Volvo’s V90 Cross Coun­try is ar­guably the best car the com­pany has ever pro­duced


Volvo goes from strength-to-strength with the V90 Cross Coun­try

As they re­treat al­to­gether from Europe, hav­ing ditched Vaux­hall and Opel af­ter wip­ing out Saab, Gen­eral Mo­tors of Detroit should take a long look at the new V90 AWD Cross Coun­try. It shows, mag­nif­i­cently, what Euro­pean man­u­fac­tur­ers can do if they are given the right con­di­tions, the right man­age­ment and bags of money.

In the hands of the Chi­nese group Geely Au­to­mo­bile since 2009, Volvo are now turn­ing out the most su­perb cars in their en­tire 90-year his­tory and t he V90 Cross Coun­try has a se­ri­ous claim to be the best one yet.

The XC90 that ap­peared in 2015 was not only the first large lux­ury SUV I have ever wished that I could own my­self: it was also voted Scot­tish Car of the Year – the first Volvo to earn that accolade for gen­er­a­tions.

Last year, Volvo in­tro­duced the S90 sa­loon and V90 es­tate on the same Scaleable Prod­uct Ar­chi­tec­ture as the XC90 and proved that it was no one-trick pony. With sub­lime de­signs and interiors to make you happy every day, those two cars put their pre­mium ri­vals in the shade. Now here comes the Cross Coun­try ver­sion of the V90 which is the near­est thing to a com­plete all-rounder car that has ever ex­isted.

Visu­ally, it is dis­tin­guished from the stan­dard V90 es­tate by char­coal-coloured de­tail­ing on the body, black ribs on the ra­di­a­tor grille, larger wing mir­rors, skid plates un­der­neath and ride height raised by 60mm. The Scan­di­na­vian min­i­mal­ism of the XC90 and V90 in­te­rior is repli­cated in the Cross Coun­try, as is a nine-inch touch screen along with cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy such as semi-au­tonomous drive tech­nol­ogy that takes care of steer­ing, ac­cel­er­a­tor and Be­low: Chi­nese com­pany Geely Au­to­mo­bile bought Volvo in 2009 and has breathed new life into the mar­que. brake on mo­tor­ways, up to 80mph.

All those ex­tras add about £10,000 to the ba­sic price and took our test car over £45,500. For once, I did not need to sup­press a boak over a car cost­ing as much as a pri­mary school head teacher’s an­nual salary – for a car so com­pre­hen­sively de­sir­able, this was rea­son­ably priced.

Running through a re­pro­grammed eight­speed au­to­matic gear­box, the high-out­put, high-ef­fi­ciency 190bhp two litre diesel in the Cross Coun­try is both smooth and punchy; and the 130mph top speed and 8.5 sec­ond ac­cel­er­a­tion from 0-60mph gen­uinely of­fer all the straight-ahead per­for­mance any­body could want in a fam­ily sa­loon, with ad­mirable fuel con­sump­tion of 54mpg. Mean­while that Scaleable Prod­uct Ar­chi­tec­ture has been tweaked with mod­i­fied springs and dampers and elec­tronic con­trols, to­gether with spe­cial tyres to op­ti­mise han­dling on tar­mac and off-road.

The re­cent launch in­cluded a course through woods com­plete with deep, muddy ruts and awk­ward, boggy cor­ners which con­vinc­ingly proved that you could take on for­est tracks. The all-round cam­eras that let you see where the wheels are track­ing through the woods and round cor­ners are as good as Range Rover’s.

The V90 AWD Cross Coun­try may sound like a car that can’t be bet­tered, how­ever a T8 plug-in hy­brid ver­sion is on the way and should be with us later this year. That will be the one for me.

Such per­fec­tion might never have been brought into be­ing, how­ever, if Volvo had fallen into the hands of Gen­eral Mo­tors.

‘ This is the near­est ‘ This was an thing to the un­ex­pected com­plete ex­pe­ri­ence in all-rounder­same the way car that has you might be ever ex­isted’ sur­prised to be served caviar in a trans­port café’

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