2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 – Bottom Line Review

From its PV445 Duett to the P220 Amazon, the P1800e Shooting Brake, then to the rectilinear 200 DL, 700  and 900 series, followed by the front-drive based 850, successor V70s and their Cross Country ilk, with a smattering of more spherical small-compact V50, and the compact plus V60, Swedish carmaker Volvo has been a huge proponent of the estate vehicle. That’s “Station Wagon” to you and I, Yankees.

For 2018, with a new flexible modular platform in place and Chinese benefactor Geely pumping in Yuan or Krona, a Norse God of Thunder’s Hammer has pounded out a shapely full-size estate called V90.

Where the “V” stands for “En Stor Äventyrlig Vagn.”

And Cross Country implies an adventure to the Crossroads of Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

WHAT: 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 flagship large luxury station wagon/ estate, replacing the former V70 Cross Country in the brand’s lineup.

Standard Power: transverse intercooled turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 250 hp/ 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm + 8-spd. torque converter planetary transmission w/ shift paddles + Haldex IV all-wheel drive.

Optional Power: transverse intercooled supercharged, turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 316 hp/ 295 lb-ft @ 2200 rpm + 8-spd. torque converter planetary transmission w/ shift paddles + Haldex IV all-wheel drive.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: A flagship wagon rides atop the Geely Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) modular platform.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: Stares down permafrost

Ruggedized S90:  Split creased side valley, spill-over hood;  Cutting Edge hyphen engraved concave vertical slat hexagonal grille;  Inboard arrow wrap-around LED headlamps;  Thors Hammer alternating white DRLs/ amber flashers;  More prominent lower front fascia corners feature lose horizontal chrome splitter;  Lower front and rear valance matte silver simulated skid plates.

Sharp raked windshield; High belt-line; Sloping upper greeenhouse; Coke-bottle fuselage;  Door mount wing mirrors for improved outward view;  Thin, obtuse kinked “D” pillar flows to flared rear quarter panel shoulders;

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6:

 Roof spoiler;  Musical clef vertical taillamp housings trace Kammback liftgate, terminating in inboard reflector housings under liftgate split line;  Wheel arch to wheel arch dark cladding;  Lower rear valance etched “Cross Country” band;  Deep load floor spill-over bumper lip;

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: Dual exhaust tips integrated into simulated rear lower skid plate

WHY: When it absolutely has to be an adventure inspiring luxury Vagn

WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since late Summer 2017

WHERE: Volvo new vehicle dealers, by special order

WHERE MADE: Torslanda, Gothenburg, Sweden

HOW ROADWORTHY: Low end supercharger boost turns out to be an elegant if not exuberant method of mitigating higher rpm wastegate turbocharger lag. In concert with the planetary 8-speed Aisin automatic transaxle, power streams. Urgent accelerator prodding hastens matters but is averse to produce an explosive multi-step kickdown.

Haldex IV all-wheel drive is rather passive. Being front-drive biased, it allows understeer fueled plow, then intervene with nearly all torque  90% torque split the rear open differential with ABS vectoring. Powerplant sounds are akin to mild groaning. +1 Drive Modes include Off-Road mode.

8.5″-inch ground clearance, with greater wheel travel seems to necessitate stiffer compression damping reproducing brittle compliance over rougher roads. Roll, weight transfer resistance and turn-in sharpness best most crossover ilk. Static, though weighty winding steering is low on road communication; +1 Luxury level body stiffness; -1 Tire rumble on concrete roads. -1 Brake pedal reaction = more luxury than enthusiast.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: Pirelli 19″ runflat M+S tires demand optional rear air-spring suspension to dampen impact quiver.

HOW FAR: 24 combined miles per gallon; 450 highway miles

HOW BIG/ LITTLE: 5 Occupant 2+3 seating

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: Available Row 2 integrated outboard booster seat cushions

– For Comparison’s Sake:

  • 115.8″-inch Wheelbase: 4.4″ > Buick Regal TourX, 4.7″ < Volvo S90
  • Maximum cargo capacity: 27% < Buick Regal TourX
  • 2nd Row legroom: 1.0″ < Buick Regal TourX

HOW USEFUL: 60/40% split folding 2nd Row seat backs w/ center pass-through;  Cargo floor chrome load plate; Extended cargo load bumper cover; Spring raised cargo floor management panel w/ stretch straps, hooks; Cargo-area 12V outlet; Power liftgate w/ dual grab handles; Mouse-fur lined, damped action glove box; +1 Low cowl and and power folding rear outboard headrests aid outward view; +1 Non-intrusive cargo area wheel arch; –1 No overhead console retracting sunglass bin; –1 Sparse center console storage; –1 No dedicated center console mobile phone storage; -1 Lower side of cargo capacity among station wagons.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: Wide lower power liftgate aperture for easy loading; Tight nap side sill to sill carpet lining for elegance
2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: 60/40% split folding Row 2 seatbacks expand liftgate area cargo capacity
2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: available Heads Up Display

HOW SAFE: 9 airbags; IIHS Top Safety Pick +; Surround view cameras; sonar front & rear Park Distance Control; Blind spot, rear cross traffic & lane departure warning; Auto parking brake hold; Auto high beam headlamps; Heads-Up display

Partial Autonomous Driving: Pilot Assist 2; Full-adaptive cruise control; Lane Keep Assist, Forward Collision avoidance braking. +1 Permits 23 seconds of hands/ foot free driving.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: navigating highways w/ vivid 11.2″ LCD virtual gauge cluster & vertical tablet 9.0″ Sensus 4-pane LCD infotainment touch screen

Park Pilot = active parallel (passenger side only) & perpendicular parking

HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: Heated, cooled, 12-way power front seats, including torso bolsters & knee extenders, 2-setting driver’s memory; 4 power windows w/ full up/ down express; 3-Zone auto climate control w/ auto front seat heating/ cooling ;  Heated leather steering; 2nd Row and aft dark tint privacy glass; Power retracting rear headrests; Door puddle lamps x 4; Panoramic power moon-roof; -1 Manual tilt/ telescoping steering wheel;

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: A genuine driver’s seat if there ever was one.

Cool Gizmo(s): 9.2″-inch LCD Digital Drive Display w/ configurable LCD twin gauges;  Aluminum hammered barrel console twist ignition, roller Drive Mode controls;  B&W Nautilus dash top aluminum bullet tweeter speaker – Yellow Kevlar door speakers

Details Done Right: Brushed aluminum inlays, speaker housing covers & switch-gear; Dark wood veneer center console bin shade; Contrast stitched, perforated Nappa leather seating & upper door panels & dash-top; Full dashboard & door panel ambient LEDs;  Dense pile cargo area carpeting.

Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Black mesh cloth headliner;

HOW “APP” -LICABLE: 9″ Sensus vertical tablet-style, pane-swipe, touch LCD infotainment screen; Rotary audio volume dial, selection, defroster & Home screen switches ; Bluetooth, hands-free communications;  Voice-to-text SMS messaging;  Voice command/ guidance 3-D HDD GPS navigation;  Android Auto + Apple CarPlay;  Sensus Connected Apps: USB x 4, 12V x 3.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6: Driver’s eye view of Sensus navigation vs. Android Auto Google Maps navigation on the 9.0″ vertical touch tablet LCD display

Audibly: 19 speaker, 1400 W Bower & Wilkins = upper frequency sibilance, concert hall depth

By Subscription: SiriusXM (90 days incl.) ; Sirius TravelLink apps; 4G LTE by Verizon;

HOW MUCH: $64,640 = as tested 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD

WHAT’S MISSING: Power steering wheel adjustment; Much needed exhaust character;

ANY COMPETITION: Audi A4 Allroad: +1 virtual cockpit, Torsen quattro, handling; Buick Regal Tour X: +1 price

FINAL WORD: At the Crossroads of New Scandinavian Flagship Wagon and the Arctic Circle.

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