The Volvo V90 Cross Country is a suave Swede that's here to steal your heart. Aside from being a genuinely handsome and capable station wagon, it's far more affordable than its German counterparts. The turbo- and supercharged four-pot on which it relies is eager and fuel-efficient, with outputs of 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque making it one of the better options if you're a fan of long drives across the country. It has some added off-road prowess in comparison to the regular V90, so this is the way to go if you're an adventurer who doesn't want to sacrifice comfort and luxury. The Cross Country goes up against the likes of the Audi A6 allroad and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain in the US. So, will it be Rammstein or Roxette?
For the 2022 model year, the V90 Cross Country switches over to a new B6 drivetrain that adds a 48-volt mild-hybrid system to the twin-charged 2.0-liter engine, reducing power output from 316 hp to 295 hp but boosting torque from 295 lb-ft to 310 lb-ft - and slightly improving efficiency. The V90 Cross Country is now the only V90 available in the US, with the normal V90 discontinued this year. The old Sensus Connect infotainment system is also replaced with a new Google Automotive-based system with Google built in and the system has USB-C ports this year, replacing last year's USB-A ports. The driver-assistance system's sensors have been updated as well. Some standard features are removed, notably the headlight washer nozzles, the heated steering wheel, and the built-in compass; the optional Park Assist Pilot feature is no longer available either.
See trim levels and configurations:
|B6 Cross Country||
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
The Cross Country looks nearly identical to the regular, now-discontinued, V90 save for some added bits to make it appear more rugged. 19-inch wheels are standard, but you can opt for 20- or 21-inch items if you want to. The wagon gets bright aluminum roof rails, and the LED headlights feature the Thor's Hammer design that has now become synonymous with the brand. The grille shows off the Volvo Ironmark that was updated last year, while the rear shows off a tail lights with a welcome sequence, a rear spoiler, and a rear fascia that hides the tailpipes. The V90 CC comes standard-fit with a panoramic moonroof.
In terms of its dimensions, the Volvo is slightly longer than the Audi A6 allroad and the Mercedes-Benz E 450. The wagon measures 195.2 inches in length, and rides on a 115.8-inch wheelbase. Width is measured at 80.8 inches and it stands at 60.7 inches from the ground up. As far as curb weight goes, the V90 CC weighs in at 4,271 pounds, which is 58 pounds heavier than last year due to the addition of the mild-hybrid gubbins, but over 200 lbs lighter than the Audi A6 allroad. The V90 CC has 8.3 inches of ground clearance.
The V90 Cross Country relies on a smaller displacement engine in comparison to its German rivals. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder B6 engine is turbo- and supercharged and assisted by a 48-volt mild-hybrid system with a battery and electric motor to send 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the all-wheel-drive system. These outputs are 21 hp down and 15 lb-ft up on last year's T6. The 3.0-liter V6 in the A6 allroad produces 335 hp and 369 lb-ft but the E 450 All-Terrain comes out on top in terms of power thanks to the turbocharged 3.0-liter in-line six that produces a total of 362 hp and 369 lb-ft. Unsurprisingly, the Volvo's 6.1-second run from 0 to 60 mph is slower than that of the Audi (5.1 seconds) and the Merc (5.3 seconds). While the V90 CC is brisk off the line, at least for a family hauler, it's certainly no performance car; what the engine produces is more than ample for town driving and passing slower cars on the open road, though, and it allows for a 5,291-lbs towing capacity.
The V90 Cross Country's main goal in life is to be a comfortable family hauler and it does this extremely well. With the optional adaptive air suspension, the wagon happily soaks up the bumps and leaves occupants almost none the wiser. This inevitably means that it's not a truly daring vehicle in terms of performance, but given that it was made to tackle the road less traveled, this is a worthy trade. The standard suspension was designed to withstand rougher terrain, so you can't really fault the ride quality. The Cross Country is also noticeably higher than the standard V90, which means that there is some body roll if you approach a corner with too much eagerness.
Various drive modes are available, with Comfort, Dynamic, and Eco Mode doing what the names suggest, while Individual mode can be personalized per driver. Off-Road mode works only below 12 mph and engages hill descent control when needed. The ESC system sets to Traction/Sport, and the engine and gearbox prioritize traction to help navigate the path less traveled. On normal roads, the steering is sharp and accurate but lacks feedback, and we'd like just a little less road noise to make it into the cabin.
One of the Volvo's greatest advantages is that because of its smaller engine and mild-hybrid assistance, it boasts admirable gas mileage figures. The wagon returns EPA estimates of 22/29/25 mpg. That being said, it only just beats last year's T6's combined figure of 24 mpg but it is more frugal than the Audi A6 allroad's 21/28/23 mpg figures. Notably, the E 450 returns figures close to the V90's at 21/28/24 mpg and an even a more potent powertrain.
The V90 CC is equipped with a 15.9-gallon fuel tank, and, when full, the V90 Cross Country will allow for around 398 miles of range.
A benefit of opting for a station wagon is the extra space you're rewarded with. The V90 Cross Country offers plenty of space for five occupants. Front passengers will enjoy ample room in leather-clad seats with heating and multi-way power adjustability. Passengers in the rear, whether they're of the longer-legged sort or not, get enough head and legroom to be comfortable. Ingress and egress are both easy thanks to the V90's lifted height, and visibility is great in all directions except the back, where it's a little more restricted. An optional Lounge package is available to further enhance the comfort of the V90 CC cabin, which adds four-zone climate control, a tailored dashboard, power cushion extensions on the front seat, massage function for both perches up front, and additional four-way power lumbar settings.
Part of the reason people buy these sprawling cars is their added practicality. Behind the second row, there's 25.5 cubic feet of trunk space to work with. This is enough to accommodate two weeks worth of luggage for a small family. If you need more, fold the seats down for 53.9 cubes. The Mercedes E 450 is more impressive here, with between 35 and 64 cubes of cargo volume.
In-cabin storage is accommodating, thanks to deep door pockets and a large storage bin in the center console. There's an average glovebox, rear armrest with cupholders and storage, and space for your bits and bobs beside the gear shifter, which can be neatly closed up, too. There is also a hidden storage compartment under the trunk floor.
Given that there is only one trim level to choose from, the V90 CC is well stocked with standard conveniences. Dual-zone climate control, power-operated front seats with heating, wireless charging, a hands-free power tailgate, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, a PM 2.5 cabin-air filter, and keyless entry are included as standard. However, the heated steering wheel and compass disappear off the spec sheet this year. The list of safety features is impressive, too, with traffic-sign recognition, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with steering assist and cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and front and rear parking sensors making the cut.
Heated rear seats can be added on via the Climate package, while four-zone climate control, memory settings for the passenger seat, massage function, cushion extenders, and more lumbar settings for the front seats can be included as part of the Lounge package.
The latest generation of Volvo products follows the unique trend of having a portrait-oriented infotainment screen to serve as the central tech hub. The Volvo V90 is no different, with its nine-inch touchscreen that works with infrared technology, meaning you can make selections even when wearing gloves. It is centrally mounted so is easy to access, and is compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, SiriusXM, and Bluetooth streaming. The big news this year is that it drops the Sensus Connect software for a new Google Automotive-based operating system that brings Google built in, along with Google Maps fully integrated into the system. You also have access to Google Assistant, real-time traffic information and re-routing, apps via Google Play, and "Hey Google" voice-command functionality. It may take some time to get used to flipping through the menus, but layouts are fairly logical, and the graphics crisp.
The standard audio setup comprises ten speakers, but two upgrade options are available at extra cost - a 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system, or the acclaimed 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins setup Volvo has become known for, featuring the Gothenburg Concert Hall acoustic setup for true audiophiles.
The 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country was affected by two recalls - for an SRS control unit that may detach and for a seat-belt locking retractor that may malfunction. 2020 models were recalled for low-pressure fuel pump fuse failures and an issue relating to the automatic emergency braking that may not engage. There have been no recalls for the 2022 model at the time of writing. If reliability is a concern, the V90 comes with a four-year or 50,000-mile basic warranty as well as a drivetrain warranty that's valid for the same time period and mileage limit. Roadside assistance is standard for four years.
The NHTSA has not subjected the Volvo V90 cross Country to review in terms of safety. Reviews for 2021 Cross Country models from the IIHS are extremely positive, however, with six top scores of Good allocated to crash tests. The authority also awarded the V90 Cross Country with a Top Safety Pick+ award for the 2021 model year, so these ratings should contribute to your peace of mind.
The V90 comes with a seven-airbag system, including a driver's knee airbag. The safety suite itself is comprehensive, featuring automatic braking, traffic-sign recognition, lane-keep assist, lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with steer assist and rear cross-traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and front and rear park assist.
The Swedish family hauler rewards buyers with a deluxe interior and an impressive amount of space to start with. Then there's still the economical engine and off-road capability. Like most cars, the V90 has its flaws. The trunk is on the smaller side in comparison to rivals and the rear visibility isn't optimal. There's also that road noise that sneaks into the cabin and the powerful infotainment system can be somewhat challenging for some to grasp. But look past these downfalls and you'll likely be impressed. The V90 offers a premium interior, decent performance, and can handle it if you decide to venture off the beaten path. It offers an excellent number of safety features to boot, and is one of the best looking in the segment. The best part is that all of this comes at a fraction of the price you'd pay to get your hands on one of its primary rivals. We think the Volvo V90 Cross Country is a wagon worth buying.
The price of the Volvo V90 Cross Country is another advantage it has over its competitors. The MSRP for the V90 CC starts at $55,200. This makes it over $10,000 cheaper than both of its rivals. The price of the Volvo is exclusive of the $1,095 destination fee.
Given that the Volvo V90 Cross Country is available in one model only, and given that it is far cheaper than rivals to start with, you may have some leeway in terms of adding packages. For starters, we'd spec the Crystal White metallic paint. We'd also opt for Charcoal Perforated Nappa leather upholstery, which requires the addition of the Lounge package at $2,800. For a whopping $4,000, we'd also throw in the phenomenal Bower & Wilkins premium sound system, bringing the total price to $63,790 including destination charges. Even with all these luxuries, this is still $3,110 below the base price of the A6 allroad and $4,610 below that of the Merc E 450 All-Terrain.
|Volvo V90 Cross Country||295 hp||22/29 mpg||$56,200|
|Audi A6 allroad||335 hp||21/30 mpg||$67,900|
|Subaru Outback||182 hp||26/32 mpg||$28,395|
Competition from Audi comes in the form of the A6 allroad, with a starting price of $66,900. Two models are available in the Audi lineup, and both offer a bigger, higher-output V6 engine. Good for 335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, the A6 allroad is quicker to 60 mph, but uses more fuel at 21/28/23 mpg to the Volvo's 22/29/25 mpg. There's more cargo space available in the Audi, too, but despite its tech-laden cabin, the Audi's interior is not quite as luxurious as what is available from the Swede. Where the A6 allroad leads is in its comprehensive list of standard features. These include tri-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass, a base sound system from Bang & Olufsen, Audi pre sense front and pre sense basic, a top-view camera, Audi's virtual cockpit, and lane-departure warning. The top-spec model adds even more, with a head-up display, four-zone climate control, and adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist - but at a cost of $72,400 MSRP, we'd be inclined to rather kit out a V90 CC, and still have some change left over.
An unconventional rival, the Outback is more crossover than wagon, although it really plays both parts exceptionally well. The Outback brings excellent off-roading ability to the table while allowing for a smooth ride on regular roads as well. Right off the bat, the Outback has a massive advantage - a starting price of only $26,945 for the base model means you could buy two of these for the price of an entry-level V90 CC. But, to be fair, you'd have to opt for the top-tier trims to come even close to the level of luxury and comfort you get in the Volvo. The top Touring XT Outback costs just under $40k, and comes with a 2.4-liter turbo flat-four, and puts out 260 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque - less than what you get in the V90 CC, but the payoff is in better gas-mileage estimates of 23/30/26. And, with dual-zone climate control, a hands-free liftgate, moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats, you'd have to be crazy not to give the Outback a second glance. The Subaru even carries a 2021 Top Safety Pick+ title from the IIHS, just like the Volvo does. But, while logic dictates that the Outback win this battle, there's something about the V90 CC's demure, understated elegance that has us happily shelling out the higher price for it.
The most popular competitors of 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country: