In the future, your car will drive by itself. But if you want a taste of that right now, the Volvo V90 Cross Country D5 Inscription (V90 CC) is a great option. Fitted with Volvo’s co-pilot technology, the car can actually drive by itself when you’re out on open roads.
The V90 CC is one of the few estate wagons you can find in India. The co-pilot mode, an advancement on adaptive cruise control, can be switched on from the car’s steering controls. It maintains the car at the speed at which co-pilot was turned on, just like standard cruise control. In addition, it takes over the steering wheel, manoeuvring gradual curves and maintaining lanes.
It also detects obstacles and traffic early via the front-facing radar sensors, notifying the driver that he/she needs to take over the wheel. However, it’s really useful when you need to quickly change the music or perform other quick tasks while driving. But it is not advisable to take your eyes off the road at any point, since the technology is not sophisticated enough yet.
The V90 CC also has lane-assist, which helps maintain lanes while driving. It kicks in when you’re driving at 60kmph and above, vibrating the steering wheel if you change lanes without the indicators on. It also keeps you from changing lanes when it’s dangerous to do so, and has blind spot monitors. The only catch is that the feature will only work on roads with proper lane markings—an issue that most cars with advanced features face today. It also has blind spot monitors.
Another innovative feature in the V90 CC is its audio system. The car is fitted with 19 Bowers and Wilkins speakers producing 1,400W audio output, and is definitely among the best you can find in any car in India. The speakers have a special Gothenburg Concert Hall mode that attempts to recreate the experience of Sweden’s famous concert hall inside the car. Whether it succeeds is a moot point but there’s no denying that the overall audio experience is better than any car we’ve driven so far. Even though the speakers are placed in front and around you, the acoustics somehow feels closer to that of a hall.
The Volvo V90 CC allows Bluetooth connections with your phone and has Apple CarPlay/Android Auto support as well. It has a 9-inch touchscreen, which is used to control the infotainment system equipped with Volvo’s custom Sensus interface.
The car also has its own built-in navigation features, which are useful at times but Google Maps is more dependable.