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Buying a new car usually takes a lot of time, effort, and money. Once you’ve picked out the perfect wagon and driven it home, it would be annoying to find out it’s missing a component. That’s exactly what happened to MotorTrend when it tested out the 2021 Volvo V90 R-Design. Luckily, the V90 has a lot to recommend it despite this odd issue.

The 2021 Volvo V90 R-Design’s missing switch

MotorTrend tested out a 2021 Volvo V90 R-Design and noticed something odd: it didn’t have a switch to turn on the rear wiper. The Volvo PR team let MotorTrend know that the missing switch was due to a messed-up repair done at the dealership. Mechanics had installed the stalk from a Volvo S90 into the V90.

MotorTrend was a little concerned that a nearly new vehicle would need such a basic part replaced already. However, the reviewer did joke that missing parts are more likely found in a British car or a Tesla rather than in a Volvo. While it’s an odd problem, it’s likely not one that buyers should be worried about.

The 2021 Volvo V90 R-Design trim

Volvo V90 T4 luxury estate car on display at Brussels Expo on January 9, 2020 in Brussels, Belgium. The Volvo V90 is available as stationwagon and as executive sedan
The Volvo V90 | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

Despite the missing switch, MotorTrend’s review of the 2021 Volvo V90 R-Design is largely positive. This popular wagon has been around since 2018 and has few changes for the 2021 model year. Volvo says there are slight changes to the front and rear fascias plus new upholstery and interior trim. It does have a new wireless phone charger for 2021, though. MotorTrend reassures that the Volvo V90 has a “timeless” design and didn’t need new updates.

The V90 comes with a 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine called the T5. Also available is a 2.0-liter super turbocharged inline-four, called the T6, that produces 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. In addition, there is a Polestar Performance upgrade that increases the output to 330 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque (for an extra $1,200).

The interior of the V90 is nicely finished with high-quality materials and roomy seats, says U.S. News. It comes standard with a cooled glove box. It is worth noting that its nice shape and swooping roofline mean it doesn’t have that much cargo space. It has 19.8 cubic feet, which is actually less than the Volvo V60, a smaller car.

The tablet-style 9-inch touchscreen has a portrait orientation and a few quirks in using it. Standard tech features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, voice recognition, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, navigation, satellite radio, wireless device charging, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

MotorTrend was impressed with the V90’s Pilot Assist, the driver assistance system. It provides adaptive cruise control and a lane-centering system. The system works well and is helpful. The V90 also includes a long list of standard safety features.

The 2021 Inscription and Cross Country options

MotorTrend’s test model was the R-Design trim of the Volvo V90, but the V90 is also available in the Inscription trim as well. The R-Design has different suspension tuning from the Inscription trim, giving the R-Design sharper, more agile handling, says MotorTrend. The R-Design and Inscription both offer the T5 and T6 engines.

There is also the similar V90 Cross Country, which is a lifted wagon that comes standard with the T6 engine. The Cross Country provides a higher ride height plus it has hill descent control and an off-road drive mode.

While MotorTrend says the missing switch raises questions about how the 2021 Volvo V90 was built, it still finds the V90 to be “quick, posh, beautiful, good fun to drive, and every inch the anti-SUV.”


What’s New With the 2021 Volvo V90?