An Organ Stop in the 2017 Volvo S90
In the oppressive heat of Arizona summer, when outside activities are practically verboten, what’s there to do but explore the great indoors? And when the all-new Volvo S90 sedan is your chariot, you can get to those wonderful inside adventures in style, comfort, and safety.
The S90 is Volvo’s new flagship sedan, and it is a truly beautiful, drivable car. Who doesn’t love sleek, uncluttered Scandinavian design? The interior is dressed in supple Nappa leather upholstery and trimmed with walnut wood inlays. Mine was the Inscription trim level, which added ventilation to the front seats, a welcome cool breeze wafting across my backside, mitigating the searing heat.
All vehicle functions are operated via the Sensus Connect system, housed in a tablet-like touch screen. It’s a little daunting to use, so I spent some time in the driveway tinkering, to avoid serious distracted driving while trying to figure out how to, say, change the radio station. S90 is equipped with Apple CarPlay, so if you have an iPhone, the interface is familiar when that system is activated.
Armed with a semi-solid understanding of the S90’s tech features, I set the GPS in my phone for Organ Stop Pizza, an Arizona institution that’s home to the world’s largest Wurlitzer theater organ, and some pretty good pizza to boot. It’s sufficiently far from my house to be considered a mini-road trip, so I set out on the highway.
My all-wheel-drive S90 was equipped with Volvo’s four-cylinder T6 engine paired with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. In the mostly freeway drive to Organ Stop, the 316-horsepower was more than adequate in any of the selectable drive modes, and the ride was comfortable and connected, if not overly sporting.
The family fit comfortably in the rear seat, which has ample room for adults or children, and we enjoyed a brief respite from the heat in the four zones of climate control. Arriving at our destination, we found Organ Stop to be a true must-see. The famed Wurlitzer has 6000 pipes, 17 percussions, innumerable effects, and is valued at $5 million. The 43-foot high ceilings in the restaurant make for outstanding acoustics, and one of four award-winning musicians can be found at the helm of the pipe organ, taking requests as patrons alternately dine and dance to the familiar tunes.
Back on the road, my S90 featured a cooled glovebox, great for keeping a bottle of water or two above or around room temperature. Rear side sun curtains also curtail the intrusion of the sun into the cabin. If you do live in a cooler climate, heated rear seat, steering wheel, and washer nozzles come as part of an optional climate package.
Of course, in furthering Volvo’s Vision 2020, stating that by 2020, no one should be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo, S90 is equipped with a full suite of advanced safety systems, structural support, and supplemental restraint systems. City Safety combines collision avoidance systems and automatic braking to mitigate accidents, and it is extended in the S90 to include Large Animal Detection. Also new is the Run Off Road Mitigation auto-steer function and semi-autonomous driving with Pilot Assist.
The trend these days seems to be shifting in favor of crossovers and smaller SUVs, but the S90 is a standout for those who prefer a more traditional luxury sedan. It has a comfortable yet artistic and elegant design aesthetic, and a reputation for safety that, like a fine Wurlitzer, never goes out of style.