A Swedish soft-roader crossover substitute

Volvo has been very busy lately sprucing up the top of its product lineup. So far, we’ve seen the next-generation XC90 crossover, S90 sedan, and V90 wagon, all released in relatively quick succession. Now, Volvo has unveiled the final model in the 90 Series lineup – the V90 Cross Country. The first Cross Country was introduced roughly two decades ago, with the latest version offering up “all-road, all-weather” capability with a well-polished, luxury-oriented demeanor. It’s the kind of combo you’d expect from a crossover, but the V90 Cross Country takes a different approach, maintaining the extended roofline and opulent interior of the regular V90 wagon, all while adding a taller stance, tough exterior body cladding, and loads of AWD grip.

As a replacement for the outgoing XC70, the V90 Cross Country is one of the very few models out there with a wagon body style. That should help its general appeal amongst those who find the SUV-style status quo not to their liking, but can the V90 Cross Country truly live up to its living-room-off-roader image?

Updated 09/16/2016: Volvo dropped the official details on the new V90 Cross Country.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V90 Cross Country.

  • 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    254 @ 5500
  • Torque @ RPM:
    258 @ 1500
  • 0-60 time:
    7.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    143 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    7.7/10

Exterior

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country
- image 688653

At this point, there’s been plenty of time to digest the new looks offered on the standard V90, and long story short, I like what I see. Which is a good thing, because the V90 Cross Country is very close in appearance, barring a few obvious changes.

Let’s start with the basics. The V90 is essentially a carryover from the S90 from the B-pillars forward, with the same slick modernity also seen on theXC90. It’s streamlined and futuristic, eschewing the tendency to be overly busy – a common characteristic amongst other makes nowadays.

I think the overall effect is quite good. The V90 Cross Country doesn’t look like some humdrum grocery getter, and although it’s debatable how off-road-ready it truly is, the aesthetic is still most definitely an asset.

Moving towards the rear, we find the right components to complement the front end, with sporty horizontal lines that visually emphasize the car’s width. The taillights merge with the D-pillars, paralleling the hatch as they rise into the roof. The corners of the lower bumper house squared-off tailpipes.

It’s a fantastic starting point for the Cross Country, which adds a unique mix of soft-roader cues to complete the rough-and-ready image.

The most obvious change is the increase in ride height. Volvo jacked up the V90’s suspension considerably for this Cross Country variant, adding both capability and a rugged look in the process (check out the Chassis And Suspension section for more info).

Next we find a good deal of plastic cladding added to the lower edge of the body, including the bumpers, wheel arches, and side skirts. I like Volvo’s approach on this – it’s not overly done or thrown in your face like on some soft-roaders out there.

Front and back, we find skid plates protecting the underbody. No word on how effective these are at warding away mechanical damage, but my suspicion is they’ll be able to handle the low-key dirt duties this car is expected to perform.

In the corners are large Cross Country specific wheels, while aluminum-look roof rails reside up top.

I think the overall effect is quite good. The V90 Cross Country doesn’t look like some humdrum grocery getter, and although it’s debatable how off-road-ready it truly is, the aesthetic is still most definitely an asset.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,939 MM (194.4 Inches)
Width 1,879 MM (74 Inches)
Height 1,543 MM (60.7 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,941 MM (115.8 Inches)

Interior

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country
- image 688653

Inside the V90 Cross Country, you’ll find a cabin space that’s essentially unchanged compared to the regular V90. The look and layout is identical, as is the gear on board.

That means you get the same connectivity and entertainment features found elsewhere in the line. That includes a 9-inch touchscreen mounted centrally in the dash, digital gauges behind a three-prong multifunction steering wheel, smartphone support (including Apple CarPlay), power adjusting seats with a massage function and heating/cooling, and a stereo from Bowers & Wilkins.

The biggest draw in the V90 Cross Country’s interior has to be the way it’s put together.

Materials wise, the V90 Cross Country comes equipped with vast swaths of leather upholstery, handsome contrast stitching, brushed aluminum details, and wood paneling if you want it. A large panoramic sunroof is also optional.

Space wise, that elegant roofline still provides a decent amount of headroom, measured at roughly 40 inches. The rear also provides a good deal of space for stuff, with up to 54 cubic feet available. While not as impressive as a full-size SUV, that’s still a decent amount, all things considered.

But the biggest draw in the V90 Cross Country’s interior has to be the way it’s put together. The design is inviting and classy, and goes toe-to-toe with rival products from the big German makes.

Drivetrain

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 688476

The V90 Cross Country gets a selection of four different powerplants. However, precise availability is still forthcoming, and it’s possible U.S. buyers will be limited in their choice.

Each of the four engines use all-aluminum construction, four valves per cylinder, twin cams, four cylinders, two liters of displacement, and some form of forced induction.

The base model is dubbed the T5, which comes with a single turbo onboard upping output to 254 horsepower at 5,500 rpm 258 pound-feet of torque at 1,500 rpm. A run to 62 mph takes 7.4 seconds, while top speed is rated at 143 mph. Fuel economy is 32 mpg combined, while emissions clock in at 169 grams per km.

Exact details on which engines will be offered in each respective market are still forthcoming, but for now, it’s looking like U.S. buyers will be stuck with just the twincharged T6

Next up is the T6, which adds a supercharger on top of the 2.0-liter turbo for twincharged goodness. Output is raised to 320 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 2,200 rpm. A run to 62 mph takes 6.3 seconds, and top speed is rated at 149 mph. Fuel economy is 31 mpg combined, while emissions clock in at 176 grams per km.

There will also be a few turbo diesel options on the table. The first is the D4, a twin-turbo unit producing 190 horsepower at 4,250 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. A run to 62 mph takes 8.8 seconds, and top speed is rated at 130 mph. Fuel economy is 45 mpg, while emissions clock in at 138 grams per km.

Finally, there’s the D5, another twin-turbo oil burner. Output comes in at 235 horsepower at 4,000 rpm and 354 pound-feet of torque at 1,750 rpm. A run to 62 mph takes 7.5 seconds, while top speed is rated at 143 mph. Fuel economy is 44 mpg, while emissions is 139 grams per kilometer.

Exact details on which engines will be offered in each respective market are still forthcoming, but for now, it’s looking like U.S. buyers will be stuck with just the twincharged T6 – not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, I just like having my options open. The diesels will almost definitely be forbidden fruit on these shores.

Meanwhile, Volvo says it might consider offering its plug-in T8 hybrid engine at a later date. If so, expect 400 horsepower, 472 pound-feet of torque, and the option for zero-emission all-electric cruising. Yes please, Volvo.

Routing the power is an eight-speed automatic gearbox across the range, but a six-speed manual will also be offered on the D4 for marginal improvements to fuel consumption and emissions.

Finally, AWD will come as standard equipment – as it should.

Chassis And Handling

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 688480

Hidden under the smooth exterior bodylines, you’ll find Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture – the same underpinnings used on the regular V90, the S90 sedan, and the XC90 SUV.

Unique to the V90 Cross Country is a significant increase in ride height – 2.36 inches, to be exact, blessing the wagon with an impressive 8.2 inches of ground clearance.

Wrapped around the new wheels is softer rubber, which was utilized to help give the wagon a suppler ride without compromising the capability. The electronic stability control and electric power steering were also tweaked for better handling in the dirt.

The suspension set-up utilizes double wishbones in front, with coil springs, hydraulic shocks, and a stabilizer bar. In back is an integral axle with a transverse composite leaf spring, hydraulic shocks, and a stabilizer bar. The V90 Cross Country also comes with optional air suspension in the rear, which pairs with electronically controlled dampers.

Making it stop are 320 mm (12.6-inch) brakes discs.

Curb weight comes in at around 1,950 kg (4,300 pounds), depending on vehicle specification.

Safety And Convenience

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country High Resolution Interior
- image 688473

Being a Volvo, the V90 Cross Country gets all kinds of high-tech safety and convenience goodies, including Pilot Assist, Animal Detection, Run-off Road Mitigation, and Parking Assist. Safety ratings are still forthcoming, but when they post, we expect solid numbers all around.

Finally, if you happen to find yourself staring down a slippery incline, there’s hill-descent control to keep the shiny side up.

Prices

Production of the V90 Cross Country is slated to kick off this fall, with models hitting dealerships sometime in the first half of 2017.

Pricing will start at $55,300.

Stay tuned for more details as the V90 Cross Country makes its debut at the Paris Motor Show in October.

Competition

Audi A6 Allroad

2016 Audi A6 Allroad Quattro Sport High Resolution Exterior
- image 658552

The most obvious competition comes from Ingolstadt in the form of the A6 Allroad. Like the V90 Cross Country, the A6 Allroad gets more ground clearance, tough body cladding, and loads of grip from a standard AWD system. Inside, the Audi also matches the Volvo in terms of luxury, although the Swedes best the Germans when it comes to technology. Still, the Allroad is less expensive, starting at $42,700.

Read the full review here.

Subaru Outback

2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited – Driven
- image 663793

While nowhere near as well appointed or plush as either the Volvo or Audi, the Outback brings the same general philosophy to the table, offering tall suspension and chip-resistant paneling. The base model comes equipped with a 2.5-liter boxer four-cylinder, while the range-topping 3.6R Limited gets a 3.6-liter flat six-cylinder. Subaru’s famous AWD system comes standard across the line. Pricing starts at under $25,000 for the base model, while the 3.6R Limited starts at $33,395.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country High Resolution Exterior
- image 688514

There aren’t a whole lotta wagons out there, so it’s great to see Volvo sticking to the V90. Even more exciting is the prospect of replacing some of the SUVs and crossovers you see clogging the highways with soft-roader wagons, especially wagons as good-looking and well-equipped as the V90 Cross Country.

But here’s the problem – price. Sure, you get a ton of nice stuff in the cabin, plus a fair amount of tech to back it, but for fifty-five grand, this thing might be a little too pricey for its own good.

Still, it’s a tempting offer, and considering the success the 90 Series has enjoyed lately, this high-flying wagon might seduce more than its fair share of would-be crossover buyers.

  • Leave it
    • * Very expensive
    • * Could come with limited engine options
    • * Crossovers still reign supreme in the States

Spy Shots

June 3, 2016 - First testing session

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country Exterior Spyshots
- image 678326
2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country Exterior Spyshots
- image 678335
2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country Exterior Spyshots
- image 678327

Press Release

Photo Credit: Volvo

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, has unveiled the eagerly awaited V90 Cross Country, completing its 90 Series line-up.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country High Resolution Exterior
- image 688504

Since the introduction of the first Cross Country almost 20 years ago, Volvo Cars has become synonymous with the rugged all-road, all-weather product category, with a growing stable of Cross Country models.

Volvo Cars’ Cross Country models fulfil an increasingly important part of the Swedish automaker’s product portfolio as luxury car buyers seek out a more experienced-based lifestyle that occasionally takes them off the beaten track.

“The V90 Cross Country takes the elegance of the V90 and transforms it into an all-road car that delivers safety, comfort and performance in a capable and adventurous package,” said Håkan Samuelsson, President & CEO, Volvo Car Group.

With some of the harshest winters on the planet and over 77 percent of the country covered in forest and lakes, Sweden is the natural place to develop and test extreme durability and all-weather capable cars. This hard-won expertise represents a large part of Volvo Cars’ heritage, reflected in the company’s Cross Country model line-up.

“Our cars are well known for their safety, strength and durability. With All-Wheel Drive, increased ride height, and a chassis optimized for comfort and control in all weather and road conditions, the new V90 Cross Country takes our versatile V90 estate and adds the heart of an explorer,” said Dr. Peter Mertens, Senior Vice President Research & Development at Volvo Cars.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country High Resolution Exterior
- image 688505

With Volvo Cars’ Scalable Product Architecture providing the underpinnings, the V90 Cross Country has undergone rigorous testing to ensure that it can survive the extremes in which it will ultimately find itself.

From secret testing facilities in the frozen north of Sweden, where temperatures regularly hit -40 degrees to the searing desert heat of Arizona, where Volvo Cars performs its high temperature testing program, the V90 Cross Country has been built to last.

With a design that clearly stands out from the crowd, the V90 Cross Country’s rugged character belies a sumptuous interior that delivers a level of luxury uncommon in the segment, combining all the benefits of the connectivity and entertainment features that were launched with the new S90 and V90, including a high-end sound system by Bowers & Wilkins.

The V90 Cross Country’s exterior design cues communicate the powerful and dynamic capability that the car exemplifies, while offering the flexibility to choose from both rugged and elegant expressions.

“Designing a Volvo Cross Country is not a styling exercise, a plastic job. It is based on honest capability. The Volvo V90 Cross Country brings a surprising and intriguing combination of a strong, powerful exterior and a luxurious, Scandinavian interior. It will continue the genuine tradition of the Volvo Cross Country with a new recipe: The blend of powerful off-road capability in a most elegant, sophisticated, tailored wagon suit,” said Thomas Ingenlath, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars.

2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country High Resolution Exterior
- image 688506

The new V90 Cross Country takes this well-established segment to a new level of comfort-inspired capability. Production of the car is set to start this autumn at Volvo Cars Torslanda Plant in Sweden.

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