Volvo V90 Cross Country T5 Review
Thor's Plush (Go Anywhere) Hammer

16 May 2017


The trademark waterfall grill this time is punctuated with metallic studs, to give a hint of the not-so-vanilla V90’s rugged off-roading abilities, and flanked by their “Thor’s Hammer” headlamps

Among one of the first brands to introduce the Crossover, when there wasn’t even such a word in the market, for a more car-like SUV, Volvo made headway with its dressed up V70XC back in the late 90s. Together with Subaru’s range of Outback station wagons, and Audi’s Allroad, the Crossover SUV was born, though back then, it was questionable if there was a strong-enough market for them.

Fast forward to 2017, Volvo has continued with their tradition of slapping on plastic fender bits, raising up the ride height on their station wagons or estates in Volvo talk, dropping in 4WD and marketing them as your go-anywhere companion.

On The Outside

What appears to be a vanilla V90 T5, which again is heavily related to their luxurious S90 sedan, which we got to test some months ago, gets added plastic surrounds, in what Volvo calls ‘Embassy Black’ on its wheel arches, with a 65mm raise in the ride height on 19”alloys, to help avoid getting bogged down in mud, or just in-case you kick up stones.

The trademark waterfall grill this time is punctuated with metallic studs, to give a hint of the not-so-vanilla V90’s rugged off-roading abilities, and flanked by their “Thor’s Hammer” headlamps. The lower lip of the front bumper has been frosted silver, to hint of a front lower –skid plate. Yes it is still made of plastic and hence no sliding over rocks with this one. To complete the off-road inspired look, the lower end of the rear bumper is also decked out in Embassy Black, with a debossed “Cross  Country” moniker spanning across it. As with the front lower skid plate, the lower lip of the rear bumper is also decked out in frosted silver plastic garnish, which also surround symmetrically arranged chromed finished exhaust tips. While these are not part of the actual exhaust pipe, which would have given the car even more serious street cred, we do hand it to the Swedish manufacturer, that they are still functional outlets, and not decorative bits slapped on, with the actual pipe pointed downward.

In making the large Volvo practical, there is plenty of glass, for a excellent view out of the car, and for those who do follow older Volvos (those with the three-digit model numbers), there is a little pressing out of the sheetmetal along the C pillar, and running just below the roofline, seemingly to pay homage to the way their estate cars were originally built, where the rear-most windows were often a little more vertical than the rest of the windows on older cars, in order to provide more cargo room. 

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