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.
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;
√ 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;
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.
HOW FAR: 24 combined miles per gallon; 450 highway miles
HOW BIG/ LITTLE: √ 5 Occupant 2+3 seating
– 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.
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.
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;
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.
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.