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2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country Test Drive

On Sunday, November 5th, 2017

You gotta hand it to Volvo. Through thick and thin and a switch to Chinese ownership, it hasn’t left its wagon-loving fans in the lurch, even as other brands have come and gone from the segment to find comfort in the sales reports for their SUVs.

2017 Volvo V90

Its latest is the V90, and it’s Volvo’s largest and most luxurious wagon yet. Based on the sleek S90 sedan, the V90 can be filled with all of the premium trim and semi-autonomous gadgetry offered in the sedan. Really, the only difference between the two is their tail ends.

That is, unless you opt for the V90 Cross Country, the jacked-up and ruggedized V90 that will account for the vast majority of the wagon’s sales. Because it’s sort of an SUV. In fact, if you want the regular V90, you have to custom order it. Dealers are stocking their lots with a steady stream of V90 CCs.

They have all-wheel-drive, and you can get them with a 250 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or Volvo’s unique and remarkable 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged four-cylinder, which delivers 316 hp along with a 30 mpg highway fuel economy rating.

The starting price is $53,295, but expect to see many V90 CCs equipped with pricey options like the $4,500 luxury package with its buttery Nappa leather-upholstered massaging seats, and the $3,200 Bowers and Wilkins audio system, which sounds as ridiculously good as its price sounds ridiculous.

VOLVO S90 W/PILOT ASSIST TEST DRIVE:

Tall sidewall all-season tires and a $1,200 self-leveling rear air suspension get the CC over big bumps and through deep divots without much pain. I wouldn’t suggest chasing Jeeps onto the rocks with it, but an off-road mode locks it in four-wheel-drive and engages hill descent control under 25 mph to help manage reasonably challenging terrain.

An available 360-degree camera is useful when navigating tight trails, but you’ll want to turn off all the parking sensors that go with it if you’re among the trees. They make a lot of beeps. (So many beeps.)

Most cross-shoppers will. The XC90 is one of Volvo’s top sellers. But the V90 CC does have a few practical advantages, including a low roof for loading bikes and antiques, better fuel economy and more car-like handling. And above all, it’s a station wagon. Some Volvo customers wouldn’t drive anything else.

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