It’s time to rethink how a Volvo wagon looks, as the old utilitarian boxes of yore have given way to the sinews of the new V90.
Volvo wagons have been the choice of buyers looking for upscale transport that was resolutely practical. Seeing a film character drive one quickly fleshes out their personality – at their core, they’re practical.
The new V90 flies in the face image, as it is a Volvo wagon you could buy simply for its arresting styling.
It’s part of the roll Volvo has been on since its acquisition by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group; the XC90 crossover and S90 sedan have all been impressive. Now it’s the wagon’s turn, and it’s making a splash.
It’s interesting that most of V90’s promo shots show it at eye level or lower, which accents its American-esque ‘longer, lower and wider’ proportions.
Here, the long hood and snub nose gives it an almost feline aggression.
This overhead view adds “sleek athleticism” to the mix.
Inside, things are bright.
Instrument panel styling is as striking and strong as the exterior’s, with bold flourishes and sharp detailing.
The wood treatment is original and rich. The tightly-limned contours express a designer’s composed confidence.
Lots of friendly contours in the back seat…
…along with nice mixes of materials.
Mechanically, the V90 will likely offer a turbocharged gas engine (T5 – probably 250 hp), a turbo- and supercharged engine (T6 – 316 hp) and a plug-in hybrid (400 hp).
Doubtful the US would get the diesel, which features “PowerPulse”. This system uses a compressor to pull air from the air filter into a pressurized air tank about the size of a two-liter Coke bottle…
…and then it shoots it into the exhaust manifold, where it makes the turbocharger spin faster. Neat, eh?
We won’t get the manual transmission that will also be offered elsewhere. But we will get the full suite of expected Volvo safety gear, like Large Animal Detection, which is built into the standard radar/camera system.
There’s also the aptly named Run-off Road Mitigation.
The body is a fascinating puzzle of different-strengthened steel.
Safety aside, we keep coming back to the V90’s great body. Not a bad angle on it.
It remains to be seen whether the limp US demand for wagons will hamper Volvo’s efforts for the V90 to make its inroads. Whether you’re a wagon lover or not, you likely won’t mind seeing more of these on the roads around us.
Tell us in the comments – what do YOU think of the V90’s shape?