Volvo V90 D4 road test review by David Duffy.

Volvo pushes boat out with classy estate

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I remember after passing my driving test my brother gave me a sage piece of advice on car buying: “Make sure it’s big, as cars are made to shift lots of stuff.”

As we had both grown up as motorcyclists I knew what he meant, because if you don’t have loads of paraphernalia to move then you are much better off on two wheels.

If you are looking for a large car, they don’t come much bigger or better than the classy Volvo V90, a vehicle that demonstrates estate cars still have a bright future.

Now if you take an already impressive estate car and raise its capability by a few notches you have the V90 Cross Country, with its range of go-anywhere abilities such as all-wheel-drive, increased ride height and a chassis tweaked to ensure comfort and control in all weather and road conditions.

For Volvo fans who really want to push the boat out, no pun intended, there is the special Cross Country Ocean Race, a special version launched to mark Volvo’s two decades of backing for the tough round-the-world yacht race that is held every three years.

Volvo V90
Volvo V90
Volvo V90

Volvo handed the job of developing the car to a group of designers and engineers in its special vehicles department, a purpose-built facility at its base in Torslanda, Sweden.

The engineers there specialise in creating bespoke models and are also responsible for Volvo Cars’ ultra-luxurious models, as well as the police version of the V90.

The Ocean Race version uses a special colour palette inside and out that instantly sets it apart from other 90 series models. Matt grey and bright orange details, first shown on the Volvo Concept XC Coupé back in 2014, are combined with a Crystal White exterior colour and special wheels and stitching.

It also includes a range of standard features such as an integrated, detachable torchlight, extra power outlets and smart dirt- and water-resistant materials.

Volvo donated €300,000 from sales of the special edition to equip boats taking part in the ocean race with scientific equipment to investigate the problem of ocean plastics. A neat touch in the car itself is the use of Econyl, a fabric made from 100% recycled nylon including abandoned fishing nets reclaimed from the seabed, in the construction of the floor mats.

All this is icing on the cake for a seriously substantial, massively spacious and beautifully balanced car that is as at home picking its way along a rough country track, as it is sailing quietly along a motorway.

The car is mightily well equipped and its wide range of systems from satellite navigation and climate control to hands-free telephone and audio, are all simply controlled by an intuitive iPad Mini-sized, nine-inch centre console touchscreen.

Some of the systems do not even need the touchscreen, as a surprisingly easy-to-use voice-activated control system can take care of many functions without lifting a finger from the heated steering wheel.

Volvo V90
Volvo V90
Volvo V90

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Listers Volvo Worcester

Listers Volvo Worcester will be open today from 8:00am to 6:00pm on an appointment-only basis. Please contact us online or by phone for all enquiries (including vehicle sales and maintenance) or to make an appointment. It is next open tomorrow from 8:00am to 6:00pm.

Hereford Road (A4103)
Much Cowarne