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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
I recently acquired a V90 cross country. It is an amazing car but to my great surprise the car doesn't have a drive mode switch. This is usually located just behind the engine start toggle and would allow me to select eco / dynamic / off road drive modes.

No doubt this missing feature is a quirk of the seemingly strange Irish new vehicle delivery system where we often get screwed with lower spec cars than our neighbours in the UK. You might be interested to learn that we import well over 100,000 secondhand cars per year from the UK into Ireland. Usually considerably more than the amount of new cars registered actually!

The drive mode switch wasn't a deal breaker and I'm glad I bought the car anyway but now I wonder could the switch be fitted and the car's software be updated to match? It would be nice to have the sportier engine and gearbox characteristics offered by dynamic mode and I would love to have offroad mode considering it is a cross country.
 

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It is very strange, you should have a small wheel (see attached photo) in the central tunnel, next to the ignition wheel of the vehicle.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes it seems very odd. I looked at dozens of V90s online, mostly in the UK, before buying this one. They all had that drive mode selector switch. When I found this V90 CC I actually bought it was the only V90 I had seen without the switch.

I did some further research afterwards and I managed to find maybe 2 or 3 other V90s for sale that don't have it but they are the most basic models. It's a little hard to believe that they sold this V90 cross country without the ability to select off road mode. Also it is D5 which is the highest power diesel so I would have assumed that the ability to select the dynamic/sporty mode would be standard!

I'm sure I can fit the switch easily enough but I wonder if the cars software can be updated to givme the driving mode options. Any ideas?

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I checked in the options list (Italian market) and it is an option.
I didn't think it was an option, ask Volvo if you can install it after market.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On the UK price lists 'drive mode selection' was listed as standard equipment for all V90s since launch in 2017. I guess in Ireland we just get lower standard spec as always 😩

There are other items missing from the cross country spec too - integrated rear window blinds and leather stitched dashboard and door tops for example.

Hopefully volvo will be able to retrofit the drive mode switch.
 

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A decidedly bizarre sales policy, and certainly not in favour of the end consumer.

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On the UK price lists 'drive mode selection' was listed as standard equipment for all V90s since launch in 2017. I guess in Ireland we just get lower standard spec as always 😩

There are other items missing from the cross country spec too - integrated rear window blinds and leather stitched dashboard and door tops for example.

Hopefully volvo will be able to retrofit the drive mode switch.
The rear window shades and leather dash and door tops are part of a package, not standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes they come as part of the Cross Country spec on the UK lists. That is to say they are standard on Cross Country models if you will.
Interestingly the car has the winter package which includes the heated front screen, heated steering wheel and heated headlight washers. I have the heated steering wheel and screen (which I absolutely adore BTW!!) but no headlight washers 🤔
I mean, the leather dash and door tops, the rear shades and the headlight washers would be nice to have but really don't affect the enjoyment of the machine. They aren't big ticket items but would just be nice touches.

The drive mode selector on the other hand is a big deal and I would love to get it fitted. So aside from the interesting quirks of Volvo's delivery system, does anybody know if a dealership should be able to retrofit and update the software? Or just update the software as I'd like to fit the switch myself?
 

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The drive mode really doesn't make that dramatic of a difference....I'm not sure you are missing out on much. I doubt this is an item easily added, as you would need to know exactly what software versions are needed for what controllers to add the function. I doubt a dealer will help much in this case, but you should at least ask. Maybe in your country it is an accessory item. It is bizarre that it would be optional in your region. FYI....replacing that start know/drive mode panel switch requires the removal of the center console assembly.....so any retrofit is going to be very, very, very expensive if the dealer does all the work. Is there a Polestar Optimization tune available for the D5? If so, that would be a way better investment.
 

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Yes in Russia there are volvos that even regular cruise control is an option and you can see cars with cloth seats. Sunroof backup cam is never standard etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I believe there is a polestar map for the D5 actually but the problem is how does one select polestar mode without the switch?

Does the polestar map also increase gearbox responsiveness / sportiness? Its only an extra 5bhp but if the drive feel was sportier it could be worth it.
 

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The drive mode really doesn't make that dramatic of a difference....I'm not sure you are missing out on much. I doubt this is an item easily added, as you would need to know exactly what software versions are needed for what controllers to add the function. I doubt a dealer will help much in this case, but you should at least ask. Maybe in your country it is an accessory item. It is bizarre that it would be optional in your region. FYI....replacing that start know/drive mode panel switch requires the removal of the center console assembly.....so any retrofit is going to be very, very, very expensive if the dealer does all the work. Is there a Polestar Optimization tune available for the D5? If so, that would be a way better investment.
I don't agree, if you drive on a mountain road with lots of bends the difference between comfort and dynamic driving modes is noticeable, it feels like driving a different car.

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I believe there is a polestar map for the D5 actually but the problem is how does one select polestar mode without the switch?

Does the polestar map also increase gearbox responsiveness / sportiness? Its only an extra 5bhp but if the drive feel was sportier it could be worth it.
I have the supercharge/turbocharged T6 engine, and the Polestar REALLY is all about matching the transmission with the engine. The transmission is completely transformed, it's like an entirely different unit. And not just in Polestar mode, but in every driving mode. Literally 90% of the complaints about the transmission are cured with the Polestar software. So you should see if an upgrade is available that includes the addition of a switch as an "accessory" in your market.
 

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I don't agree, if you drive on a mountain road with lots of bends the difference between comfort and dynamic driving modes is noticeable, it feels like driving a different car.

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In what way exactly? And what engine/model do you drive and do you have Polestar? I drive an Audi R8 V10, so I'm pretty keen on performance. Polestar mode is different for sure, the others are pretty mild.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I'm thinking subtle differences can be important. I think a few hundred extra revs before gear changes and a portion of torque sent to the rear wheels would make the car far sportier feeling.
 

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Well I'm thinking subtle differences can be important. I think a few hundred extra revs before gear changes and a portion of torque sent to the rear wheels would make the car far sportier feeling.
Yes, if you are going to be at full throttle the RPMs being held higher longer is a difference, but most of the time the car is not floored. Only the Polestar tune send more power to the rear proactively, without the tune there is no change in the AWD system. I guess my statement meant that, in 90% of typical, daily driving driving in comfort mode or dynamic mode has very little difference. A typical complaint about Dynamic mode is the revs are held too high and the transmission will never shift into 7th or 8th gear, meaning it's not very feasible to set it to Dynamic and drive all day without sever fuel economy penalties and excessive engine noise in the cabin. I'd suggest you try and actually drive a car that has drive modes and actually see what you think. I'm not sure it behaves in the way or changes things as much as you would anticipate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Also I'm guessing that off road mode would send lots of torque to the rear wheels which would be handy in the current icy / sleety conditions we are experiencing. In fairness to the car it is doing really well on slippery roads in normal (comfort?) mode with just Pirelli summer tyres on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Does anybody know if there is detailed info available on what exactly changes and to what degree with the different drive modes? I can't find anything online.
 

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Volvo doesn't reveal many specifics. The real difference is the throttle tip-in and aggressiveness to inputs is increased, the steering wheel weight changes to the stiffest setting, the engine uplifts later and the transmission is more willing to downshift sooner and not move to the highest gear as quickly. That's the differences unless you have a Polestar tune and then 50/50 AWD power distribution is favored. Off road mode, I am told, only reduces the engines willingness to cut power, allowing for more wheels spin. There is no change in AWD behavior (as the car is 50/50 at a stop and starting out slow on all cars all the time), and down hill decent control is available of course.
 

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Does anybody know if there is detailed info available on what exactly changes and to what degree with the different drive modes? I can't find anything online.
I don't know to what degree, but the main things that change are shift points, engine response, AWD response, steering effort (subtly, though), speed of braking response, the instrument panel display and perhaps suspension firmness in some modes. The only preset modes I ever use are Dynamic and Off Road, and those only on very rare occasions.

What I do find helpful is Individual mode. I have mine set to Econ for engine/transmission/AWD/Instrument panel display (although with tachometer, not eco-meter), normal braking and firm steering feel.
 
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