run-off Road Mitigation, Pilot Assist with Steering Support (up to 130kph) - semi-autonomous drive, Lane Keeping Aid, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Cross Traffic Alert, electronic stability control (ESC), Spin Control with Engine Drag Control
Price: RM393,888 on the road without insurance; 5-year and unlimited mileage warranty; 5-year Volvo On Call road assist