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Volvo V90 Cross Country India Review, First Drive

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Volvo V90 Cross Country India Entry was bound to happen. It is an ideal vehicle for our conditions and with Volvo’s new engine and safety gadgets it is an even sweeter deal

Enchanting –

  • Design, a stand out feature
  • Comfortable, quick and lavish
  • Features list is segment best
  • Special mention to the excellent sound system

Unsatisfying –

  • Volvo’s limited dealer reach, period
  • Back seats could have been better

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There are many manufacturer in the world which are as old Volvo. However, no one has gone to the drawing board again, started to design everything from scratch. Leaving Ford seems to be the ideal decision for the company and getting a lot of money from Geely, the Chinese manufacturer is helping Volvo reach new heights so that can finally compete with the competition in their own way, the Swedish way perhaps. Volvo has invested 11 Billion dollars in power train and architecture of the SPA platform.

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The company says they are so ready with their future plans that it is giving tough time to the competition. One of them is bringing new products in the market, something that is set to work despite not being a brand new idea. We recently sampled the V90 Cross Country, a product that is set to launch very soon at a very competitive price and offer so many people the best of a saloon and SUV at the same time. How is it to drive despite minute changes to the car over the previous S90 and XC90? Small yet substantial changes have made the car enough to stand, so lets find out.

Styling

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The design of the car does grab a lot of attention. The wagon look with subtly raised stance make sure it looks purposeful. The cladding all around, the large wheel arches and wheels themselves make sure it also shows its luxury part. The grille is inspired by the R-Design models that the company has which has the star effect.

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The low glass area on the outside, a lot of metal with a raised stance make sure it has the Cross Country badge which the company can be proud of. Rear profile is typical Volvo with large tail-lamps and when the LED lights are lit, it truly looks like a modern day Volvo. Overall , it is a love or hate it design for mass the market. Enthusiast and smart buyers will under stand what the V90 CC brings to the stable as it is practical, fun and luxurious in the design approach.

Interior and Features

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Interior is carried over from the previous 90 series of cars. However, the Nappa Leather used all around is in Tan color. The dashboard is black and so is the steering and lower half. The A/C vents continue to be great on feel and look and are dripping with a very high quality premium touch seen nowhere before. The large chunk this time is metal instead of wood seen in other cars which is great for the cars intentions. Everything you touch, even the plastics in very deepest corners, isn’t bad at all.

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The center screen continues to be large and has all the features you need to control from there via touch. There is no controller to do things. There are buttons on the steering which help you display what you want to see on the cluster ahead. Apart from defogger, volume knob and track changing buttons and a dummy button on the left, there isn’t much you can fiddle around with. You have all connectivity options, all safety related options that can be turned on and off because Indian conditions still do not allow you to do it all.

Lane change assist, park assist, distance alert, start-stop system, all around camera, headrest adjustment, road side alert, passenger seat controller which lets it heat or cool the seat and offers massage option as well. Driving along you can see how you are driving as eco and performance variations show how much fuel you have been using. Heated and fully electric ORVM are on offer.

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There is navigation system that work really well. A special mention once again to the Volvo 90 series of cars which has the best sound system in the category by a tremendously large margin. The Bowers and Wilkins 18 speaker unit is downright music to ears when it plays music (Pun intended). Four options on how you want the sound system to work which has the Gothenburg (Best of the lot) option which is named after the Concert Hall in Sweden.

The frame-less IRVM on the inside has a digital compass on display which is a great touch to the cabin. A large panoramic sunroof has a shade and is electronic and both are operated by the same button the roof. All lights are LED inside the cabin which makes it more special.

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Stowage all around is plenty with small cup holders in between, a decent size cubby hole inside the center armrest which is flat. There are two sliding covers on top of them to hide stuff and look neat at the same time. There is cruise control and steering mounted controls for audio and phone. However, as large as it looks, the space is where the V90 CC is lacking a bit.

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You are also sitting a bit knees up, the recline for the seat isn’t great, but there is ample shoulder, knee, leg and headroom on offer to make sure its comfortable if you are buckled up at the back. Wagon benefits come to the boot which is extremely large and spacious can take anything you throw into it and still find more space.

Performance

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When it comes to the engine, there is a new D5 motor on offer. The same 2.0 litre motor that now makes 240 PS of power and 480 Nm of torque. The power pulse system takes the figures higher from the D4 engine. The compressed air in the can which is specially made to inject air into the exhaust manifolds so that turbocharger has more boost instantly the moment you floor the pedal. There is a bit of lag which is experienced, but is compensated much quickly and gives enough surge from 1700 RPM to 4000 RPM to shoot into the horizon.

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The driveability is great, the 8-speed gearbox does it job well in all modes. Smooth and quick in Eco and Comfort mode. Shifts are faster in dynamic mode. The NVH levels are great, but the engine does become vocal (not intrusive or disturbing) at redline. However, the motor is quite linear aiding in peaceful cruising. Four-cylinder motor continues to offer excellent all-around flexibility which makes it a great companion. We expect it to deliver a higher fuel-efficiency as well. Our twisty road for the test still made the Volvo do high triple digits between the straights.

Ride and Handling

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Dynamically the car rides on 20-inch wheels and adaptive suspension at the rear and standard multi-link suspension at the front. The ride quality is excellent despite such big wheels. The grip levels with AWD on offer is spectacular and you need to reach a limit which is very far away to make it drift a tiny bit. The steering also gets heavier and very responsive in dynamic mode and in comfort mode it is best for city duties.

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The suspension firms up in dynamic mode and the body control is drastically reduced. The car does a great job of keeping you comfortable and providing a bit of fun. It isn’t a BMW so it isn’t super sharp, but Volvo is keeping all its cars comfortable, fast cruisers and not track inspired tyre burners. Brakes continue to be good with all Volvo cars and pedal and progressive power is in abundance.

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Volvo V90 Cross Country India Review, Verdict

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Volvo V90CC may be a bold move for the company in India, but this is what we need in our country and that nullifies the idea of a huge risk that everyone thinks Volvo is taking. To go over potholes which just needs raised suspension, why get a full blown and un-efficient SUV. The Volvo V90 is a wagon which has a very large boot, higher ground clearance, a body shape that makes it look practical, luxurious and comes with Volvo’s safety credentials.

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All of this makes it an ideal car to do any kind of plans you wish to execute with it. Go out to a remote place for some adventure or just cruise on the highway with all the getaway luggage and people in the back. It is the ideal combination of the XC90 and S90 and that makes it a steal even before you consider the value for money price it comes at.

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V90 Cross Country India Review
  • Design
  • Features
  • Interior
  • Space
  • Value
  • Performance
  • Safety
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