Though station wagons aren't that popular in India, Swedish carmaker Volvo has launched the V90 Cross Country here and is betting big on it. The third Cross Country model for India, the V90 Cross Country is based on the S90 sedan and promises to offer the best of two different worlds - sedan (S90) and SUV (XC90). Does the car live up to the hype? Indian automobile website MotorBeam.com finds out.
One look at the front fascia of the V90 Cross Country might remind you of the S90 sedan but there is differentiation between the two.
The V90 gets a chrome embellished grille and rugged-looking bumper with a silver scuff plate.
Nonetheless, you do get the signature Thor's hammer inspired LED DRLs and sharp-looking LED headlights.
The side profile is truly intimidating because of the sheer length of the car.
And factor in the 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels and the black cladding, the V90 Cross Country is by far the best-looking station wagon we've ever seen.
We really like the way the sloping roofline merges into the rear section and the signature Volvo LED tail-lights.
The vehicle is available in a total of six exterior colour options - Crystal White, Bright Silver, Magic Blue, Osmium Grey, Onyx Black and Maple Brown.
The cabin of the V90 is also reminiscent of the S90 sedan but you also get an optional beige upholstery which adds to the airy feel.
You get a 3-spoke multi-function steering, 12.3-inch TFT instrument console and a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes coupled with a premium 19-speaker Bower & Wilkins sound system.
We must tell you this sound system is one of the best we've heard in a car.
It churns out stupendous quality of audio. Luxury has been the name of the game for Volvo and every material you touch in the cabin has a premium feel to it, the leather for instance.
The car is crowded with features.
You get panoramic sunroof, front and rear park assist, powered tailgate, Nappa leather upholstery, ventilated and heated front seats with massage function, heated steering wheel, electrically adjustable front seats with memory function and electrically adjustable side and lumbar support, Adaptive Cruise Control, Park Assist Pilot, heads-up display and 4-zone climate control.
The front seats offer amazing levels of comfort and support but the rear isn't as comfortable as the front.
That said, there is generous headroom, knee room and shoulder room. The large transmission tunnel makes it best for two passengers only.
The V90 Cross Country draws power from a 2.0-litre diesel motor that produces 235 HP of power and 480 Nm of torque.
Power is served in a linear manner and nowhere in the rev band does the car feel it's out of breath.
Strong low-end and mid-range are the highlights of this oil-burner unit.
To contain turbo lag, the vehicle comes with 'Powerpulse' technology which uses compressed air stored in the cylinder.
The powertrain is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission which does the job of shifting cogs smoothly.
There are paddle-shifters for an enthusiastic drive experience and you also get four driving modes - Eco, Comfort, Off-Road and Dynamic.
Eco cuts down on performance and focuses on mileage while the Dynamic mode ensures gearshifts are super quick, the suspension is stiff and the steering gains some weight as speeds increase.
The vehicle gets air suspension at the rear and AWD as standard.
Power is channeled to the front wheels, in general, and when there is a need for power to served to the rear wheels, the AWD system does so.
Ride quality is surprisingly good for a car that sits so high above the ground.
Higher ground clearance means there is some amount of body roll but isn't bothersome.
Grip from the 245-section Pirelli tyres are just awesome but one will have to be careful while on a bad road or while off-roading as they are prone to damage very quickly.
Braking performance is predictable and the brakes do their job well.
Volvo has absolutely loaded the V90 Cross Country to the gills.
You get multiple airbags, inflatable curtains, whiplash protection for the front seats, ISOFIX child seat mounts, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, Traction Control, Park Assist and Hill Descent Control.
While the carmaker doesn't have a substantial number of sales and service network across India, it is indeed working on setting up more and more service centres across major cities.
"The Volvo V90 Cross Country indeed offers the best of both the S90 sedan and the XC90 SUV.
"It is tailor-made for those who choose to be in the driver's seat rather than the rear seat and is for someone who wants a niche and a different machine.
It's luxurious, practical and loaded to the brim with safety tech.
People buying this Volvo might be in minority but at Rs. 63.99 lakh (ex-showroom), the V90 Cross Country makes for a very tempting package.