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Life is always an adventure – you never know what you’re going to get when you leave your door step and explore the possibilities. Volvo understand this methodology – why can’t luxury be wrapped in something just as adventurous as its customers? With the all-new Volvo V90 Cross Country, the backroads just got much more expensive.

We wanted to treat the V90 Cross Country to something a little more special this week than our routine run of the muck jaunts. We wanted to take it to somewhere where it’s meant to be – exploring some desert treasures that we have yet to discover. Seems like a legit task for the gifted Instant Traction All-Wheel Drive System the V90 Cross Country has under its belt.

A Lot of Moving Parts, All at the Same Time:

The V90 Cross Country built on the same platform as the V90 wagon which descends from its larger XC90 platform, rides about 2.6 inches higher than the V90 wagon – thus allowing for adequate ground clearance. All-Wheel Drive is standard on the V90 Cross Country, along with its T6 2.0-liter Turbocharged and Supercharged four-cylinder engine, producing a buoyant 316-horsepower. That’s a lot of moving parts under one hood; however, boy, oh boy, the payoff is sweet. It takes about 5.5 seconds to achieve sixty miles per hour utilizing a crisp shifting 8-speed geartronic transmission.

Like most cars on the road, the V90 CC operates by an adjustable drive system, choosing between Eco, Comfort, Dynamic, and Off Road. Considering this high-riding wagon was tailored for the outdoor thrill seeking soccer mom with a love affair for Dutch Bro’s Coffee, we primarily left the drive mode in Comfort. Each selection modifies the responsiveness to the transmission and throttle mapping for what could be a boring or rather entertaining commute to the workplace. Off Road, however, that mode is strictly for the more rough stuff, working with the traction control system to help guide appropriate traction, torque, and power to each wheel when it’s most needed. Under Comfort, the V90 CC was more at home, throttle response was on point and with the eight forward gears, the V90 CC managed to roll through them briskly and find the right gear when appropriately called upon.

Eyyyy, Treasure Ahead:

Our destination lied in the foothills of the Anza-Borrego State Park, around Borrego Springs in Southern California. It’s a park where owner, Dennis Avery teamed up with Ricardo Breceda to add over 130 sculptures through the desert land, setting the perfect exploration tactic for our Volvo V90 Cross Country. This is where we will explore on and off-road experiences to hopefully scavenger all 130 sculptures that lie within the 500-square mile desert landscape.

Getting there was a breeze, a straight shot on I-10 from Phoenix, AZ to Indio, CA where our Motel 6 reservation awaited for us – they certainly kept the lights on. This is where the V90 CC’s driving demeanor stood out, it maintain poised composure along the road that felt solid and well balanced. It supported a certain comfort level one would only find in this luxury class. It’s not as smooth as one would inquire, however, we didn’t expect it to. The all-season tires picked up some heavy feedback from the road, making so we could feel everything going on – but not in a bumpy, uncomfortable kinda way. Even the handling was on pare with the chassis feeling robust and eager. It handles like a premium car should with responsive inputs and a nicely weighted feedback. The highway also opened up the V90’s CC fuel economy averaging 25 miles to the gallon combined over our 900 miles journey.

Beauty Lies Within:

Being the party piece to all of Volvo’s lineup, its interior was heavily decorated with premium pleasantries that suit its $55k starting price tag. Quality metal finishes surrounded the boosted $3200 Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound System that was just majestic to our ears. The stunning craftsmanship behind the dash is just exquisite being doused in technology with high definition digital displays, the V90 CC is an iPod on wheels. It is a learning curve from other competitors, but is quickly manageable and intuitive. Everything is controlled through the large 12.3-inch touch screen display that also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. This is by far one of the best interfaces we come across in this industry; however, its responsiveness and speediness needs a little work.

The leather interior is absolutely uplifting. Hours and hours of comfort can be spent in these seats without feeling fatigue or soreness. Both driver and passenger seats are power adjustable with heated seat functionality, while the driver gets a two way memory setting. Rear passengers can get acquainted with commodious rear leg room and because our tester featured the $500 Chidseat Booster, it’s a nice addition for those that have little ones and not fuss with those clumsy, store bought things. Even with the standard Panoramic Sunroof, there is plenty of headroom to be head for taller passengers as all that natural light fills the cabin.

Safety Is Priority:

Volvo is all about safety and its advance technology. Taking it one step further than its competitors, not only does the V90 CC feature the usual latest safety technology but something called Pilot Assist. Works as a near autonomous s feature, it’s about the closest thing to the autonomous Tesla’s – though some driver input is still required (it gets mad if you don’t.) The system works flawlessly following the road ahead and maintaining safe distance from other drivers – it’ll even stop and go for you, as long as there’s a car in front of you stopping.

A Pirates Gold:

As we arrived into Borrego Springs, ready to explore some sand and desert dirt, we instantly found what we came looking for. The areas that required us to leave the pavement behind left us with confidence that V90 CC had the go anywhere, do anything mentality. The All-Wheel Drive served us justice giving us exactly what we wanted. While the conditions were never really sever enough to engage the off-road portion of the drive control system, we have no doubt this Volvo is quite capable in extreme conditions

While its sticker price may seem on the steep side of the spectrum, our sampler coming in at $64,640, its starting price found us very happy with the results received. While we didn’t get to collect all 130 sculptures, nor did we want to post that many photos, we found pure delight in the Volvo V90 Cross Country and its go anywhere do anything attitude.

Vehicle Specifications:
2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD Base Price: $55,300
As Tested (including Options & Destination): $64,640
Performance Specs:
2.0-liter Turbocharged & Supercharged Four-Cylinder – 316-Horsepower, 8-Speed Automatic Transmission – 0-60MPH: ±5.5 seconds
EPA MPG: 22/30/25 (City/Highway/Combined) – SSB Average: 24.5 MPG’s – Fuel Range: ±330 Miles