NEW VOLVO WAGON A THOR THING
NO MYTH-TAKE WITH LATEST OFFERING FROM SWEDEN
THE Swedes have a thing about mythology, with the god Thor featuring strongly in their folklore, and now also in Volvo's V90 CC.
The long, elegant CC – for Cross Country – has ‘Thor’s hammer' headlights, which, if mythology is correct, can flatten mountains.
The beautifully-proportioned and luxurious wagon is a welcome change from the boxy SUVs du jour, and comes with all-wheel drive, so it might well live up to Mjolnir (the name of Thor's fabled hammer) and flatten mountains.
It certainly had no trouble with Perth's 'mountains' – Mt Pleasant and Mt Hawthorn – and would certainly cope with real mountainous terrain of the off-road variety.
That hammer also featured on another Swedish car, the Saab, back in 2002, which had Thor's hammer design alloy wheels.
Priced from $99,900, the V90 Cross Country is in a rather exclusive segment with just a couple of Teuton models in its class, though both cost more.
The smart Swede has a 2.0litre twin-turbo-diesel engine linked to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox and on-demand allwheel-drive.
The engine produces an impressive 173kW/480Nm which, apart from providing the grunt to climb lofty heights and tow lesser vehicles out of mudholes, can play at being a sports car.
It can run to 100km/h in 7.5 seconds, get around corners like a cat on carpet and, driven with restraint, return an average fuel consumption of 5.7litres/100km.
Inside, you get typical Scandinavian minimalist architecture with leather and steel finishes, clear instrumentation and a big easy-to-navigate central touchscreen.
It has voice-control satnav, a great 10-speaker audio system, trip computer, traffic alerts and our test car had the optional ($1750) and excellent 360-degree parking camera system, plus, of course, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, aux, USB and iPod connections.
The seats are superb, front and rear, with the front two featuring integrated boosters, heaters, ventilation and memory for the driver's pew.
The back seats can be folded flat at the touch of a button to greatly increase the cargo area from 560 to 1526 litres to easily swallow any Ikea flatpack.
Also, the powered tailgate opens to a flat floor, so there's no lip to lift heavy bags over.
The Cross Country has generous ground clearance which, apart from the obvious, makes for easy entry and exit, plus a very good view. The wagon normally runs in front-wheel drive and automatically engages the back wheels when its electronics detect a need for extra grip.
It's a pleasure to drive, especially on open roads and at night those Thor hammer headlights produce remarkable illumination with exceptional reach and spread.
The safe, serene passage is accompanied by impressive sound isolation, so you can enjoy Abba or Zara Larsson to the fullest.
For the safety stargazers, Volvo wrote the book on the subject, so suffice to report that the V90 CC has life-preserving features to fill a fat volume.
Verdict: An all-terrain bliss-mobile.
Volvo's V90 Cross Country is a class act.