version of the V70 wagon called XC. Yes, that’s confusing because Volvo SUVs now get the ‘‘XC’’ badge, while the crossovers have the ‘‘CC’’ designation.
Styling is subjective thing, but we reckon the V90 CC looks impossibly cool; something about the combination of that extra ground clearance with the long, low estate-car body shape.
And while big Volvos are unashamedly built for comfort over speed, a 235mm reduction in height substantially lowers the centre of gravity and improves cornering capability.
The V90 CC comes only in D5 diesel form for NZ. If you want the T6 turbo-petrol in a similar model you’ll have to opt for the S90 sedan. But that’s a story for another time.
It’s a grunty powertrain, delivering in low-speed urge what it lacks in refinement. The eightspeed Geartronic transmission is slicker with the D5 than it is in other T6-powered Volvo models, where higher revs result in the odd clunk between ratios. With the diesel, it’s nice and easy all the way.
Our test car came with the Polestar Optimisation kit for
$1600 – essentially a software upgrade from the Swedish maker’s high-performance division that gives the D5 a tad more power and torque (the latter also reaches peak at 1500rpm instead of 1750rpm), but more importantly improved responsiveness in the mid-range and more enthusiastic throttle/ gearbox calibration.
It’s not necessarily a musthave because the V90 CC is no road-rocket, but it does give the car a bit more muscle in the midrange place where you drive it most. There’s also more opportunity to enjoy the car’s selectable Sport mode (there’s an Off-Road setting too). Perhaps more importantly, you get a special bright-blue Polestar badge on the back that will surprise and delight Volvo-nerds.
It’s a glorious way to travel in any mode: all the Volvo givens like great seats, ergonomic good sense and a compelling suite of active safety gear that’s too comprehensive to list, but includes the likes of autonomous braking that can recognise other cars, pedestrians, cyclists and even large animals. Volvo’s Pilot Assist automated technology is worth a mention, because it’s right up there with MercedesBenz in terms of adaptive-cruise capability and second only to Tesla in terms of the amount of steering correction it will undertake without driver intervention.
Volvo V90 CC has all the design cues and tech of the XC90 SUV, but it’s 235mm lower. And way cooler?