A Unique Driving Experience That’s All Volvo
Despite what you may have heard, Volvo still makes cars and SUVs with internal combustion engines. And, one more thing, they still make station wagons, too! And while this V90 Cross Country may be bigger and certainly more beautiful than Volvo wagons of old, its mission remains much the same.
For many Americans, it was a boxy station wagon that introduced them to Volvo. But, like most carmakers, Volvo’s current lineup has shifted mostly to utility vehicles to satisfy popular buying trends. Thankfully, Volvo hasn’t completely abandoned the wagon segment, they just call them luxury crossovers now. This 2022 V90 Cross Country is an excellent effort of combining both the old and the new.
Like all full and midsize Volvos, the V90 rides on their Scalable Product Architecture. The Cross Country name first arrived in the late 1990s with the V70 XC, a pseudo-SUV to compete with the likes of the wildly popular Subaru Outback before both brands actually started building their own SUVs.
And much like that original Cross Country, this one still features a long wheelbase, taller ground clearance, and tasteful body cladding. But recent updates since this V90 first arrived for 2017 include an updated face with revised grille and logo; plus, a new rear bumper that does away with the exhaust cutouts.
Nothing major has changed inside, just minor material updates here and there; which is okay with us, as we dig the Scandinavian design, and don’t even mind the 9” Sensus touchscreen interface as much as some seem to. Unlike the original version, this Android-based system now features Google apps, is much quicker to respond, and easier to find things.
Seats, front and rear are as comfy as we remember; and continue to be among the best in the business. Available in two trim levels, Plus, which includes a panoramic moonroof, 4-zone automatic climate control, and a great looking 12-inch digital driver display; And top Ultimate adds Harmon-Kardon premium audio, a head-up display, and a fantastic massaging function for the front seats. Cargo room continues to be quite spacious as well; 25.2 cubic-ft. behind the rear seats, and 53.6 with them folded.
The most recent and biggest change of all has taken place under the hood. For years now, Volvo has gone above and beyond by both turbocharging and supercharging their 2.0-liter I4. Well they’ve now replaced that mechanical supercharger with an electrical one, thus what was the T6 is now the B6.
The e-Charger is actually a 48-volt mild-hybrid system, and it sacrifices a little horsepower to be both quieter and more responsive. Output is now 295-horsepower, which is 21-less than before, but the stout 310 lb-ft. of torque is up from 295. All-wheel-drive is standard naturally; working through the same 8-speed automatic transmission as before.
Putting it all to work at our test track, the V90 jumps off the line hard enough to mildly push you back into your seat a bit. The soft suspension makes for a fair amount of weight transfer, but this seems to enhance the grip, not hinder it, as we hit 60 in a quick 6.5-seconds. There was no noticeable turbo lag, and power delivery stayed very linear the whole way down the track. The 8-speed is not the smoothest, but the hard shifts happened quickly and kept momentum rolling throughout the 14.9-second ¼-mile, completed at 94 miles-per-hour.
The V90’s integral link rear suspension setup with transverse leaf spring is relatively unique. And while it prioritizes an ultra-smooth and stable ride quality, it delivered a well-planted feel through the cones too. There was quite a bit of body roll to deal with, and steering that was both vague and light; but overall composure was quite good throughout, as we were easily able to maintain a relatively quick and smooth pace. Consistent with Volvo’s longtime safety priorities, panic braking runs were quite impressive, with aggressively stable stops from 60 averaging a good 116-feet.
The base Plus starts at $59,745, Ultimate adds another $5,600. One more thing, the Cross Country is the only full-size V90 wagon that’s still available here in the U.S.
As we’ve come to expect from Volvo, the 2022 V90 Cross Country is a beautiful-looking package that combines loads of space, practicality, and technology with all-weather capability and some sensible Swedish luxury, to deliver a driving experience that is more special than even, and still uniquely Volvo.
Engine: 2.0L I4 Turbo
Torque: 310 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 6.5 seconds
1/4 Mile: 14.9 seconds at 94 mph
60-0 Braking: 116 feet (avg)
EPA: 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined