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Here's why Volvo's S90 makes a great choice for a roadtrip

2017-05-29 13:26

I'LL TAKE THIS ONE! If you could choose a car for a lekker roadtrip, the Volvo S90 tick all the right boxes. Image: Janine Van der Post

Janine Van der Post

Cape Town - 'The Volvo S90 makes for a great sedan for taking on the open road,' writes Wheels24's Janine Van der Post. 

Padkos, fuel costs, pitstops.... What's the first thing you think of when deciding on a roadtrip? Do you plan your route and stops? Do you pack a picnic lunch (read: tuppareware) to be enjoyed at a scenic spot along the way?

However all of those considerations are secondary to the most important factor for a petrolhead - Which car to drive? 

The annual Jaguar Knysna Hillclimb is one of the most highly-anticipated events for petrolheads in SA. When the invitation arrived to attend, I opted to drive from Cape Town, or rather, Somerset West.

Despite travelling the route for many years in my career I've never had the opportunity of driving through Knysna with my better half. What better way to experience a road trip than behind the wheel of a Volvo S90 and a great driving partner. It was simply a roadtrip I couldn't miss.

The S90 has a smooth automatic gearbox, incredibly luxurious and comfortable.... everything you need in a car for the perfect roadtrip. It's seamless transmission was more than enough reason to make the trip.

We dropped off our sprog at 5am at her grandparents and hit the road for the 5-hour route.

We took the most obvious route, driving along the through Grabouw, Calendon etc. The 445km journey would take us straight to our destination with literally only two "turns" until we reached our destination.

We stopped at Heidelberg, about 230km from Somerset West - our halfway mark, for some coffee and energy boosters.  

Here are 4 reasons why the S90 makes for a great roadtrip sedan:

1. It's absolutely beautiful

With its striking sharp lines and contemporary design, the S90 is possibly one of the best-looking sedans on the market. Even its distinctive rear lights sets it apart as a premium sedan. When you're headed to a motoring event with some of the fastest and hottest cars in SA, at least you'll be arriving in style even if you're not participating in the famous hillclimb in Knysna.

2. Driving is bliss

Gearshifts are seamless from its 8-speed Geartronic auto. It never searches for the right gear and practically pre-empts shifts. The turbocharged D5 is good for 173kW and 480Nm. Volvo claims a combined fuel consumption of 4.8-litres/100km. We averaged about 5.8-litres at our lowest and a combined rate of 6.1-litres/100km. 

3. The S90 can drive itself!

Since we departed on our trip quite early, there wasn't much traffic on the route. We were able to make full use of its Pilot Assist function. This translated into an even more enjoyable drive as I could take stock of the scenic route, provided I kept my hands on the steering wheel.

There's a 360-degree camera view when reversing or parking in tight spots, and the easy-to-use navigation system works a charm and shows you all the necessary info on screen.

Driving the vehicle at launch earlier in January 2017, I was a bit skeptical of the functionality. I realised now that it was most likely because of the distance setting for the car ahead. This time round, I had about a 3-car distance set. While I'm somewhat used to this kind of system by now, my husband would freak out each time the S90 slowed down or took a bend by itself. Overall it's incredibly easy to use with control buttons on the multi-function steering wheel.

4. Space galore.

Since we shared a large piece of luggage, the rest of the boot wasn't even needed. But if we wanted to, we could have fit massive weekend bags, his and her golf bag sets, and enough padkos to feed all the spectators at the Hillclimb!
 
Inside it's ridiculously comfortable, akin to sitting in an opulent business class lounge.

Fittings and details are lavish too, with incredible attention to detail. The chromed diamond-cut designs in the start/stop button, to the mode scroller. The regal door trimmings and precise stitching in the seats and console panels.

And what's a roadtrip to Knysna without stopping at Sedgefield's hottest spot in the little town? Even though there were the kind of cars you only see in movie or ever heard of at Sedegfield Classic Cars, the S90 still turned heads in all its glory.

Funny enough, we met a couple at the hillclimb who shared their story of a roadtrip from Joburg to Port Elizabeth wit three other adults in a Volkswagen Mk1. Can you imagine the discomfort?

You can't go wrong in the S90, it loves the long road.

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