2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race Review
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2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race Review

The Swedish brand has built a special edition version of its off-road inspired estate to celebrate the world’s toughest sailing race. We see what it’s like.


As one of the toughest sailing competitions, the Volvo Ocean Race is a nine-month race covering 45,000 miles and visiting six continents – with nine teams competing for the title.

To celebrate the race, Volvo has decided to create a special edition of its V90 Cross Country, with the Ocean Race limited-run model coming with unique detailing to help it stand out from other versions.

Coming with lots of lifestyle-focused touches, the Ocean Race isn’t much different to the standard Cross Country, but offers a great alternative thanks to excellent design options.

We take the limited edition Cross Country for a spin to see what it’s like.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race


For the car we tested, Volvo had fitted it with the brand’s diesel D4 unit, which uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel drive. That power unit produces 188bhp and 400Nm of torque, helping it get from 0-60mph in 8.6 seconds and go on to a top speed of 130mph.

Although this engine copes well enough for most situations, it can feel and sound a bit strained under higher levels of acceleration. If you’re after an all-round smooth and efficient experience, go for the D5 diesel which comes with more power and torque, yet doesn’t penalise you much on fuel usage.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race

Ride & Handling

As the changes for this special edition model are only cosmetic, the Ocean Race is engineered in the same way as the standard Cross Country model. That means a 65mm increase in ride height over the standard V90 to aid with any off-roading situations. This does, however, mean the car’s centre of gravity is higher than normal – leading to a fair amount of lean when you throw it vigorously into a corner.

Drivers can try to make it sharper through the corners by putting it in Sport mode, but for most circumstances, Comfort mode is more than capable of offering you a cossetted ride and one where the car is great to drive.

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2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race

Interior & Equipment

A theme throughout the Ocean Race is the orange highlights to both the exterior and interior design. On the front end, flanks and rear, you will find the bright colour popping out when compared to the white paintwork – and overall it really looks the part when compared to the sometimes dull estates you’ll see out on the road.

Additional design features include 20-inch diamond cut alloy wheels with a bespoke design for the model – which do affect the ride comfort slightly but look superb – as well as waterproof seat covers and water-resistant boot floor, with those last two features helping the Cross Country become the perfect activity model.

You still get all of the great equipment of standard Cross Country, such as the Sensus nine-inch portrait touchscreen infotainment system, air conditioning, digital instrumentation and excellent trim finish that you would expect.

Space-wise, the Ocean Race offers a capacious rear space for the passengers that allows for plenty of head and legroom, while the boot can hold 560 litres of cargo. That can be extended to 1,526 litres with the rear seats folded. The water-resistant flooring is a great additional feature to make the space feel more durable.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race


The Ocean Race does start from £51,270, which is a fair bit for an estate. But considering the limited nature of this model – which will be built only 3,000 times – and the amount of kit you get, you can see why Volvo charge that amount.

Also, the diesel powertrain means you can return 54.3mpg and 138g/km CO2, so running costs won’t be too difficult to manage at all.

2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race


The Cross Country Ocean Race is more of a cosmetic upgrade than anything else, but with that you get a celebration of one of the world’s trickiest sailing races and a stylish model that stands out from the usually drab estate pool. Granted, it does have an inflated worth due to the fact it’s a special edition, but beyond that it is a very capable model that rides comfortably, comes with plenty of great features – including Volvo’s latest excellent safety kit – and isn’t too expensive to run either.

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