Volvo S90 Recharge T8 hybrid interior & comfort
Volvo has spent a great deal of time and effort perfecting its interiors, and this is one area where the brand definitely steals a march on its rivals. The S90’s interior is so beguiling, you could opt for the Volvo ahead of its competitors on the strength of its cabin alone.
The seats are supremely comfortable, the surroundings have a light and airy feels and the ambient lighting makes the S90 a pleasant place in which to while away the hours on a long journey. The Recharge T8 even has the 'party piece' of a genuine crystal transmission lever.
An early 2020 model upgrade introduced the option of man-made leather or wool-blend trim on the seats, along with an air-quality monitoring system, a pair of USB-C points in the rear seats and the option of wireless phone charging an an upgraded Bowers & Wilkins stereo.
Volvo S90 Recharge T8 hybrid dashboard
The dashboard in the S90 Recharge T8 is a thing of beauty and the antithesis of the cluttered and fussy designs you find elsewhere. Volvo has used superb materials and high-quality workmanship to create one of the best dashboards of any car, regardless of price.
Unlock the car, and the infotainment system and dashboard wake up to welcome you inside, which is dominated by the nine-inch display. There’s a single row of buttons, controlling the audio volume, the hazard warning lights and windscreen demisting.
Equipment, options and accessories
The S90 Recharge T8 is available in two trim levels: R-Design and Inscription. This means the entry-level Momentum is unavailable to hybrid buyers, but it also means the T8 is well equipped as standard.
At the heart of the interior is a gorgeous Orrefors crystal gearlever, which is unique to the T8 model and adds an extra touch of class to an already exquisite cabin. The T8 also benefits from laminated side and rear windows, two USB ports and a subwoofer.
The R-Design trim includes leather sports seats with cushion extensions and electric adjustment, a tailored instrument panel, black headlining, sports mats and pedals, integrated sun curtains in the rear doors, a head-up display, and dark-tinted rear windows.
Inscription is more luxurious, trading sportiness for style. The powered and ventilated seats are finished in soft Nappa leather, the sports mats are exchanged for luxury versions, there’s additional ambient door and instrument-panel lighting, and the front seat offers a backrest massage.
Both models feature heated seats, a heated steering wheel and charcoal-colour leather, with cream leather available on the Inscription. Given the relaxed and comfortable nature of the S90, we’d opt for the Inscription over the R-Design.
Infotainment, apps & sat nav
The majority of functions are controlled from a tablet-style nine-inch touchscreen, which is integrated into the dashboard between two air vents. The portrait layout makes a welcome change from the letterbox or landscape systems favoured by many of the S90’s rivals.
If you’re familiar with an iPad, the infotainment system will be a doddle to use, although the climate-control settings and some of the secondary functions can be a bit tricky. On the plus side, the S90’s voice recognition is one of the best in its class, enabling you to adjust the temperature, change the volume and control the sat nav without lifting your hands from the wheel.
The central touchscreen is complemented by a 12.3-inch display in place of the traditional dials behind the steering wheel. This can show details specific to the hybrid system, including remaining battery capacity, drive mode and how much electric range is left.
Apple CarPlay is available on the S90 Recharge T8, but Volvo charges extra for the privilege. On a car in this price bracket, we’d expect it to be free. The excellent Sensus Connect with Premium Sound by Bowers & Wilkins is another costly option, but it’s one of the best in the business and worth every penny.
Volvo’s On Call system provides 24-hour access to emergency and roadside assistance and comes with a mobile app that provides a car locator, remote dashboard and a lock-your-car facility. The app also shows battery and charge status, as well as allowing you to remotely schedule the battery charging using a timer function.