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As flagship entries in two unloved segments — sedans and wagons — the Volvo S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country seem more about perception and possibility than massive sales plays. The three entries sold about 40,000 units total in Europe last year — but barely cracked 5,000 in the U.S., while Americans bought more than 30,000 XC60 SUVs alone. It’s understandable, then, that Volvo has only lightly refreshed the premium trio after four years on sale. The changes in front for all three include a new lower front bumper and new fog lights. The V90 and V90 Cross Country also get new taillights with LED signature lighting and sequential turn signals. There are new colors to choose from, one of which is Platinum Grey, and new wheel choices.

Beneath the sheetmetal, Volvo’s expanded its 48-volt mild hybrid powertrain to every model it sells. Promised to deliver up to 15% improvement in real-world fuel economy, this is the first time Volvo’s offered a Cross Country model with any kind of hybrid assistance.

The interiors spruce up with the availability of the tailored, wool blend seats introduced on the XC90, as well as a leather-free option for the top trims. The Bowers and Wilkins audio system gets an upgrade, gaining features like a better amplifier, vehicle noise cancellation, and “a new setting that mimics sound of favorite jazz club.” The Advanced Air Cleaner with PM 2.5 particle sensor, a Chinese-market innovation, goes global. Once turned on, the system can clear the cabin of particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or smaller within a few minutes, and cabin occupants can monitor the interior air quality. The 12-volt outlets in the rear go away, replaced by two USB-C charge ports, and Volvo has widened availability of wireless device charging.

The refreshed S90, V90, and V90 Cross Country are expected to go on sale in the U.S. later this year as 2021 models.

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