360-Degree Surround View Camera
This feature has become common on a range of cars, even several entry-level vehicles. But the 9-inch vertically arranged screen that’s the centerpiece of Volvo’s Sensus Connect infotainment system provides a better overall view of what’s around you. The car’s Surround View Camera, which is part of the $1,950 Vision Package option, came in handy this winter when most of my driveway was covered in piles of snow several feet high for weeks on end and I had thread between them to get a car in and out. The S90’s Surround View Camera and 9-inch screen combo allowed me to vividly see how close I was to the snow banks, while the Rear Park Assist sonar sensors issued audible warnings on proximity to them.
Earlier this year I wrote a longer post detailing this standard feature, which combines adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist. Outside of Tesla’s Autopilot feature, it’s about as close as you can get to self-driving at highway speeds, although Pilot Assist II requires occasional driver intervention, otherwise the system deactivates. I also noticed a subtle but annoying shifting from one side of a lane to the other, which made me want to intervene when the car veered strongly towards one side of a lane around curves.
Volvo’s City Safety was one of the very first collision avoidance systems available, and can help automatically stop the vehicle if it detects different objects – another car, a pedestrian, bicyclist or even a large animal – at various speeds to avoid a collision. The Volvo S90 also allows setting the warning timing for this standard feature in three increments: Later, Normal or Earlier. I’ve seen this type of customization of ADAS warnings in other vehicles and like it since it lets drivers decide the level of alerts – and how many beeps – they want to receive.
With its aluminum grilles and eye-catching “Tweeter on Top” center speaker, the S90’s 19-speaker/1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins Premium Sound System looks stunning, but its sound doesn’t measure up to the best audio setups in the luxury segment, namely Mark Levinson in Lexus and ELS in Acura vehicles. I tested the system with high-resolution audio files on more than one occasion (and in a Volvo XC60) and have concluded that it’s not worth the $2,650 option price when compared with others in its class.