By: Jag Dhatt
Vail, Colorado: At this altitude (12,000 feet), the air is crisp and thin. Simple things like a brisk walk now are a chore and who would have thought I would have a quick bout of altitude sickness. Add to that a 30-minute head-bobbing drive, in a Volvo V60 CC, through a rutted dirt road fit for a rally race. My driving partner, Alan Taylor, who just completed a Baja race a couple of months ago, didn’t hold back in making sure my breakfast was kept on edge. But what awaited us at Piney Lake Ranch was simply breath-taking.
In the past few years, Volvo has completely turned around their game and built some amazing vehicles. Take for example, the XC90, winner of a multitude of awards. Then there’s the new S90, their flagship sedan that is sure to make quite the impact. Now, Volvo launches the all-new member to the Cross Country family, the V90 Cross Country. The V90 Cross Country takes the V90 and transforms it into an all-road vehicle that rivals the likes of the E-wagon.
The all-new V90 Cross Country is built, and suited, for the North American environment. It’s rugged, capable, and matches the lifestyle of Canadians (and those in Vail as well, of course). According to Volvo’s Senior Designer Tisha Johnson, “The V90 Cross Country is the car you want to drive when you really want to connect with nature.” Featuring a ground clearance of 21 cm and a raised ride height, this vehicle will make sure you get to your destination, whether city, country, or mountainside.
“Everything about the V90 Cross Country is purpose built for making sure all passengers get to where they want,” continued Johnson. “The new tires are both softer and rounder than what you see on the V90.” Even the cladding, which can be left in black or colour-matched to the car, is perfectly suited as it’s tougher and able to handle off-road bumps and bruises. Speaking of off-road, the optimized chassis and new raised suspension setup ensure a smooth ride for occupants of the V90 CC.
Even if you’re not a fan of wagons, the V90 Cross Country will impress, thanks to beautiful design elements and great lines. One of the best views of the V90 CC has to be the rear; most wagons have a difficult time balancing the rear tail light cluster into the body, but Volvo has mastered the art and made the V90 CC one of the sexiest wagons around.
The interior of the V90 CC continues to showcase Scandinavian beauty and elegance. Like the V90 wagon, it’s pure luxury and according to Johnson, “it’s where you want to connect with yourself.” Beautifully stitched leather, elegant wood inserts and state-of-the-art technology surround the occupants. For audiophiles, a Bowers & Wilkins sound system will make all the drives more pleasurable. And of course, with Volvo, you have the best in safety, strength, and security, which is no surprise to anyone.
For Canada, the V90 Cross Country will be available only with the T6 setup. The 2.0 liter all-aluminum supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder engine will pump out 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, sending power to Volvo’s most advanced Haldex all-wheel drive through eight speeds. I’ve driven the same engine and transmission setup in the S90 and can attest that the car will have enough power. In today’s world, you don’t need a V8 or V6 and Volvo’s four-cylinder is proof of this.
With a starting price of $61,900 the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country is a very attractive option for those looking at a capable, luxury all-road vehicle. I would say it would rival the E-wagon, with a much more attractive price plan. The new V90 Cross Country will arrive in Canada the first quarter of 2017.
By: Jag Dhatt