1998 Volvo S90 2.9L from North America


Understated Swedish excellence coupled with the safety and reliability Volvo is known for


A/C evaporator and radiator.

General Comments:

The S90 is the last remaining iconic rear wheel drive Volvos produced, and the 1998 model year was its swan song. The S90 production was only about 18 months.

This model not only competes very well with its European cousins such as Mercedes, BMW and Audi, but excels in overall fit, finish, performance and reliability. The S90 has such understated elegance, that belies its true heritage. Make no mistake it is a true Volvo with safety a paramount issue, and was the first to employ side air bags in this model year. Although some 17 years now into service, not many are available in the pre owned market.

Many of the S90s were used as transportation for royalty, diplomats, executives and UN duty the world over, based upon the safety measures that are employed in the S90 as well as its overall performance in emergency situations. One will feel totally safe in this car. Regardless of going out shopping, or a night on the town or a lengthy road trip, the S90 excels in all climates and situations one may find themselves faced with. With its powerful Porsche designed engine, cruising the interstates is a breeze, and it has low end torque that will sprint you away quickly. Has the tightest turning radius of any sedan in its class, which means even in the smallest of parking situations, the S90 excels with ease.

Throughout the years of designing and building cars, Volvo's purpose has remained the same: to deliver its occupants to their destination safely and comfortably. Our 1998 Volvo S90 adds another adverb to that list: stylishly. That's right - the famously boxy buggy lost some of its squareness for this model year, both literally and figuratively. With this beautiful sedan, Volvo lets style ride in the front seat with safety. In other words, "Sure, we're the safest, but we're darned good-looking, too." You've seen these pass you out on the roads, and most likely you've noticed the guy behind the wheel going about his commute with a smile. This is the result of rolling down the road enjoying truly exceptional handling and performance, while feeling confident that this vehicle, which received stellar ratings in NHTSA crash tests, will protect you should something go awry. Plus the Narcissus in every driver loves knowing that in this car he looks great doing it, too. Spend a while behind the wheel and you'll get the feeling this car was made for the highway, where you're sure to be all smiles. Our Volvo S90 offers you a great choice if you're shopping for a sedan with a few extras. Add in the Swedish comfort and impressive performance, and you have yourself a winner not often found.

A true European touring saloon of the highest quality, not often found today.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th February, 2016

15th Feb 2016, 22:44

Excellent review, executive saloons/sedans made in the 1990's rule. Drove a Volvo 940/960 many years ago and it was the best; critics disliked it at the time though. But the later S/V models were even better and there are still lots out there worth purchasing even in 2016 as an everyday car.

1997 Volvo S90 from South Africa


The best car Volvo ever made


Heater core needed replacement (fixed at dealer, R12000).

Electric seat wires chafed through (fixed at dealer, no charge).

Various little bulbs needed replacement (fixed at dealer, no charge).

General Comments:

I own several cars, and this one is by far my favorite. It's fast, roomy, supremely comfortable and handles really well. It was very cheap to buy (R28000), and apart from fairly heavy fuel consumption, it is no more expensive to run than any of my previous cars.

The ride is really smooth. Long distance cruising is an absolute pleasure. The seats are also the most comfortable I have ever sat in. It is very spacious. Enough room for 5 and all their luggage. The HVAC system is exceptionally capable. No matter if it's below freezing or searing hot outside, the selected interior temperature is always maintained. I tend to leave the climate control in full auto mode and on 22 degrees all year round, with no need to fiddle with the controls like in some of my other cars. (2 x Mercedes, a BMW and an Isuzu)

Performance from the 2.9L straight 6 is very good. It even sounds rather inspiring as you approach the red line. Fuel consumption around town is rather heavy, as is to be expected. On the open road it is far more economical.

For such a large heavy car, the agility and handling and grip may come as a shock to some. You can really fling it into corners, and apart from some roll it hangs on very well. It will ultimately understeer, but on wet or slippery roads, some lovely power on oversteer can be had. Quick steering makes slides easy to correct.

By far my favorite part is the rarity of the car on South African roads. I have not seen one other S90 to date. There are hardly any 960's here. (The S90's older cousin.) On the freeway everybody gets out of your way as they assume you are some foreign diplomat. Haha.

I also like that this car is totally unpretentious. I have all the space, power, comfort and features of cars costing many times more, yet nobody looks at me with disapproving stares as they do when I drive my BMW with the roof down...

My least favorite bit about the car? Well it could be quieter. Some wind noise at high speed can get annoying. Must be because it's shaped like a brick. Otherwise, nothing really.

I wish Volvo still built these cars. Truly the best Volvo of all time in my opinion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th March, 2011