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„The Swedish Table"

When I noticed a speeding Volvo V90 Cross Country on the road for the first time in my life and with it Audi Allroad I thought a group of amateur mechanics just got to work and created two cars, in a secluded garage somewhere in the suburbs, that are simply needless to anyone. My simple reasoning did not provide for the "car for everything" option, because according to the old proverb, if something is for everything is for nothing. On the other hand, would such tycoons like Volvo or Audi afford to spend millions of euros implementing a project that would be doomed to failure in advance? Such things have already happened in the past, but they concerned rather producers of less sophisticated and exclusive brands. Germans love to compete with each other, so it never surprised me that when, for example, BMW introduced something new, in a moment Audi and Mercedes appeared at the customer with a surprisingly similar design, while creating a new segment of the car most often advertised as "it is the only one, the best and unique". OK, but what does Volvo have to do with it?, a brand that has always walked its own paths, building cars extremely practical, safe, sometimes terrifying with their appearance, but durable and faultless... It turns out that technological progress has released in man the desire to reach where it was previously impossible or at least reserved for a small handful of people who were in possession of expensive, specialist vehicles, which most often required great skills from their drivers. Nowadays, we can simply go to the car showroom and buy a car that will accelerate to a hundred faster than the plane, drive through a military training ground or simply by pressing a button will be ready to take part in an amateur car rally. Complex four-wheel drives, traction control systems, pneumatic suspensions and efficient powerful engines help us reach our destination regardless of the weather and road conditions, which, as we know well, in a land called Sweden can be very winding, tricky and difficult to overcome. I believe that this is the real reason why the Swedes built the Volvo V90 Cross Country. After all, it's hard to imagine a Swedish family of four travelling on vacation to Lapland with a Dacia Logan front-wheel car, loaded up to the roof with luggage. First of all, during the Swedish winter they would reach no further than the outskirts of Goteborg because then Dacia would get stuck in a snowdrift until April of the following year, and secondly it could be the only and last such journey in their lives because as a result of trauma none of them would get into the car anymore. So the Volvo concept was right, but was it successful? Judge for yourself ...


Volvo V90 Cross Country
07 September 2019

At first glance, the latest V90 Cross Country is not much different from its more civilized V90 sister. The body line of both vehicles is almost identical and reminds me of a large predatory fish, whose streamlined shape and muscles give style and elegance, giving the impression of extraordinary ability despite the huge dimensions of this two-ton giant. The front of the car is probably identical in all models of this manufacturer. I just have the impression that the Swedes fell in love with the design of the lamps, the front bumper and the radiator grille, thinking that it is not worth changing, in order not to spoil anything. Rear lights overlapping the D-pillar are the classic for Volvo cars and characteristic body embossing as part of the SIPS system (protection of the driver and passengers against the effects of side impact). The most striking components that emphasize the "personality" of the Cross Country model are the huge wheel arches and a much larger clearance between the bottom of the car and the background. Both of these elements clearly determine the terrain aspirations of this car. I think the only stylistic problem of this car (the same applies to Audi Allroad) are plastic covers protecting the wheel arches. I don't know if someone like them or not, but I personally would order them painted in body color. To sum up the appearance of this giant… Huge but shapely. The interior of my Volvo shows a clear advantage of Swedish technical thought over fantasy. If you expect futuristic shapes reminiscent of star wars then better change your ideas and look for another car. Inside, ergonomics, safety, comfort and elegance dominate.., at least according to the Swedish style of thinking. There is proper wood because I would not call this stick, large air vents, a large, solid dashboard and steering wheel with really minimum number of buttons. Everything modern, decent, but preserved in this own Scandinavian style. There were also various colorful lights highlighting individual elements of the interior of the car, but they are a delicate touch rather than a huge Christmas tree known from the "German, luxury fairy tale". You know what? It's probably good because I know from experience that any excess is bad and thus elegance often turns into trash, which also disturbs when driving at night. Volvo is another brand that clearly goes in the direction of "keyless" vehicle operation. In modern cars there are so many configuration options, that there would not be enough space to install all these buttons to activate individual functions, otherwise the car dashboards would resemble those of Boeing aircraft. In this situation, electronics come to the rescue.., if we can use a tablet to control the house, why not in the case of a car? For this purpose Volvo installed one, large computer with a touch screen on the center console. The menu is intuitive, but nothing like the one we can find in Audi, BMW or Mercedes. It is simply "Volvo Style" and you need to learn to operate it. It's nice that with one button we can turn on or turn off the reversing camera, lane change assistant, start/stop system, cornering lights, Bliss system (blind spot assistant in the side mirrors), cruise control and several other functions. From the desktop of this computer we can control the air conditioning, radio, USB, telephone, navigation, lighting settings inside and outside the vehicle. There was also information on fuel consumption, service requirements and the ability to configure individual functions included in the IntelliSafe system such as the already mentioned Bliss or Cross Traffic Alert (cross traffic warning system). Depending on your needs, you can choose the information you want to see on the clocks; fuel consumption, mileage, distance traveled from the start, navigation map, telephone, radio/USB device etc. When describing the interior of the V90 CC, you can not miss the seats, which were designed primarily for the safety of travelers. Personally, they remind me of orthopedic seats, in which the correct position is a priority, pushing comfort to the background. I just had to search in the settings before I found the optimal position for myself. A big plus for Volvo is the massage function in which the driver and passenger seats have been equipped. Of course, there was heating and ventilation, and electrical regulation in many ways. The whole is trimmed with perforated leather, which is very smooth. A long wooden blind in the middle tunnel is something not for me it just looks like a sideboard sliding door with alcohol in a baron's house, who is currently struggling with a strong alcohol addiction, and the first two wooden elements look as if they are already sticking out. The rear seats have been equipped with retractable child seats/platform seats, so there is no need to bring nasty booster car seats under children's butts. The size of the trunk is quite impressive, and after folding the rear row of seats the whole resembles bedroom in a camper (for those interested I will add that the distance between the first row of seats and the trunk lid after folding the rear seats is almost 2 meters). The design of the luggage space deserves praise, which can be divided into two parts, of which the hinged partition is equipped with straps, so we can safely transport even a shopping bag. Such trifles, and how they make life easier...


"The Volvo Style"

While waiting in line for my Volvo, I was afraid that the 2-liter turbo diesel with 235 horsepower would simply take away my desire to drive this car. On one hand, acceleration of 7.2 seconds to the first hundred does not knock the socks off in 2019, and on the other hand, according to information provided by the manufacturer, average performance translates into low fuel consumption of just 4.9 ltr/100km, what is the truth? The truth is that it is just the opposite in my opinion. This four-cylinder diesel made in common rail technology has been coupled with an 8-speed automatic that is doing really well. Driving this car I did not get the impression of shocking power shortage. Of course, when overtaking, we must remember that we are not driving a bolide car from hell, only a large, heavy and long car with dynamic (but not too much) engine. During my test on a distance of about 250 kilometers, the car burned 8.5 liters of diesel.., is it a lot for such a vehicle? In my opinion this is a decent result, but far from the producer's assurances. I don't know, maybe if somebody wanders in Eco mode, brushing the accelerator with his eyelash it will go down to the mentioned limit of 5 liters, but it seems unlikely to me and secondly, this is not what driving a car is about to wake up and fall asleep back in an hour.., behind the wheel. The pneumatic suspension of this car was a real surprise for me because I was expecting a couch, and I found a comfortable vehicle with a slightly sporty "sharpened claw". The V90 CC holds the road really well, it is comfortable, but not to the extent that I don't feel holes under the wheels when driving in Comfort mode. It's OK for me, I don't like "noodles" instead of shock absorbers because I just don't feel the car in the corners. During my ride it rained and I noticed that on the sharper arches became less safe. In my opinion it was a warning lamp! The laws of physics, car weight and dimensions of the car are doing their job, which means that this car can be pushed off the road. By joining the traffic on wet surface I turned the steering wheel at the same time adding sharply gas, and to my surprise it fishtailed my rear of the car. Anyway, the traction control was no less surprised, which in my opinion was a little late with the intervention. Of course, no dangerous situation occurred, but to be honest I did not expect that a four-wheel galleon weighing two tons with an engine power not exceeding 250 horses would be prone to such pranks on the road. Unfortunately, Volvo has a drawback in the form of elephant-sized mirrors. I must admit that the visibility of what is happening behind the vehicle is excellent, but already to see the object that will be between the mirror and the front pillar is a great art. I didn't like the fact that every time I had to lean out on the crossroad in search of a pedestrian or cyclist who could disappear in this blind spot. As it is time to complain, let me complain two more times; I express my regret to Volvo because of the lack of a simple function which is the automatic deactivation of the massage after the passenger leaves the vehicle. Long after my photographer went home, the chair massaged the empty space by making unnecessary noise in the cabin. There is also a mechanism in my book of complaints that controls the wipers. Turning on the INT function, I expected them to work automatically when cooperating with the rain sensor, and in the meantime the sun came out, the storm was forgotten, and the INT system continued to polish the glass at its own frequency, which did not match the atmospheric conditions outside...

Is the Volvo V90 Cross Country a car for me? In fact, even if I wanted to pick on it, I don't have much to do because this car is really good, and is no less great than other luxury car brands on the market. In fact, this car has definitely more advantages than disadvantages (as far as the disadvantages are the few details that I described), but certainly it is not a car designed for people who are looking for sensations behind the wheel. The V90 CC is a car for people who are looking for a practical car for everyday use and value comfort and safety above all else. Personally, I feel good in this car, so if I were looking for a large family wagon that will take me to all destinations, I would definitely consider buying this car. This Volvo has another huge advantage, namely it looks much more expensive than it actually is. The price of V90 CC starts from 60,000 Euro and even if we choose a few tasty morsels from this great Swedish table, we should still fit in 75,000 Euro.

Thank you very much Volvo Auto Bruno from Szczecin for sharing this car. Thank you Robert.


Artur Rojewski

"Diesel forever alive"

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