Could the Volvo V90 Cross Country save the wagon?

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South Africa has a dismal record when it comes to station wagons.  In stark contrast to Europe where wagons reign, our buying public would rather opt for a high riding SUV.  Volvo have long been known for their iconic station wagons, and they may have the answer to saving the wagon in South Africa.  This is the Volvo V90 Cross Country – the wagon that isn’t one!


The Volvo V90 Cross Country completes the 90 cluster for the South African market, following the hugely successful XC90 SUV and the recently launched S90 sedan.  It’s based on the same Scalable Platform Architecture (SPA) as the rest of the range, and makes up for the standard V90 we don’t get locally.


So what is it?  Well it’s much the same as Audi’s Allroad derivatives in the sense that the Volvo V90 Cross Country takes the standard V90 and adds to it a little bit of extra ride height (60mm), some offroad body cladding to house bigger tyres, and some protective plating underneath.  AWD is also standard fix.  In doing so, the V90 Cross Country bridges the divide between sexy wagons and full on SUVs – style, practicality, and capability wrapped up in one uncompromised package.


The key figures you need to know about the V90 Cross Country are that the ride height is 210mm, and that all 4 wheels (18-inch on Momentum and 19-inch on Inscription models) are driven through an 8-speed automatic gearbox.  Power comes from a range of 4 Drive-E engines – 2 petrol and 2 diesel variants – all 4 cylinder units with either turbocharging, or twincharging.


The petrol models available are the V90 Cross Country T5 and T6 AWD, the former a turbo 4-pot with outputs of 187kW @ 5500rpm and 350Nm from 1500-4800rpm.  The T6 model adds a supercharger to the mix to deliver 235kW @ 5700rpm and 400Nm @ 2200-5400rpm.  The V90 Cross Country T5 and T6 models have claimed consumption figures of 7.4- and 7.7l/100km respectively.


The diesel variants comprise the D4 and D5, both of which are twin-turbo, with the former boasting 140kW @ 4250rpm and 400Nm @ 1750-2500rpm, whilst the latter outputs 173kW @ 4000rpm and 480Nm @ 1750-2250rpm.  Both diesels come standard with Volvo’s PowerPulse turbo-lag mitigation system.  The two diesel models are said to consume 5.2- and 5.3l/100km respectively, making them particularly appealing.


In the way of practicality, the V90 Cross Country is a full 5 seater wagon, with massive amounts of space for all passengers, and even more stowage space in the rear.  913-litres of space is available with all 5 seats in place, but with the rears folded, a total of 1526-litres is possible


Of course it wouldn’t be a Volvo without a raft of safety features – including but not limited to a full 5-star safety rating, collision avoidance, lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, road sign recognition, intelligent LED matrix headlamps, and the semi-autonomous Pilot Assist 2 adaptive cruise control system.


In addition, the Volvo V90 Cross Country boasts a host of technology that has become a staple across the 90 range of vehicles.  The latest Sensus Connect touch screen infotainment suite is standard, and encompasses standard built-in navigation with free map upgrades for life, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for full Smartphone integration, voice control, and controls for the standard dual-zone climate control (4-zone is optional).


In addition to the 4 engine derivatives, models can be had in 2 specification levels, with 13 exterior colour schemes and 12 interior schemes available.


The Momentum spec is the entry-level spec, but still includes a wide range of standard kit.  Front LED fog lights, rain-sensing wipers, rear PDC, 18-inch alloy wheels, and the full LED matrix headlight system are all standard, whilst the interior is decked out with full leather upholstery, electronic driver’s seat, Black Walnut interior inlays, and a 10-speaker sound system.


The Inscription model ups the specification further by adding 19-inch alloys, Nappa soft leather, an electric passenger seat, ambient interior colour lighting, and illuminated door sills.


All models come standard with the waterproof key tag, which can be used in place of the original key and which can be strapped to a wrist or ankle, which will likely be of use if buyers seek to exploit the V90 Cross Country’s full capabilities.


In the way of options, individual options can be specced, or buyers can opt for packages containing bulk options.  Options include but are not limited to keyless entry, a graphic heads up display, reverse camera, Park Assist Pilot with front park sensors, 360 degree camera, 4-zone climate control, heated front and/or rear seats, gear shift paddles, electric tailgate, rear air suspension in place of the standard composite leaf spring setup, and the 19-inch Bowers & Wilkins sound system.


The Volvo V90 Cross Country is really without a direct competitor on the local scene, as Audi don’t sell the A6 Allroad locally, and neither do Mercedes-Benz with their E-Class All-Terrain.  That leaves the V90 Cross Country in a unique, and fantastic market space – being smaller than the cumbersome XC90, but with space for 5 and a lot of luggage, and still the capabilities of a semi off-roader.  It’s the perfect crossover, a station wagon for those who like SUVs – and it might just be the model that can help save the wagon in South Africa.


It comes at a price though, albeit not exactly an exorbitant one for the segment and the product on offer.  Pricing for the Volvo V90 Cross Country is as follows:


Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 Geartronic AWD Momentum R794 800
Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 Geartronic AWD Inscription R825 200
Volvo V90 Cross Country D5 Geartronic AWD Momentum R839 500
Volvo V90 Cross Country D5 Geartronic AWD Inscription R869 900
Volvo V90 Cross Country T5 Geartronic AWD Momentum R770 900
Volvo V90 Cross Country T5 Geartronic AWD Inscription R801 300
Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 Geartronic AWD Momentum R890 900
Volvo V90 Cross Country T6Geartronic AWD Inscription R921 300


All models come standard with a 5-year/ 100 000 km full vehicle warranty, full maintenance plan and roadside assistance, as well as laminated glass and Tracker Connect as standard.



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