“Off Road Swedish Luxury”
The granddaddy of off road luxury wagons has for a long time been the Cross Country. It has combined the driving dynamics of car, the space and utility of an SUV and the ability to do some light off-roading impeccably. All new for 2022 is the introduction of the B6. This is a mild hybrid variation of the outgoing T6. It is comprised of an integrated electric motor and an electric supercharger. These combined systems aid the 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine to produce 295 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The electric assist makes the engine much more responsive than the old mechanical supercharged & turbocharged T6 engine. With the electric motor providing the necessary low end instant grunt (13 hp & 30 lb-ft) to get the large wagon moving before the turbocharger takes over at optimal boost levels along with the electric supercharger. The result is a smoother feeling engine as compared to the old T6 engine and not to mention increased efficiency which comes in at 10.6 L/100km in a city and 8.1 L/100km highway.
This new aged power system delivers via an 8-speed automatic that smoothly and efficiently executes shifts, but can show signs of lag and weakness when the right foot gets heavier or more spirited driving demands snappier down shifts and up shifts. Braking feels solid and fade free and never feels squishy, despite being a complete brake-by-wire system that integrates with autonomous systems more cleanly. Handling, despite a taller ride than the conventional V90 is still confidence inspiring. You never feel excessive body role, although like other Volvo’s, the ride is on the stiffer side. Off road driving is assisted by a dedicated off-road system and available air ride suspension that increases ride height when the going gets rougher.
Outside, the V90 feels masculine with broad shoulders and hips. The use of black wheel arch cladding adds to the off road prowess of the V90 CC. The Thor’s Hammer headlights sculpt into the fenders and flank the chiselled grill. In wagon form, I think most cars look incredible. The V90 is no different in this regard and the wagon gives the V90 a long elegant silhouette.
Volvo easily provides the most serene driving environments and the V90 CC is no different. Driving seats provide ample support and adjustability all nestled in an uncluttered environment that makes you feel like you are in a Scandinavian spa. The Infotainment screen, once considered the jewel of the Volvo line, seems normal place in today’s market. It has been upgraded with Google integration, making navigation and voice control a breeze along with a smoother user experience. The sound pumps through a Bowers and Wilkens speakers that fill the cabin with crisp sound and deep bass.
How much does all this Swedish off-road gear cost? The 2022 Volvo V90 CC Wagon has a starting price of $65,950 CAD. The as tested price jumps to $77,450 CAD. Now European off road luxury was for a long time the realm of the CC. However, Mercedes introduced the E450 All Terrain 4Matic, late last year to compete with this segment. The Mercedes provides a slightly more powerful platform, but lacks the off-road tough appearance of the V90 CC. The introduction of the Mercedes, clearly shows why Volvo upgraded the V90 CC powertrain and operating systems; and it might just be what allows V90 CC to maintain its thrown as the king of luxury off-road wagon.