Volvo V90 Design Language
What we like:
V90’s long nose not only looks great, but it allows Volvo to package the engine and subframe in a way that, keeps you from getting injured in nearly every scenario. The small overlap is one of the toughest crash scenarios for a car, and new Volvo V90 shows us incredible results. The Volvo engineers are thinking “safety” from the start, it is impossible to re-engineer a car to be safe at the end of the design. The front wheel and suspension push the car away from the barrier, leaving the passenger compartment unharmed. Instead of losing or breaking a leg, the driver is safely walking away from it. The car shows great performance in the other crash tests as well. Of course, Volvo had been testing the small overlap for over 2 decades, the same test that the IIHS only started doing in 2014.
The interior is a perfect example of beautiful design while still putting the importance of safety concerns.
Let us start with the seats. Volvo has been making the most comfortable car seats since the later 90s and is more comfortable than 97% of new car seats today. Other than being gorgeous, the seats have the right blend of comfort and support to keep you in place. These seats are also supremely safe, with the WHIPS system incorporated to protect you from any obstacle that comes in your way to your destination.
A WHIPS equipped seat is designed so that the entire backrest helps to protect the front occupant’s neck in a case of a rear impact. When the WHIPS system is deployed, the front seat backrests and headrests are lowered backward to change the seating position of the driver and front seat passenger. The main energy is absorbed via a pivot at the base of the seat – mechanism which allows the seat to move around the occupants actual hip joint while moving rearward to absorb additional energy. A piece of metal inside the backrest hinge deforms, absorbing more energy. The hinge piece needs to be replaced after having been deployed. According to Volvo’s traffic accident research team, the WHIPS equipped seat resulted in a 33% reduction in short-term injury and a 54% reduction in long-term whiplash injuries caused by car accidents.
Wheel buttons that are consistent from side to side and designed to make them easy to use without taking your eyes off of the road. Both technologies are incredible design and safety feature, nobody can compete with Volvo in that department. These buttons scroll through the touchscreen menus so you do not have to move your hands from the wheel to cycle through the menus. Overall, the interior, especially from the drivers view, is fantastic. The XC90 interior has been called the best under $100k.