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Not Even the 2022 Volvo S90 T8 Can Truly Save Its Google-Based Infotainment System
The Volvo S90 is one of the most overlooked cars in its segment, with the likes of BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, or Mercedes E-Class being more mainstream. For the most part, the S90 is right up there with the best of them, but let's see if the latest Google-based infotainment update could help the Swedish model get over the German competition.

Not Even the 2022 Volvo S90 T8 Can Truly Save Its Google-Based Infotainment System

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This past weekend we got not just a regular 2022 facelift S90 for a driving test. We got the $85,000 plug-in hybrid T8 model. You know, the 2.2-ton all-wheel-drive Swedish luxury tank with 455 hp, that can reach 100 kph (62 mph) in only 4.7 seconds.

Of course, the feeling you get while driving or launching this car is impressive, of it definitely not being another "Chinese toy" as "experts" were saying after Geely bought Volvo. From a comfort standpoint, the Nappa leather is very soothing, making you feel fresh even after a long drive. At the same time, the interior is spacious enough for four people, five being a little bit too much. The trunk is enormous, and in the model we tested, it even came with some Ikea picture frames.

The T8 Plug-in Hybrid powertrain is made of a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with a power output of 315 hp. Together with an electric motor, it has a grand total of 455 hp. This makes the S90 PHEV one of the fastest of its kind because, as we said, it will cover the 0-62 mph dash in just 4.7 seconds. The top speed is limited to 180 kph (112 mph) as a safety feature. The S90 T8 has an eight-speed automatic gearbox that is very responsive, and will help you to put all that power down as fast as possible.

However, we are here to talk about the newest Google-powered infotainment system available for the Swedish manufacturer. Two things are great about the system: the possibility to use Google Play to install other apps you need, like say Spotify, but unfortunately, there is no Waze available.

The best feature is the availability of Google Maps, though, right in the car. All the maps are up to date, while the interface is clean, accessible, and easy to use. Still, I encountered some problems with the Google Maps app two times, when the search bar for a location disappeared from the screen, making me unable to use the navigation for the place I wanted to go.

Now, let's talk a little bit about the bad parts of this infotainment update. The first time I looked at the Google menu on the nine-inch portrait-style screen, it reminded me of the old cheap Android tablets from a couple of years ago. However, everything is super fast and responsive, without any lags. At the same time, the way you access the apps and features feel unnatural sometimes, but it is not that important.

Another problem that may look like a minor one, but it could represent a danger, is the Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. There is no on-screen interface to change the song or shuffle your playlist because Volvo expects you to do these basic things with the help of Google's digital voice assistant. While the voice assistant is great for things like climate control is more complicated to use it for music.

The most annoying thing about the Bluetooth connection is that if you wish to scroll forward or backward through a track, you need to do it on the phone itself, which is not safe at all while driving. Meanwhile, the Spotify app is perfectly made for the Volvo because it's easy to navigate to specific tracks, shuffle your songs or search for a podcast.

As a whole, the 2022 Volvo S90 T8 is a great car that will give you a comfortable and lovely ride to your workplace or on a long trip, while simultaneously pumping up your adrenaline when you step hard on the gas pedal. Unfortunately, the Google infotainment update seems like a downgrade for the moment, so we are waiting on further updates for the system.

 
 
 
 
 

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