My week with the Volvo V90 – an effortless drive

Volvo V90 Cross Country Tim Gibson on the Volvo V90 Cross Country
00:49

With its Sensus technology and pitch-perfect automatic transmission, Volvo’s flagship crossover estate makes everything right with the world.

Here we are, alone at last. The delivery driver has disappeared and it’s me and the Volvo V90 Cross Country, eyeing one another and getting ready for a week of intimate acquaintance.

I have been waiting for this moment. Like a child counting down to Christmas, I marked off the days until the V90 Cross Country was delivered. It was a repetition of the process I went through when the model was launched. Counting days, then hours, then minutes, until the covers came off and I could set eyes on a car that seemed to have been made for my lifestyle.

Long business journeys. Trips to the tip with weekend garden waste and clapped-out wardrobes. Family holidays to the frozen north. Visits to the supermarket with kids, wife and sometimes granny in tow. Exhilarating drives around the local lanes when I’ve a thought to nurture and need some headspace.

Multi-purpose: the V90 is uniquely placed to facilitate modern life

This is my life. It is my daily grind. And the Volvo V90 Cross Country seems uniquely placed to help me live it, equipped as it is with all-wheel drive, frugal yet responsive engines and enough interior space to accommodate a growing family, a large dog, and all their accoutrements.

So expectations are high when V90 Cross Country arrives on my driveway. It’s when the motor show puff and evocative launch videos come to life, when the car becomes a tangible hunk of metal that I can get to grips with, test, and measure against my dreams.

I can’t think of a better way to begin such a process than a lengthy business trip to the other side of the country. Before I set off, I toggle my smartphone with the car’s Sensus technology. This gives me the opportunity to control key functions remotely, saving valuable time.

For example, the satnav reads the postcodes in my diary entries and automatically knows where I’m going when I settle behind the wheel. Likewise, I can use my phone to turn the engine on up to 15 minutes before going to the car, meaning the interior temperature is just right for my onward journey.

Once under way, the V90 Cross Country slips into a rhythm before I’ve even made it to the main road. There’s a feeling of effortlessness to driving it, thanks to well-weighted steering, pitch-perfect automatic transmission that delivers the right power for the right situation and Volvo’s customary high standards of interior comfort.

Suitably durable: the V90 is well capable of tackling country lanes

Then, when I reach the motorway, Pilot Assist steps in to keep me on the straight and narrow. This uses adaptive cruise control to maintain a constant time interval from the car in front, and gently nudges the steering wheel to ensure I stay within my lane.

Bear in mind that I am testing the V90 Cross Country during a week of cold-ridden toddler-induced sleepless nights and you’ll understand just how deep my appreciation of this driver-assistance technology runs.

Despite setting off with a sense of horror at the distance to be covered in my exhausted state, I feel reassured by the V90 Cross Country’s ability to look out for me. The technology makes a significant difference to my fatigue levels as the miles flash by. Put simply, this car is a pleasure to be aboard.

Once I return from my trip away, I make it my mission to tackle a few of the grottier country roads around our Somerset home, including a couple of minor green lanes that amply demonstrate the capability of the all-wheel drive setup. Even in these varied surroundings, the vehicle doesn’t fail to raise a smile.

So the V90 Cross Country more than lives up to my high expectations. Each journey in the car results in a suffusion of wellbeing, a profound sense of safety and happiness for the whole family. It is like automotive Calpol in its capacity to make everything well with the world. Which is pretty much the highest compliment a sleep-deprived dad can pay.

The car

  • Volvo V90 Cross Country D4 AWD Geartronic 187HP
  • VED: £130 per annum
  • Co2 emissions: 138g/km
  • BiK rate: 27pc (£2,138 pa for 20pc taxpayer, £4,276 pa for 40pc taxpayer)
  • P11D: £39,600
  • Mpg: 54.3 on combined cycle

For further information about the most efficient car for your business' needs call the Volvo Car Business Centre on 0345 600 4027 or visit volvocars.com/uk

Please review our commenting policy