Why I didn't lease a Volvo S90

My 2015 non-Volvo lease was coming up for turn-in and I spent a non-trivial amount of time shopping for its replacement. I have a somewhat unique situation in that my daily commute is either 6 or 180 miles round trip. This lines me up perfectly for a plug-in hybrid electric car (PHEV) and as luck would have it I have a 40 amp charger at home and free charging both of my offices. When it came time to test drive the XC60 T8 and the S90 T8 I was well excited by the fit and finish of both. My wife drives a full-size SUV so I wasn’t interested in the XC90 and only moderately interested in the XC60, so I was really coming to check out the S90. Now … I wasn’t blown away, but I was thoroughly impressed. There were major annoyances (no buttons and everything buried in a laggy touchscreen), some minor inconveniences (manual steering wheel adjustments in the flagship of a European brand, the shifting situation), but mostly there was a lot to like. The car itself is gorgeous, the interior is utilitarian but well appointed, and the ride and handling are fantastic.

I decided my next vehicle would be a Volvo S90 T8.

And then everything went wrong. First, the dealer I was trying to work with had a truly awful sales experience. The advisor I somehow was paired with was, at best, completely incompetent. I’m under the impression he had no experience with customer service but that shouldn’t reflect poorly on Volvo. What should reflect poorly on Volvo are three major issues -

  1. Pricing. It’s damn near impossible to option out a Volvo S90 and do an apples-to-apples comparison with the competition. I’m a 30-something male with zero children, no one will ever be in the back seat. So why should I have to add $3500 option designed around rear passenger comfort to get a massaging driver’s seat? This is just one example. Couple the options pricing with the fact that there are very few T8s sitting on dealer lots means that there’s very little room for negotiation. If you want your Volvo built your way, you have to order it and you pay sticker minus current incentives - end of discussion.

  2. Size. In 2017 the US market got a short wheelbase S90 and the LWB was reserved for a couple Asian markets. In 2018, the US market didn’t receive and option - all S90s sold are now LWB, adding 5" to the wheelbase and 5" to the overall length of the sedan. ALL OF THIS SPACE goes to the rear seat passenger area, none of it to the trunk and none of it to the front seats. And it’s only 5", but it’s a noticeably longer sedan overall; the rear doors are comically large. Furthermore, the size of the sedan with the LWB makes it difficult to place in line with the competition; it’s larger than a 5 Series / A6 / E Class, but smaller than the 7 / A8 / S (and BMW makes a PHEV 530e and 740e, MB makes a PHEV S560e, Cadillac has the new CT6) and priced accordingly.

  3. Residual. An industry low 51%. Not only does this leave the lessee shouldering more of the financial burden, but it also tells me Volvo doesn’t feel strongly about their vehicles’ overall value in the long term.

And thus ended my short-lived attempt at leasing a Volvo. I know the LH forums go ga-ga over some of the A Plan incentives on the base model S90s, but even at bargain basement prices those aren’t something I’m shopping for.

I took delivery of my new car two weeks ago and every time I pass an S90 around town the thought crosses my mind, but then I keep driving happily past knowing that I made the right decision to pass up on the opportunity.

Sooo… the S90 wasn’t the car for you. Hold up, also you say “my wife” and then later say “you’re single 30-something with no kids”. Which is it? What did you end up getting?


And your point is…? It was designed for the owner to be driven and for Chinese market, you didn’t know that?


Married … without kids. Post edited for clarity, thanks for pointing that out.

My point is that US buyers should be offered a wheelbase option, not forced into a vehicle that doesn’t properly serve the market (to your point, I’m the driver and I’m not in China). Anyone who is being driven in the States is doing so in an S550 / Mulsanne / Autobiography. Volvo has a driver setup in the XC90 Excellence, but that didn’t work too well from a sales perspective.

Soooo what car did you end up getting?

In contrast, I am single, no kids and in my mid 30s… My 2018 S90 T6 Inscription is perfect for me. Everyone is different, what doesn’t work for you might work for someone else, just pick something else that works for you.

What did you end up with?


Is your S90 a 2017 or 2018?

Mine is a 2018 LWB

I’m 57, married, no kids at home. I love my $335/mo LONG wheelbase S90. My brand-new 3 month old grandson loves riding in the back.


I like my Volvo S90 T6 MOM 2018. Would i buy it for 60K+, heck no. but would I lease it for less than a family plan phone bill from Metro PCS, yes.


I really like my LWB S90 too. The front has plenty of space, not sure what you are talking about. It is only 4 in longer than Tesla S and 2 in than Mercedes S so I don’t see your point.

What? How much is your lease and how much is your monthly phone bill? I know the S90’s were going cheap a few months back, but I can’t see it being less than a family phone bill. Unless we’re talking like 8+ people…


And I guess that’s the crux of my diatribe … Volvo made some choices here that put the pricing options all over the map, but none of the pricing models fit a buyer who genuinely wanted to pay for their product.

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Write to Volvo corporate, it’s just a rant here.


I sold 10 last month and I was drooling over the last one which I couldnt get for myself as I have no space and wife would kill me. Ended up forcing my uncle to get it :joy: (atleast in the family, so I get to ride it as much). Close to $58k msrp car for $290+tax, i wont stress about 5 inch difference, plus i dont know your location but FL is pretty spacious so no issues on that end.

Btw, what did you end up getting ?

About a hundred people before you asked him the same question. He will come up with BS answer, just give him time.


If I were in the market for an S90 I’d prefer a SWB too.

Going all the way back to W116 S-classes and E38 7-series, once you have seen the “original” SWB design you cannot unsee the unnaturally elongated rear doors and roofline.


This guy really knows how to leave people hanging…

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