This is our 6th trip to experience extreme weather driving. The reasons are simple, traction, steering control, controlled handling and super fun time. Yes, this is super fun.
This time our invite came from the Volvo Cars who have the harshest winter conditions in their own back yard and it was to test slide, slip and drive their latest V90 Cross Country wagon on snow covered roads and a frozen lake. The V90 is the long time coming replacement for the XC70 which arrived in Malaysia some 20 years ago. It sold in sensible numbers at a time when wagons were not popular and with a fully imported selling price that put it out of reach of many buyers. Today you might find a used unit for sale at sensible prices in the classifieds as running costs can be rather high due to parts pricing and fuel costs.
About The V90 Cross Country
The V90 Cross Country is marketed as the ultimate sports wagon. It is based on the V90 (which was just launched last week) architecture, but the Cross Country version has a higher ground clearance, 8.3 inches in total. This is 2.3 inches more than a V90.
The wagon is powered by a 2.0L super-turbocharged four-cylinder with 316 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm and 295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,200 rpm. Fuel efficiency is estimated at 22mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway.
This is where we had the most fun. No barriers, open ice and space to make a mistake and recover from it unscathed. Volvo’s stability control was working at its best in this icy winter condition where we were driving in variable and unpredictable conditions. It was Volvo’s stability control that corrected our uncontrollable slides and likely kept us from spinning off the given route on the ice. It also prevented us from flipping over when we dared to take some of our slides a little to fast and with little care in the world. After all, with Volvo’s high safety standards in every Volvo built looking out for us.
Volvo stability control
Stability control is probably the biggest advancement in car safety since Volvo’s introduction of the seatbelt, it helps you avoid crashing in the first place by individually and cleverly actuating each brake on all four of your wheels to keep the car from spinning or sliding uncontrollably.
Volvo traction control
Traction control is often confused with stability control. Stability control actively takes control of your vehicle, helping to keep you on the straight and narrow whereas traction control just stops the power if the driven wheels start spinning. This actually works against you in the snow, you need a certain degree of wheel spin while climbing slippery hills or similar. With the Volvo system, it directs stability and traction control to allow a little more wheel spin while accelerating, simulating some locking in the rear diff and it adjusts the AWD system to bias power to the rear wheels, where the weight transfers under acceleration, enabling more effective traction. That enables the V90 to operate optimally in this slippery winter conditions.
V90 Cross Country final word
After a day of fun on the ice and also on the snow covered roads, it was clear that Volvo engineers had developed a 4×4 crossover with traction and off-road ability to challenge any luxury SUV in almost any decent condition which translates to a safe and predictable drive.
V90 Cross Country we drove details:
· 316 Horsepower
· All-Wheel Drive
· Heated front seats and steering wheel
· Active Bending Lights added to LED
· Headlights with Thor’s Hammer Daytime Running Lights & Auto Highbeam
· 12.3 inch Driver Display
· 9-inch Sensus Touchscreen
· Smartphone Integration (Apple CarPlay / Android Auto)
· Hands-free Power Operated Tailgate
· Panoramic Moonroof with power sunshade
· Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert
· Pilot Assist, our cutting edge Semi-Autonomous Drive System
· 6.3 seconds 0-100kmh acceleration time