Volvo V90 Cross

Country B5P

Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, front
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, side
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, rear
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, interior
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, display screen
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, rear bumper
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, rear seats
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, boot
Volvo V90 Cross Country, 2023, boot restraint

IF you're one of those folk who have trouble deciding what shape of car to go for - saloon, hatchback, estate, or SUV - here's a glimmer of hope.

Volvo, along with several other brands, offers a sort of jacked up estate with four wheel drive allowing it to do most things a full cream SUV can manage.

OK, it won't scale a mountain or help perform a river rescue, but who cares in leafy Surrey or affluently flat Cheshire!

The V90 Cross Country B5, we've been driving, is a large estate that can carry about the same amount of luggage as the average SUV but drives very much like a well-planted big saloon with similar refinement and handling.

It's probably more practical than most SUVs and certainly has better road holding than the vast majority.

Under the bonnet, there's a 2.0litre turbo petrol four cylinder engine that's as smooth as most six-pots. With 247bhp on hand there's no shortage of shove.

It despatches 62mph in just over seven seconds, but like all Volvos is limited to a modest 112mph - for safety reasons, says the Swedish giant.

The cabin is stylish and individual with high grade materials, heavy duty plastics and a design that easily match its German rivals. And the iPad style touch screen looks good and works a treat. Quality leather and ash wood veneer abound giving a sense of occasion and prestige to the interior.

Front seats are large, well bolstered and superbly comfortable and there's ample legroom front and rear. Although not as tall as an SUV, there's no shortage of headroom.

The rear luggage platform is flat, regularly shaped and simply huge with no less than 714litres of cargo space before the back seats are folded. The rear bench splits 60-40 for added versatility.

On the move, the V90 makes smooth, unflustered progress with near silent travel and a cushioned ride that irons out the bumps impressively. Tyres with decent side-walls prove much more pleasant than the low profile rubber so often fitted to many prestige models.

The eight-speed automatic copes well with its task offering slick changes that are barely noticeable. Unfortunately, it does get steering wheel paddles, so keen drivers have a bit less say in events.

Slippery condition proved little trouble as the four-wheel-drive system comes into play. Its ability over poor terrain is supported by a 60mm increase in ground clearance, under body protection. electronic hill descent and all season tyres.

As you'd expect from a Volvo, there's extensive safety protect. The spec includes pedestrian detection, front collision warning, lane protection and run-off road protection.

Though no sporting star, the Cross Country boasts a good lick of speed with strong torque and effortless cruising. Despite its performance, its thirst for fuel is modest. Our average during extensive driving during our week's tenure was 34mpg.

FAST FACTS

Volvo V90 Cross Country B5P

Price: £56,310

Mechanical: 1,969cc, 4 cyl , 247bhp, petrol engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 7.4sec

Combined MPG: 36.2

Insurance Group: 38

C02 emissions: 177g/km

Bik rating: 37%

Warranty: 3 yrs/60,000 miles

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