There was once a time when traditional areas, also known as station wagons, were chosen for their reasonable level of practicality. In other words, this kind of a vehicle was ideal for moving families at their favorite weekend resorts.
Today, SUVs have gained the upper hand with their more butch style, more dominant driving position yet with very practical packaging. This is why luxury bettors opt for a BMW X5 rather than a 5-series Touring.
However, there are still some car makers who go one extra mile trying to offer customers a wider choice of lifestyle vehicles to choose from. Volvo, for one, has sold the so-called Cross Country models of the V40 and V60 for a while in Europe.
And just recently, the Swedes have added another Cross Country based on the new V90 real estate to their range to compete with the Audi A6 Allroad, Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain and, not really premium, Subaru Outback.
2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country
The V90 Cross Country is largely based on the regular range, just that it has a higher driving height of 65mm for a theoretical advantage in off-road capability. In addition, the front and rear rails are slightly wider.
Coming with what is slightly more macho-like and standard all-wheel-drive to ensure that it can handle the grain more efficiently than the field it is based on.
Other than that, the V90 Cross Country triumphs by getting the same package of two boxes. What is not a bad thing because the interior is quite remarkable by the standards of class: well built, versatile and easy to use, thanks to readable instrumental dials and an intuitive tablet display of central style.
Naturally, however, there are differences in driving dynamics due to the greater ground clearance of the V90 Cross Country. Volvo says the suspension components are not the same with those in the regular V90.
And this can be clearly felt when driving the V90 Cross Country during its global driving event in Sweden last month. Due to its relatively higher clearance which allowed more suspension movement, the ride is softer and more comfortable as a result.
Theoretically speaking, the V90 Cross Country should be lower in terms of handling sharpness. In reality it is, although the margin of difference seems to be of lesser importance than the advantage it has in terms of ride comfort after a back-to-back workout of both V90s.
And if you go off-road, the V90 Cross Country\’s power steering and four-wheel drive system work quite well and probably better than some rivals systems.
For example, you can select the disc selector in Sport to give the V90 Cross Country a 4WD rear-biased. This can help make the Volvo feel more balanced and dynamic under more demanding conditions like in the corners (and on snow and ice in Sweden, at least).
That is, the V90 Cross Country is pretty well designed for actual driving. And whatever the turbocharged engine it is delivered – whether it is four-cylinder petrol (T5 and T6) or diesel (D3, D4 and D5) with power ranging from 150hp to 320hp – performance is barely missing, even Under a harder than usual foot.
Not surprisingly, the V90 Cross Country finishes where it should be: between the normal V90 and XC90. Whatever the order is going to be, the XC90 should remain the choice of Volvo fans\’ recreational vehicles.
Volvo executives believe that the XC90 should attract city dwellers with its fashionable body, seven-seater capacity and hybrid T8 plug-in option, which proves usable in everyday driving.
The V90 Cross Country, he added, is actually for those who need some off-roading ability by going the backcountry option. However, some other execs of the company tend to differ because pricing is what matters most, especially in Thailand, where the XC90 and V90 Cross Country would simply cost around the same in the range of 4 million baht.
That\’s why Volvo Cars Thailand is very unlikely to sell the V90 Cross Country. A sweetener, however, for fans is that Volvo is considering imports of the regular V90 before possible sales at the March Motor Show in Bangkok.
In D4 or D5 diesel, it will compete with the BMW 5 Series Touring, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 Avant and Jaguar XF Sportbrake in the price range of 4 million baht.
Like the Cross Country model, the V90 is distinguished by an elegant and grand body. In fact, it looks much better than the XC90, although SUV Volvo will still be the most crucial model for the mar