Volvo and Toyota units each offer amazing attributes
Abundant technology and safety features, as well as amazing handling characteristics, made our test drive of the all-new 2017 Volvo S90 T6 AWD Inscription a pleasant driving experience.
The T6 Inscription is the top of four offerings (two T5 are FWD, and two T6 are AWD models). All are powered by a 2.0-L turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, but the two T6 models are also supercharged for higher horsepower (316 as opposed to 250). Our tester had an eight-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with stop/start mode. Overall, the drivetrain was smooth and offered genuine performance.
As one would expect, the S90 T6 Inscription was loaded with standard safety features that included the Volvo City Safety system, a low-speed collision avoidance system with autonomous braking; pedestrian, cyclist, and large animal detection; lane departure warning; run-off road mitigation; electronic stability control; rear collision warning; Active Bending Lights; and more. A $1,950 optional Vision Package added a 360-degree surround view camera, and a blind spot/cross traffic alert system.
Likeable standard equipment on the T6 Inscription included a power moonroof with screen shade, rear park assist, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather seats, and dual integrated tail pipes, high-pressure cleaning headlamps, plus a very usable Sensus navigation system. Optional likes included a stunning Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, though pricy at $2,650; metallic paint; 20-inch alloy wheels; and a Climate Package ($1,950) that included heated rear seats, heads-up display heated washer nozzles, and heated steering wheel.
Also standard is Volvo’s Pilot Assist, semi-autonomous drive system that assists drivers to “comfortably follow the traffic flow within the current lane, providing gentle steering support to keep the car within lane markings.” The system sets the speed and distance to the vehicle in front of the driver and is active from standstill up to legal highway speeds.
The S90 has a classy interior that includes comfortable seating, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power front seats, walnut wood inlays, four-zone electric climate control, and very cool illuminated lighting features. The sedan is graciously comfortable and handles with ease, plus provides 13.5 cubic feet of cargo space.
With several options packages, offering some three dozen features, our tester was priced just over $65,000. Fuel ratings are 25 MPG overall (22/city and 31/highway). During our weeklong test drive, we average 25.9 MPG overall.
Land Cruiser is rugged, refined, and fun to drive
The 2017 Toyota Land Cruiser 4WD is referred to by the automaker as a “timeless icon.” And indeed, this 60-plus year old SUV has a lot of appeal for its tech, comfort, and off-roading features, not to mention its jazzy interior.
What may not be as appealing is its fuel economy with ratings of 15 MPG overall (13/city and 18/highway). But fun has its hazards, and the beefy 5.7-L V-8 DOHC engine (401 HP at 3,600 RPM) may have something to do with that, though it does provide a powerful driving experience on- and particularly off-road.
The Land Cruiser has full-time 4WD with an Active Traction Control and a Torsen limited-slip center differential with a locking feature. Add to that a double-wishbone front suspension with coil springs and stabilizer, a four-link rear suspension with coil springs, stabilizer bar, and semi-floating axle, and everything is set for some serious off-road experiences. The Kinetic Dynamic Suspension System provides optimal traction and when connected automatically disconnects the sway bar and adjusts the suspension for better wheel articulation.
A Multi-Terrain Monitor on the Land Cruiser provides front, side, and rear camera views on the navigation screen to determine surroundings when off-roading. In addition, the
Crawl Control with Off-Road Turn Assist modulates the throttle and brakes on five low-speed settings.
The interior features a JBL Entune Premium Audio system with Integrated Navigation and App Suite that provides excellent displays on its nine-inch screen. There are also two 11.6-inch DVD screens in the rear compartments of the eight-seat SUV.
Likeable interior features include leather-trimmed heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, automatic four-zone climate control, and fold-a-way third row seats.
In the safety realm, the Land Cruiser has covered it all with its Toyota Safety Sense systems. There is everything from pre-collision to lane departure, pedestrian detection to Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
With rain-sensing windshield wipers to LED head and fog lamps, the Star Safety System (six systems from stability control to Active Traction Control) to front and rear park assist sonar, the Land Cruiser boasts an impressive list of standard features that make this truly purposeful SUV.
Our tester, with a handful of small options, was priced just over $85,000.