In still air, the Volvo S90 saloon towed very well. It wasn’t as happy when the wind picked up, and the caravan’s Al-Ko ATC sensors showed some movement when slowing down from high speeds.

The brakes were excellent, though, stopping car and caravan in just 10.3m – that’s one of the best stopping distances in this class.

The D4 engine performed strongly, too, pulling the S90 and caravan from 30-60mph in 10.7 seconds. Despite lacking the four-wheel drive of the V90 Cross Country, the S90 had no trouble with the hill-start test, towing serenely up the 1-in-6 slope with just the slightest scrabble from the front tyres when pulling away.

As an everyday drive, the S90 puts comfort above sharp responses and agility. It’s a relaxed and refined car rather than a lively one.

Inside, there’s plenty of space for the driver and passengers, and the design and finish are both appealing.

And for a saloon, there’s plenty of boot space – our practicality testers found room for a full load of caravan holiday luggage.

The official combined economy figure of 64.2mpg is impressive enough for the S90 to have been shortlisted for this year’s ‘Fuel Economy’ award. We achieved 24mpg when towing, not economical enough for the Volvo to win that prize, but not bad for a car of this weight and performance.

The S90 is priced reasonably, and although Momentum is the most affordable version it still comes well equipped. That includes plenty of safety kit, which has contributed to the car’s five-star rating from Euro NCAP’s safety experts.

Category Winners
2019 Up to 1400kg

Škoda Octavia

Hatch 1.5 TSI 150PS SE L DSG

2019 1400-1549kg

Seat Ateca

2.0 TSI 190PS FR DSG

2019 1550-1699kg

Volkswagen Arteon

2.0 TDI 150PS Elegance DSG

2019 1700-1899kg

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport

2019 1900kg+

Land Rover Discovery

3.0 SDV6 HSE

2019 Best Budget 4x4

Dacia Duster

1.5 dCi Ambiance 4x4

2019 Best Plug-In Hybrid

Land Rover Range Rover Sport

P400e HSE Dynamic

2019 Best Ultralight Tow Car

Seat Arona

1.0 TSI 115 FR

2019 Fuel Economy Award

Ford Focus Estate

1.5 EcoBlue 120PS Titanium X

Previous Winners

BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport


Land Rover Discovery

3.0 Td6 HSE*


Skoda Superb Hatch

2.0 TDI 150PS SE Business


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI BMT 150PS SE Business DSG


Nissan Qashqai

1.6 dCi (130PS) Stop/Start System Acenta Premium

Up to 1424kg

Skoda Octavia

2.0 TDI CR 150PS Elegance


Jaguar XF

2.2D Premium Luxury


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI 170 Bluemotion Sport


Land Rover Discovery 4

3.0 TDV6 XS


Volvo XC60

D5 SE Geartronic


Ford Mondeo Estate

2.0 TDCi Titanium auto


Volkswagen Passat Estate

2.0 TDI Sport 4Motion

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