Drive Notes: 2024 Volvo S90 Recharge AWD Ultimate


Some of Volvo's newer EVs are a bit strange, design-wise, so it was nice to pilot a Volvo PHEV that remind me of the company I grew up with.

Boxy(ish) design, luxurious without being ostentatious, just sporty enough to be engaging. This is the Volvo I remember.

This one is a plug-in hybrid that mates a 2.0-liter turbo four with an electric motor, and there's an 18.8 kWh battery. The electric-only range is up to 38 miles, and the transmission is an eight-speed automatic. It is, as the name implies, all-wheel drive.

Horsepower is listed at 455 and torque at 523 lb-ft. Charging time for the battery is listed at 13 hours on a 110V, and 5-7 hours (it was unclear which) on a 220V.

It's not cheap, with a $71,200 base price. A $1,500 Loung Package of options included cooled rear seats and massaging front seats. Bowers and Wilkins audio costs an eye-popping $3,200 and an active chassis with rear air suspension costs $1,200.

All told this car based just shy of $80K.

Let's get into the pros and cons.


  • It's sporty, to a point. It feels engaging at lower speeds, though when I pushed a bit hard through a curve, still at a relatively low speed, I got a bit of body roll. And maybe a bit of understeer, which is surprising since I was going way too slow to be near any limit, though the pavement was wet. Perhaps the tires just didn't like rain. I guess this one is both a pro and con.
  • The interior is well designed and attractive to the eye.
  • The rear seat area is shockingly spacious, in terms of both head- and legroom.
  • Trunk space is ample.
  • Acceleration is swift.
  • The ride is supple.
  • Outside noise stays outside.
  • The large, vertical infotainment system is easy to read.
  • That sound system is almost worth more than three grand. Almost. Music sounded unbelievable.
  • I appreciated the range — it was 460 miles on gas after the battery drained. If you were to depart on a road trip with a full battery, you'd be able to pass a lot of gas stations before you needed to put gas in, and that's assuming no opportunity to charge.


  • As noted above, there's body roll when the car is pushed. And perhaps a bit of wet-pavement understeer.
  • If there's a Sport mode, I never found the switch.
  • The infotainment-system controls take some getting used to, though I suspect Android phone owners will learn it more quickly.
  • Apple CarPlay required plugging in. It should be wireless at this price.
  • It's probably because of the massagers, but the front seat felt a tad uncomfortable.
  • This is one of those electrified vehicles that doesn't have AM radio. Not everyone will care, but I do — not having AM is a deal breaker for me.
  • The center console isn't very deep.
  • While rear headroom is nice, there is a bit too much slope for taller people. If you're over six-foot-four or so, lookout.
  • The shifter could occasionally be clunky.
  • The cream colors on the interior looked classy, but the driver's door sill too easily collected dirt from shoes if you weren't careful on exit.

I like this Volvo a lot — but I miss AM radio, I don't get why Apple CarPlay isn't wireless, and the chassis could use a bit of tightening.

With a few tweaks, the S90 Recharge could really be a solid choice for a luxury PHEV sedan.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/]

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