NEW VOLVO WAGON A THOR THING

NO MYTH-TAKE WITH LAT­EST OF­FER­ING FROM SWE­DEN

Wanneroo Times - - Drive Way - Bill Buys

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.

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