2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country India review.
Volvo has found considerable success with its Cross Country (CC) models in India. First, there was the V40 Cross Country which continues to move decent numbers. Then the company brought in the S60 Cross Country, uncertain of how the market would receive a rugged, off-road-friendly family sedan. It turns out that the S60 Cross Country is a hit, massively outselling its traditional sibling. The logical next step was to see if the Cross Country formula could work its magic on the new 90 series of cars. Since Volvo doesn’t make an S90 Cross Country sedan, the decision was made to bring its wagon-style sibling, the V90 Cross Country here instead. Should you be considering a vehicle in this body-style as an alternative to the typical luxury sedan or SUV? Read on.
What is it?
The V90 is the latest car from Volvo internationally and is an attractive wagon-style version of the new S90 sedan. The face and body section up to the rear doors is more or less identical to the S90. However, the V90 makes a departure from the traditional, boxy estates of the past and has a sleek profile that culminates in a sloping rear windscreen. A striking version of the signature Volvo tail lamp cluster makes for a handsome and dynamic look. For the Cross Country, Volvo has toughened the design with some mild bumper cladding while standard 20-inch wheels fill out the large wheel arches nicely. But it’s not all looks. Volvo has raised the car by 60mm, giving it an SUV-rivalling 210mm of ground clearance. All-wheel drive is standard and like the S90, there’s adaptive air suspension at the rear. The estate shape has not done well in India so far, but the V90 Cross Country presents one of the prettiest forms of this body style we’ve seen to date on a mainstream car.
What’s it like on the inside?
Just lovely. The cabin is based on the S90 sedan, which in turn was based on the path-breaking new XC90. The dashboard has the same minimal theme with a large 12-inch touchscreen replacing most physical buttons, including aircon controls. The tall, slim aircon vents on the side of the screen complete the look but sacrifice no functionality. The V90 CC differs from its sibling by trading the veneer inserts on the dash and doors for lovely woven aluminium panels. The shade of tan leather in our car is Volvo’s most popular choice, but shows dirt quite easily. There are two more colour options on offer.
The front seats are similar to the S90’s – heated and superbly supportive and with electric adjust for the bolsters, lumbar support and extendable squabs. But the V90 takes it a step further with a cooling function and an enjoyably effective massage feature that offers three modes and adjustable speed and intensity. There’s also a heated steering wheel. The rear seats in comparison are comfortable but on the firm side and come with none of the adjustability of the front. The new roofline means better headroom than the S90 and knee room remains the same. Thigh support is low and extendable squabs would have helped. Additionally, the footwell under the front seats is a little tighter than we’d have liked. Space at the back is good for two, but the middle passenger will be hampered by one of the largest transmission tunnels we’ve seen in quite a while. The rear seats offer a built-in jump seat option for small children and can electrically release to liberate further luggage space. But you’d rarely find the requirement, with the wagon body liberating a huge 560 litres of wide and flat stowage space. Should the need arise, the seats can be dropped to increase that number to 1,526 litres, enough for all your kitchen sinks. Recessed under the boot is a space saver spare tyre.
Volvo has made it a point to offer its cars in one, highly packed variant. The V90 CC is packed to the rafters with kit, including a panoramic sunroof, a sensational 19 speakers, 1,400 watt Bowers and Wilkins sound system, an electric tailgate, a head-up display, four-zone climate control and real leather to name a few. This is also one of the first new Volvos since the S60 Polestar to offer paddle shifters. The excellent full-LED headlights, with an active high beam and a bending function that instantly follows your steering inputs deserve special mention.