Our tour to try out the Volvo V90 cross country began with a visit to a massive Swedish failure. Stockholm’s Vasa museum homes a seventeenth century war ship that sank not far from its harbor. The reason it sank was that it was too tall and top-heavy, and it tipped enough that water came in through the gun decks. It was an odd place to begin a visit targeted on a Volvo that’s taller and more top-heavy than your average wagon.
But after having driven the new V90 cross country, we’ve a feeling it will not suffer identical fate as that previous ship. While it’s the crossover look, the cross country could be a wagon built on a powerful foundation. Inside and out, the car is generally identical as the S90 sedan and forthcoming V90 wagon, which means that it shares identical easy, elegant interior and broad-shouldered stance.
It’s been updated with a few cross country exclusives, most evident being its increased ride height – about 2.4 inches higher for a complete of 8.3 inches of ground clearance. And, like other wagon-cum-crossovers, it’s massive plastic fender flares, plus more aggressive front and rear bumpers. If you are not into the rugged look, those contrastive plastic bits are often modified to body color with the addition of an available Luxury Package.
Volvo V90 Cross Country Features
The interior, that has thick view due to the generous amounts and low beltline of glass, also options some model-exclusive touches like fancy “pearl” stitching on the seats, red gauges, and an available dark wood end on the dashboard. The latter feels very premium, although it is so dark you will have to lean in pretty near tell that it really is wood. In fact, my co-pilot at first mistook it for plastic.
In fairness to him and the trim, the sun was still coming up. Mechanically, the car is mostly a similar as its normal-height brethren. Below the hood is Volvo’s T6 twin-charged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, that sends 316 HP and 295 pound-feet of torsion to all four wheels. It is a totally responsive little engine, exhibiting almost no lag when pressing the pedal, and plenty of pull when flooring said pedal.
You can even hear a satisfying hint of supercharger whine coming from the blower. Power goes through an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s generally very smooth in any of the 3 main drive modes – Eco, Comfort, and Dynamic. However, in Eco and luxury, it are often sluggish to downshift, and the manual mode could be a bit slow to change gears, too.
Volvo V90 Cross Country Performance, Price
It is also price noting that the V90 cross country features a similar “All Wheel Drive” drive mode as its XC90 crossover cousin. This mode adjusts throttle and steering to help with driving on rougher terrain, but is only available at speeds beneath 25 mph. It also can engage hill descent control as required. Chances are the average lifted Volvo wagon customer is not looking for something sporty.
If you are willing to trade in some back-road dynamism, you will find the V90 cross country is one of the foremost pleasant and relaxing wagons cash can buy. As for how much cash, you will be spending at least $56,250 for a bare-bones V90 cross country when they hit dealers around March. Really, the Cross Country’s nearest competition by value may be internal.
The XC90 crossover starts at $46,745 for a front-wheel-drive T5 model, and $53,245 for the all-wheel-drive T6, that has an equivalent engine and drivetrain as the cross country. Not only that, but the XC90 offers more traditional SUV styling cues, more cargo space, and a third-row seat. However, if you are like us, you will be willing to pay a little more money for the Cross Country’s attractive wagon lines. Or you can wait for the lower, standard V90 coming later this year with an even lower cost.