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Test Drive: The Quotable Volvo V90 Cross Country

What cool stuff can your car do? Go fast? Look really sexy? Cost a lot of money? That’s great, but I’ve got news for you, pal. Those cars are a dime a dozen. Particularly these days. Particularly in this town. So along comes this Swedish station wagon & most of my gearhead pals look away. Even worse, they give me that, “Maybe for you, because you’re a mom” look, which of course makes me want to punch them in the face. But this is the new Volvo V90 Cross Country and watching it shock my passengers was the best part of this test drive:

“Wait, Did It Just Drive For You?”

Yes, why yes it did. Your car doesn’t do that? This was Gearhead Pal #1 (read Husband) observing as the V90 deftly drove me back into my lane as I glanced over his shoulder at some hot surfers on PCH. The V90 has this incredible Pilot Assist system and this is its second generation. I’ve driven the XC90 and the S90 both of which have this technology, but this was the first time the system stepped in for me without my knowledge.  In addition to keeping you from crashing while you enjoy the local scenery, it can also stop and go for you in traffic. So while you’re spacing out wishing you were somewhere else, as long as you keep your hands on the wheel, this Swedish beast has got your back. It’s incredible.

“Holy Sh*t, What’s This Sound System?”

Gearhead Pal #2 says after being in this mom-bile for approximately 10 seconds. That’s right, buddy. This is a Bowers & Wilkins upgrade and if you’re wondering why it sounds like a concert hall that’s because it is. Modeled after the Gothenburg Concert Hall, this incredible sound comes from a central tweeter, 12-channel amplifier and 19 separate high-end speakers. All the better for Mama to blast some Kendrick Lamar before the kids get in the car.

“OMG, Those Headlights Are Amazing”

Yes, the husband actually really said these words when we were driving in the dark. I’ve been obsessed with these headlights for a long time, because I think the design is just incredible. But vivid, adaptive and crystal clear? Yeah, they’re that too. Some of the best I’ve driven, actually.

“Mom, Check This Out!”

This is my daughter discovering that the trunk of the V90 has a split device that actually keeps our groceries from rolling around. Yes, the high tech stuff is awesome, but this incredibly simple, intuitive low-fi solution is a life changer for someone who buys a lot of things in glass bottles and lives on a windy road.

“OK, Now We’re Talking”

This was me after I figured out that if I put this AWD badboy in Performance Mode and Shift over to manual, it’s actually fun.

“It’s The Most Beautiful Interior In The Industry”

Me again.  I am such of a fan of the sophisticated styling of the new Volvo. Rather than try to wrap everything in something trendy and dated (I’m talking to you fake carbon fiber!) Volvo takes the high road. Everything you touch in this car feels solid. Everything that is designed is done well and without pretention. It’s the automotive equivalent of that beautifully dressed, gorgeous woman with perfect skin– the one that seems to do so effortlessly.

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the new generation of Volvo vehicles. But making the Cross Country station wagon even cooler is a tough feat. Something they’re done beautifully. Of course, in a perfect world, we’d get to see a performance version–the equivalent of an 850R with all of these features..heart be still! But until then, this is V90 is the most extraordinary wagon on the market today.

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