Driven - May 2017

Volvo S90 T6 vs S90 D5 : Same but very different

Volvo S90 T6 v S90 D5 : What would you choose?

I recently posted an article on the Volvo S90 D5, and found that in the short, the car was very relaxing to drive and instilled a calmness on the driver. A short while after testing the S90 D5, I jumped into the T6 variant of the Volvo S90.

This relaxed, sensible feeling which I felt in the D5 was something which wasn’t really present in the Volvo S90 T6 AWD version of the S90. We could probably put this down to its Twin-charged 235 kW and 200 N.m 2.0-litre engine. By Twin Charged, I mean it features a supercharger for low down power up to 3500 rpm whereafter a turbocharger kicks in for the remainder of the rev range.

This makes for a very exciting, progressive and boy racer ish Volvo S90. Along with a 0-100 km/h time of 5.9 seconds, comes a beautiful sound, starting with the classic supercharger whine and ending with a turbocharged growl – not quite what you’d expect from a luxury Volvo sedan.

Along with the sound comes acceleration which is sweet, smooth, linear and above all, pretty addictive. I can’t give you the fuel economy figures during my test as it would be somewhat unfair, but then again, one doesn’t buy this variant of the S90 with fuel economy in mind. Volvo claim 7.2 litres/100km combined, which is believable if you don’t have a right foot like mine.

Apart from the performance aspect, everything else is pretty much the same as the D5 in terms of the styling, luxury and interior. Speaking of the interior, the T6 featured an Amber in Charcoal interior. It is beautiful, especially when offset with the Onyx Black exterior paint.

I noticed something worrying though in that a car that has less than 5000 km on the clock should not have scuff marks on the edges of these warm orange seats. It seems like jeans have been rubbing off onto the leather. This is sad as it is such a beautiful colour to have.

What do you choose?

The best way I can describe the difference between these two cars is by comparing them to myself and my younger brother, Dan.

Dan is the sporty and adventurous type, he likes to compete in marathon long off-road obstacle races, jump off very high cliffs into water and partake in many other sports. He is also a natural at these things, along with being cocky and brash. He is very S90 T6, exciting, raring to go at anytime, but still an Ayres.

Now I used to love all of the above, (baring the cliff jumping) and I still do to a certain extent but I am a married man now, grown up and much more sensible and relaxed. I would be more likened to the Volvo S90 D5.

Many would assume that the T6 is the older brother to the S90 D5, because of its bigger engine and higher power production, but they would be wrong. The Volvo S90 T6 is definitely the feisty, exciting younger brother, whereas the D5 is a mellowed, more chilled out version of the same genetics.

Volvo S90 D5 Review

What you choose as a buyer then really depends what you are looking for, the T6 will definitely appeal to a younger audience, perhaps buyers who would look at a BMW 540i for example. Whereas the D5 is car which is more suited to highways and long distance driving where you don’t want the temptation of a Supercharger/Turbocharger spurring you to ruin that sweet 5.0l/100km fuel rating.

Having said all of the above, though, the S90 T6 is definitely my choice.