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2017 Volvo S90 Sedan Redefines Swedish Luxury

A Swedish company would like to invite you (and any man or woman of means) to come along and enjoy a “Scandinavian Sanctuary,” but it’s not a resort selling winter weekend stays in some ice castle. It’s Volvo, and they want you to lose yourself inside the new 2017 S90 Sedan.

As Volvo continues to reinvent itself, the new S90 takes its place atop the automaker’s sedan family. Starting around $47,000 for its T5 Momentum trim (capping out the s90 levels at $56,250), the big, livery-ready cruiser offers the latest in comfort and technology for the company. During a recent drive event in The Hamptons, Volvo unveiled the focus that will flow through the rest of its line.

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While it’s outward styling aesthetic remains traditionally understated, the interior is where this Volvo makes its hay. Volvo aspired to maintain that unique look of northern European simplicity and elegance throughout the cockpit. Their Sensus in-car infotainment system keeps the interface  clean and puts a unique vertically orientated touchscreen to work in the center console.

When you combine Sensus with Volvo’s CleanZone environmental control system (as it maintains interior temperatures while filtering all of the dust and germs that might arise from lesser, filthy, non-Volvo driving folks), you end up with the complete Scandinavian Sanctuary experience. That’s Volvo’s term, not mine. Their engineers want their cars to do more than merely transport the driver. They want those drivers protected from the outside world while at the controls.

From contact patch to roof, the s90 pulls off that mission with a ride that limits bumps and jolts, outside street noise and driver anxiety with a complete suite of inventions meant to keep the road at bay. A smooth, in-line four cylinder engine and four-wheel independent suspension make sure the s90 gets you there without making too much of a fuss.

A 330-watt, 10 speaker stereo puts the final ribbon on the interior experience. The AM/FM/Satellite/Bluetooth audio system only plays the works of late 19th Century Swedish composer Wilhelm Stenhammar. (That’s probably not true. I think my iPod was stuck.)

From experience, I can tell you the Hamptons is not an ideal spot for a test driving event — if the point of said event is to test the performance and handling of a vehicle. That’s not a criticism of that east coast haven for the upper class. The Hamptons are pretty to look at, will feed you well and must treat you pleasantly as long as you have the money to hang there. But, its roads cap a 30 mph speed limit and are straighter than a very vanilla ice cream social at Westboro Baptist Church.

However, that environment suits the S90 just fine. It’s not a vehicle for quarter mile speed or apex biting. The car aspires to a sort of more affordable “Rolls Royce-ness,” if I can invent a word. (And, I can because I get to write these reviews.) Just as a Rolls-Royce isolates its drivers from the road, the Volvo s90 offers that same comfort and protection for almost an entire extra zero less.