The V90 gets "Cross Countried" and packed with luxury and technology
Volvo made its return to the midsize wagon segment with the V90, and we recently spent some time with a V90 Cross Country variant. With the V90 Cross Country, all-wheel drive is standard and, for a rugged look, the automaker raises the wagon and adds body cladding. During our time with the sexy and capable wagon, we appreciated its high-tech features and luxurious feel. As in any Volvo, safety is still a priority, this time in the form of driver assist and semi-autonomous features.
Keep reading to learn more about the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country.
The Twin-Charged Engine
The Cross Country’s sole engine option is the smooth and potent supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that produces 316 hp at 5,700 rpm and 295 ft-lb of torque at 2,200 rpm. The twin-charged system works sequentially, utilizing the strengths of each type of compressor. Initial boost comes from the supercharger for low-end power, resulting in instant throttle response with no noticeable lag. Once the engine revs up and exhaust starts flowing faster, the turbocharger takes over for strong high-end grunt. During daily driving or when pushing the wagon on my favorite back roads (although raised, it can still hustle through corners), the transition between the supercharger and turbocharger was seamless and unnoticeable, always providing strong power throughout the rev range.
The Large Screens
Stepping into the V90 Cross Country, I was met with two beautiful display screens that add to an impressive interior. The large 12.3-inch driver display screen is sharp, displaying the usual instrument panel gauges and information but also displaying navigation directions, warnings, telephone call information, and road signs. Complementing the driver display is the 9.0-inch portrait-style touchscreen center display that gives owners the ability to control and adjust many things including climate, audio, phone, lighting, door mirrors, central locking, some safety features, and navigation.
Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound
Opting for the available Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system will set you back $3,200 USD, but it just might be worth it when paying for a $60,000+ USD premium wagon, especially if you’re an audiophile. A 12-channel amplifier powers 19 high-end speakers with an impressive 1,400-watt output. One of the seven Nautilus tweeter speakers is the tweeter-on-top center speaker that minimizes acoustic reflection from the windshield. All seven of the midrange speakers use the company’s Kevlar speaker cone technology that helps prevent distortion. The yellow Kevlar speaker cones can be seen through the speaker panel’s stainless steel mesh, offering an exclusive look. The 10.0-inch ventilated subwoofer features a durable carbon-fiber cone. Most buyers will be very pleased with the crisp and clear sound the system creates.
Park Assist Pilot Self-Parking
In many cases, I am a little weary of self-parking systems because each works differently and with different levels of accuracy. Volvo’s system has the ability to reverse into a parking space and enter and exit a parallel parking spot. I used it to enter a pretty tight parallel parking space. The system is easy to activate through the center touchscreen. Once activated, the driver just needs to follow the simple prompts displayed. After following the initial directions and putting the wagon in reverse (and holding my breath), the Cross Country started to park itself. The steering wheel rotated on its own as the car automatically applied throttle. I had the responsibility of applying the brake pedal to control the speed and shifting into drive or reverse. The center touchscreen will continue to display directions until the very end when the car is fully parked. Although a little crooked, the V90 parked itself in a simple and safe manner, and the tech was one of the better self-parking systems I have experienced.
Pilot Assist Semi-Autonomous System
The automaker’s semi-autonomous system works in conjunction with the wagon’s adaptive cruise control. Pilot Assist will help the driver stay in his or her lane with small steering inputs while maintaining a set speed and distance to the vehicle in directly in front of the Volvo at speeds up to 80 mph (129 km/h). The system can also operate without a vehicle in front to follow. The driver’s foot does not need to touch the brake or gas pedal because the system automatically accelerates and brakes. However, the driver’s hands must be on the steering wheel or the system will go into a standby mode. In my experience, the system worked flawlessly in heavy and light freeway traffic, though I wish I were allowed to take my hands off the steering wheel for short periods of time.
City Safe Automatic Braking
Standard for the V90 Cross Country, City Safe is a driver assist system designed to help the driver avoid a low-speed collision between 2 and 30 mph (3 and 48 km/h). This safety feature will automatically apply the brakes if a collision is detected, avoiding or reducing the impact. However, the system will not intervene when the driver steers or applies the brakes. The system can detect other vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, and large animals. Fortunately, the system never had to brake for me, but I was warned a handful of times with a flashing red light when I got too close to another vehicle.
Star Gazing Cargo Area
Press the switch for the power folding rear seats, and you will free up 53.9 cubic feet of very flat cargo space. Forget cargo! I parked the Cross Country in a beachside parking lot right after sunset, folded down the seats, laid my 6-foot self across the cargo area, and looked up at the stars through the standard laminated panoramic moonroof with my significant other. What a great way to utilize the long cargo area!
Accidental iPhone Holder
Attention iPhone 6 and 6s owners (not Plus). Volvo has unintentionally made one of the best iPhone holders on the market. In the center console next to the shifter, the small area of the 12V outlet and the little storage space right below will perfectly fit an iPhone 6 and 6s. Additionally, due to the design of that space, when you rest the phone there, it is canted upward, making the screen easier to view if using a navigation app. You might be covering up the 12V outlet, but there is a USB port close enough to reach the iPhone’s charging port with a charging cord.
LED Headlights with Thor’s Hammer
The T-shaped Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights look very appealing during the day and have quite the cool name as well. At night the appeal continues with sharp-looking LED headlights that come with automatic high beams, which operate well. These impressive headlights also come with the active bending feature, which illuminates the curve ahead as you steer into it—a feature that is worth its weight in gold when navigating dark narrow roads. All this comes standard on the V90 Cross Country.
Read more about the Volvo V90 here:
- 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD First Drive Review
- 2018 Volvo V90 First Drive Review: Doing What Volvo Does Best