In what comes as a surprise to a great number of people (ourselves included), the Volvo S90, which won our 2016 Car of the Year award, receives an update for the 2018 model year. Already considered to be a premium luxury sedan at the helm of the Volvo Cars lineup, the update is a lot more than just a fascia refresh or shuffling of trim levels. The S90 now receives a wheelbase stretch of twelve centimeters – that’s right, twelve centimeters straight into the wheelbase. As a result, the updated S90 now leads the segment by offering a whopping 7.62cm more rear seat legroom.
One can infer that this extended wheelbase specification comes from the Chinese market, and you wouldn’t be incorrect in making such an assumption. Luxury vehicles in China are often purchased with rear-seat room as a high-priority, as the wealthy often employ dedicated drivers to shuttle passengers around the snarling Chinese gridlock. One additional benefit of all that extra length is the ability to now equip the S90 with a panoramic sunroof. It just wasn’t possible on the original model, due to the design of the roofline. The sedan itself gets longer to accommodate for all that extra sheet metal, but final specifications for overall length have not been published, as of this writing. The rest of the S90 essentially remains the same, with T6 power available as standard (316hp and 295lb-ft of torque), and their 400hp T8 plug-in hybrid is available.
Canadian pricing for the S90 has not yet been announced at this point, but we hope that it doesn’t bump the S90 up to an unpalatable level. The previous S90 was seen as a strong value in its class, thanks to its blend of progressive Swedish design, innovative powertrains, and partly because it isn’t just another German executive sedan. It may take a trained eye to notice the differences between the two versions of the S90, but once you put them side by side, the wheelbase stretch should be very evident. The best way to really enjoy this significant update may be to sit in the back and have somebody drive you around.