My current vehicle is a 2007 ES350 Lexus, coming up on 200,000 km. I’m now looking for something a little more stylish. Two car seats are needed with some trunk room and I appreciate a slick interior. My wife drives a 2017 Volvo XC90 which we love, and which has drawn me to the S90. What do you think? – Conor
Lightstone: It’s always a good idea to look at the brand of vehicle your family already drives. It’s like signing up a second kid to the same daycare -- there are often rebates and discounts for “keeping it in the family.” Plus, you already know what you’re getting into, quality and product-wise. The Volvo S90 is a stunning sedan, and chock full of that pizzazz Conor’s missing.
Richardson: People often overlook Volvo, which has evolved into a truly premium brand. And yes, the S90 is an impressive sedan. It will feel quite familiar to Conor if he’s already used to the XC90 – maybe he’ll like that, or maybe not.
Lightstone: You’re thinking he’s putting all his eggs into the one basket?
Richardson: It’s up to the person involved. If he wants the sedan version of his wife’s SUV, then great. Some couples like to wear matching sweaters, don’t forget.
Lightstone: I’m guessing you and your wife don’t wear matching sweaters.
Richardson: She wouldn’t be seen dead in anything like what I wear. So if Conor is like me, maybe he should be looking at something different. Not too radical, though. First off, I’d suggest a chat with his Lexus dealer.
Lightstone: The ES has changed a lot in the last decade.
Richardson: Yup, though I think he’d like to trade up to the extra space of the GS, and maybe splurge an extra six grand for the F-Sport edition. Now that’s a car with plenty of room and a slick interior, and a four-golf-bag trunk.
Lightstone: I wouldn’t say the GS350’s interior is nicer than the S90, and for $4,000 more to start over the Volvo, I would have thought it should be. He should definitely chat to Lexus about upgrading to the GS, though. He might appreciate the standard AWD in the Ontario winters over his current front-wheel drive ES.
Richardson: The GS350 has a huge information screen that crushes the screens of all the Volvos. The Lexus screen space seems to fill half the dash - the Volvo screen is vertical and looks like it’s copying Tesla. That’s always bugged me.
Lightstone: Conor did say he wanted a stylish interior, and you’re suggesting something different, so maybe he should head over to Genesis to check out the G80 as a third player.
Richardson: The G80 Sport is the more-fun choice over the regular G80, with a sport-tuned suspension for its sweet V6 engine, and it does have the new Genesis experience of home delivery and no haggling. He won’t head over there - they’ll come to him.
Lightstone: If Conor can afford the Volvo, he can easily afford the G80 experience, which starts slightly under the Lexus at $62,000. The last one I drove shocked me because it felt so luxurious and high-end inside, more than some German brands I’ve been in lately.
Richardson: Genesis has its sights firmly set on the Germans, but most buyers still choose the snob appeal of Mercedes, BMW and Audi. Personally, I’d rather save the extra $10,000, but to each their own.
Lightstone: Me too, but I don’t know that I’d choose the G80 over the S90. Not because of the Swedish brand name but because of the Volvo’s better engine performance and its stellar AWD, which I experienced first-hand in a major snow dump.
Richardson: The Swedes do know about snow…
Lightstone: Conor should focus on those three, and in this order: Volvo S90, Genesis G80 and finally the Lexus GS350.
Richardson: There’s no order to it. They’re each as good as the other in my book, but just have slightly different draws for Conor. The familiarity of the Volvo, the ownership experience of the Genesis, and the established relationship of the Lexus. None are the volume sellers of the German brands. It just depends which appeals most.
What car should you buy? Write to Mark and Miranda at firstname.lastname@example.org
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