The Volvo V90 Cross Country,
though shaped like an estate car, promises to offer the best of both the SUV
and sedan worlds. We test drive it to find out.
External Design and Features of Volvo V90 Cross Country
Going by today’s popular
design trends prevalent in the Indian car industry, the Volvo V90 Cross Country
does not come across as a very exciting design. It’s more on the lines of a
station wagon or an estate as we call that in India. Estates have never been
popular in India, but the V90 Cross Country is in a different league altogether
with its features, performance and its various abilities. Yes, abilities.
That’s the area where it outshines even some of the present day SUVs and
The car sits on very handsome
20 inches 10-spoke black and diamond cut wheels. The 245/45 R20 Pirelli P Zero
tyres give it a confident look, as though the car can take on any terrain. And
surprisingly it does too with great elan.
As smart as the front is the
rear of the vehicle with those almost L shaped LED tail lamps, the high gloss
black decor side windows, black wheel arches, bright integrated roof rails,
panoramic sunroof and dual integrated
tail pipes. It has a length of 4936 mm, a width of 1879 mm (it increases to
2019 mm when you take into account the mirrors), a wheelbase of 2941 mm and a
height of 1475 mm. The car has a turning radius of 11.4 metres. The car comes
with a lower profile spare tyre, as compared to the regular four tyres fitted
on to the vehicle. That could be a tad disconcerting for many drivers,
especially in India, if they were to ever have a puncture.
Internal Design and Features of Volvo V90 Cross Country
Step inside, and the magic
begins. The car has Nappa leather seats with amber in charcoal interior. It’s
then you realise, this car has all the finer features of the popular XC90 SUV
and the elegant S90 sedan.
There are not too many
confusing control buttons in the car, only a 12 inch tab on the centre console
area that has almost all the functions to change settings from that of the
radio to navigation to the air conditioner and to the car’s other functional
settings. Now beyond the touch of the finger
are the real buttons that include the engine start stop button, a scroll
button to change the drive mode and two electronic buttons “A” and “P” for auto
holding the vehicle in the Drive mode and for Parking respectively. There are four different drive modes to select
from: Eco, Comfort, Off Road and Dynamic.
The car comes with 4-zone
electronic climate control, cooled glove box and heated steering wheel.
Even though the tab gives the
car a very upmarket look and feel, the only flip side is when you are driving, you
really cannot operate it as you need to place you finger on each command on the
screen to activate it. Obviously you cannot do this without taking your eyes
off the road ahead. That could be dangerous. I personally feel that more manual
buttons are much easier to operate when you are on the move. But then I must
also confess that the new generation of buyers prefer modern technology like
the tab settings.
Though the seats are immensely
comfortable, both in the front and the rear, the front seats get electric
adjustments with memory settings and massage functions. The seats in front are ventilated and they
also get power adjustable side and lumbar support, power cushion extensions,
etc. There is ample use of leather inside from the seats, to the dashboard and
even the steering.
The inside of the car has
decent amount of storage space for your bottles and the centre console arm rest
has outlets for USB and aux in. The car comes with power folding rear
The car has a huge boot space
which can be increased dramatically by pushing down the rear seats with a touch
of buttons placed in the boot space. So from 560 litres of space you get 1,526
litres. The boot lid is power operated and inside there is a grocery bag holder
and luggage net and back rest. There is also a 12V outlet in the luggage area.
From the inside of the boot space you can also open a small window to the rear
seating space. This is primarily to squeeze in something long like your skis
that cannot fit inside the boot space. This feature is quite interesting.
But one of those days when you
are being chauffeured around, and you are seated at the back, which is the
scenario with expensive cars, you will miss the massage functions terribly. The
only controls at the back are that for the AC vents and the temperature
setting. Well, there is an arm rest with two cup holders, if that is any
consolation. You can listen to the beautiful music streaming out from the 19
speakers of Bowers and Wilkins upmarket audio system.
Engine & Performance of Volvo V90 Cross Country
Hey, but who is going to sit
at the back? The car is powered by a 1969 cc diesel engine which delivers a
235hp and a peak torque of 480Nm. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic
all wheel drive transmission.
The D5 diesel motor surprises
you with its extreme refinement. As for the turbo lag expected from diesel
mills, this one has none. Yes, almost none, because of the Power Pulse system
which the car comes with. An electrically operated air compressor feeds air
into a storage tank by sucking air from the air intake. The tank in turn
diverts the entire compressed air to spool the turbo, so every time you step on
the throttle you get an almost instant response. Yes, it’s almost like magic.
For city driving, it’s the Eco
and Comfort modes which are ideal and when you want to be a little more
aggressive on the roads, you can move the drive mode to Dynamic. For the rough
roads you can opt for the Off Road mode. Each mode automatically alters
steering and engine response as well as the rear air suspension. The off road
mode can only be activated if you drive below 20kms per hour speed. It
basically increases the ride height by a few centimetres. With air suspension
at the back, and double wishbones in front, the ride quality is top notch.
Volvo cars have always been
built perfect on the safety front. I am not just talking about the airbags and
inflatable curtains, EBAs, etc or support systems like hill descent control,
hill start assists, head up display, park assist camera, etc. It’s the radar
based safety system which sees adaptive cruise control at its best. You can
maintain a safe distance behind a moving vehicle and in case the vehicle in
front stops abruptly, your car too screeches to a halt.
All in all, the Volvo V90
Cross Country is like a Magic Box on four wheels. The more you dig inside, the more you drive
it, the more it has to offer, and the more joyful you get. Be it its plush
interiors, its overall features and the way it drives and handles, this car
could very well redefine the way estates have been looked upon in India. This could be the real
estate for many a smart and matured driver.
1969 cc D5 In-line 4 cyl. twin turbo diesel / DOHC
Automatic 8-speed AWD
4936mm X 1879 mm
Double Wishbone Suspension, Coil
Springs, Hydraulic Shock Absorbers, Stabilizer Bar
560 litres / 1526 litres with rear seats
Front Brakes & Rear Brakes
245/45 R20 Pirelli P Zero
Price (ex-showroom Delhi)
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