Volvo V90 Cross Country first drive
- Published On: 21 February 2017
- 6 min read
It’s Volvo’s estate that can take on the rough stuff.
After the impressive XC90 SUV and the S90 luxury sedan, Volvo is all set to bring in the V90 Cross Country. Now, the V90 is the estate version of the S90 sedan, but it looks like Volvo has realised that Indian car buyers don’t take too well to estates. That’s largely because SUVs offer all the practicality of an estate, the much sought-after road presence, and a commanding driving position. And hence, the V90 Cross country, is a V90 in a strongman suit.
On the outside
These tough exteriors aren’t just for show. It’s actually capable of taking on some gnarly stuff, thanks to a raised ride height which gives it an SUV-rivalling ground clearance of 210mm. Plus, all-wheel drive is standard and so is adaptive air suspension. So, the V90 Cross Country is, in fact, more related to the XC90 than the S90 sedan. It also comes with all the handsome bits that make the S90 the looker that it is, and to top it off, the black cladding all around and the nice and chunky alloy wheels add to the car’s toughness quotient.
But will all this tough look and SUV appeal be enough to get the V90 Cross Country many takers?
On the inside
The fact that it's based on the Volvo S90 sedan becomes immediately evident the moment you step into the cabin. You’re greeted by the same clutter-free, beautifully crafted dashboard and the massive 9.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen that sits smack in the centre.
The front seats are fabulously shaped and offer excellent comfort. While they can be electrically adjusted in a host of ways, adjustment options for squab length and bolster thickness would have been welcome.
Similarly, the rear seats are immensely comfortable too. There’s ample legroom, and overall support is quite impressive. What’s nice is that thanks to the lengthened roof, there’s more headroom in the V90 than in the S90.
The highlight here, of course, is the copious amounts of luggage that you can fit into the car. With all seats up, there’s 560 litres of luggage space, but fold down the rear seats and you can free up as much as 1,526 litres, with which you can effectively move house.
The model will come to India in its fully loaded avatar, which means it will come with a heads-up display, the superb touchscreen with loads of apps and connectivity options, heated and powered front seats, a massive panoramic sunroof and a superb Bowers & Wilkins audio system, like on the S90. It will even get radar-based cruise control, which Volvo managed to activate in India on the XC90.
From behind the wheel
The Indian model will be powered by a 235hp 2.0-litre diesel engine that’s mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. While the V90 Cross Country is heavier than the S90, the engine’s got more than ample pulling power for regular use. It won’t satiate the enthusiast, and that’s because the car likes to be driven in a relaxed manner.
Quite appreciably, the raised ride height hasn’t affected ride comfort, and that holds for even when you drive over rough patches. This is largely down to the air suspension that the car comes with. The system, however, doesn’t allow you to adjust the car’s ride height, which is unlike most cars that come with air suspension. Instead, the car’s ride height is preset depending on the drive mode you select – Eco, Rough Road, Comfort or Dynamic.
Is it worth your money?
Positioned between the S90 sedan and the XC90 SUV, the V90 Cross Country will set you back by around Rs 60-65 lakh (ex-showroom). It’s likely to hit Volvo’s India showrooms by around May or June, and will have no rivals at the time of launch.
It's worth noting that Audi and Mercedes-Benz are also mulling launching their own rugged estates – the A6 AllRoad and the E-class All-Terrain, both direct rivals for the Volvo V90 Cross Country – possibly before the end of 2017.
However, about whether the V90 Cross Country is worth your money or not, the simple answer is ‘Yes’, if you're in the market for this sort of a niche product.
And the reason for that is quite simple too. The V90 Cross Country has got all that’s impressive about the S90 sedan, it comes with all the practicality of an estate, plus, it’s got SUV-like abilities to take on the rough stuff. Now, estate cars have been a big part of Volvo’s history, and those who are drawn to this beefed-up V90, will get a lot of car for the asking price.