Review: Test Driving the 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country

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Like Chevy’s El Camino, Volvo is interchangeable with a certain automobile form—the wagon. Despite the attraction of the pragmatic Subaru Outback and high-end intros coming from Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the lengthy, low-slung, five-door wagon body type has actually certainly never been actually as well-liked below as in Europe. But with its own large ground allowance and four-wheel drive—useful in winter season climate or on tricky streets—the Volvo V90 Cross Country could create even more sensible feeling than an SUV for several customers.



If you’re even more likely to navigate asphalt than live the off-roading, mountain beating life you view in SUV commercials, you may be much better offered in a buck wagon. To view if this luxury-minded individuals hauler—which you can easily possibility approximately set you back two times as high as a foundation Outback—is qualified sufficient, our team packed it with equipment and travel luggage and went to the Adirondack hills. Read on for our Volvo V90 Cross Country testimonial.

2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country parked in a parking lot with trees in the background
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Day 1: Loading Up and Shipping Out

The V90 is long, broad, and sculptural—a true knockout. With its own 20-inch-wide tires and 8 ins of ground allowance, it appears sporty and qualified. For our exam, Volvo delivered a T6 version matched with a roof package. Initially, our team didn’t count on to require it, however after arming the freight area responsible for the rear seats our team discovered the V90’s locker wasn’t as significant as the one in our Outback. Despite being actually 4 ins much longer and 5 ins broader than the Subaru, the V90 possesses a lot less-than-normal storing area. Can you suit a couple of carry-on bags and a payload coming from the market place back certainly there? Yes, but we performed find yourself making use of the freight package to hold 3 bags on our journey. On the additionally side, the Volvo’s lesser roofline produced accessing the Thule roof package a lot easier than it will perform an SUV or crossover.

The buck wagon’s back hatch opens up hands-free with a swing of the lower leg, which is better than it seems. There is plenty of storage space in the log cabin for traits like phones and beverages for all guests. The facility console in advance performs an intelligent job of securing a phone on the grippy cordless battery charger pad en route, however it also cleans up swiftly with gliding doors that deal with the mug owners, which certainly occupy with scrap.

Day 2: Taking On Mountain Roads

Volvo goes with the V90 Cross Country with a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder motor that is both supercharged and turbocharged. The power source places out 316 horse power and 295 lb-ft of twist with an eight-speed automated transmission with full time four-wheel drive. Compared to a burlier six-cylinder SUV, the V90 could look underwhelming, however when traveling it really feels flawlessly qualified. It’s vigorous off free throw line, with all the electrical power you need to have and the management you prefer. The motor is not either fancy neither mundane; it’s sensible. If the automobile transforms minds at a traffic light, it will be actually for the beautiful, 16-foot lengthy wheelbase, certainly not the holler coming from below the bonnet.

Settling right into what may be one of the most pleasant chair in any kind of automobile—even more on that later on—the inner parts was actually quite silent and well shielded coming from roadway sound, also at road rates. From street adjustments to combining onto the road and getting through cramping parking area, the V90 took care of like a smaller sized automobile. A selectable steering wheel on the facility console allows easy adjustments in between its own 5 steering settings. The eco possibility obliges the Cross Country to use the motor’s start/stop component when stopping, which our team’re certainly not supporters of. Fortunately, Volvo’s designers featured a devoted switch to bypass this component (merely on call in various other disk settings) as opposed to submerging it in the infomercial unit.

The convenience method absorbs roadway bumps for a deluxe sense, and in powerful method the changes are visibly crisper and the surprises tense up thus you believe the roadway a little bit even more. Volvo’s certainly not attempting to resemble a paddle-shifting car below (although the shifter will permit you manage the transmission), however this method is a simple method to acquire an even more perky flight to the health and fitness center or while taking the backroads. The V90 also happens with a specific method that allows you modify environments like the chauffeur’s display screen, comments in the guiding tire and brake pedal, and the tightness of the revocation—however in some way this wasn’t as exciting as the integrated powerful method.

2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country parked beside a mountain road
Sal Vaglica

The steering arrangement our team awaited one of the most was actually off-road. In this method, keeping footing takes top priority and mountain declination management begins to offer far better management at lesser rates. The flexible Four-C revocation functioned to amount out the rear of the automobile on unequal landscapes. On tough routes, it encouraged assurance while leaving behind merely sufficient slam in the roadway to maintain traits exciting. Crawling up the led Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway, a five-mile flight that raises in altitude regarding 450 feets every kilometer, the motor certainly never experienced overcome, also at torquey twenty miles per hour. Coming pull back while creeping at 10 to 15 miles per hour, the V90 applied a facility, showing management in the tires and crucial guiding.

Volvo is understood for protection, and the V90 Cross Country is no exemption. It arrives with a multitude of protection functions, featuring fundamentals like blind-spot keeping an eye on right approximately wreck evasion and preventative stopping. But the component our team just liked best was actually fly aid with street focusing. While it’s not true autonomous driving, it’s a very user-friendly system that’s controllable from the steering wheel. We used it to help on long stretches of highway. With our foot off the gas and a hand on the wheel, the Volvo centered itself in its lane and adjusted its speed to keep a safe distance from the vehicle ahead. If we let go of the wheel for a few seconds, the car gently reminded the driver to take control again.

2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country back seat in black leather
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Day 3: Soaking in the Luxury

Once you’re inside, it’s hard to miss the huge sunroof that blasts the cabin, including nearly all of the back seat, with light. Those riding in back get access to USB ports, HVAC controls, and pull-up sun shades tucked into the doors, along with a center armrest with cup holders and storage. For parents, those rear seats include built-in boosters, too. While there’s enough room for two adults to comfortably ride in the back on a long journey, three larger buddies would face a tough squeeze, especially for more than a 30-minute trip.

Up front, the Volvo pulls away from the pack. It has far more luxury than the Subaru and, we’d argue, a more refined interior than its German competitors. The dash is a compelling mix of soft leather, real wood, clean horizontal lines, and a bright nine-inch infotainment screen. The center console’s start knob, along with a few other buttons, component a textured plastic surface—a tactile reminder that designers paid attention to the details.

The perforated leather front seats are heated and cooled and have just about every adjustment you can imagine—including massage modes that made us consider working from home in the driveway. You sit deep in this car, which helps it feel more like a sedan and lightyears away from an SUV. The center console is positioned high enough that your forearm can rest on it and your hand has easy access to the shifter and various knobs. In true Swedish fashion, the interior is minimal and clean.

Volvo V90 Cross Country infotainment screen
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The center touchscreen is faster and more responsive than those found on previous V90 models, and while it took some getting used to, swiping around to get to one of three main screens eventually became second nature. The physical buttons below the screen are minimal, but thankfully Volvo docks the HVAC controls at the bottom of the screen so no matter what menu you’re on, adjusting the temperature is easy.

The native Sensus navigation works well and you can write in destinations on a small trackpad on the screen, though our team suspect most will use their iPhone or Android for directions. The car’s assistant was actually hit or miss with our requests, often excelling at things like tweaking the temperature but clumsier with tasks like finding a coffee shop. Volvo didn’t include a wireless connection to your phone, so you will still need that cord. We prefer to use Waze in town, but those turn-by-turn directions won’t appear in the car’s 12-inch-wide digital gauge display.

The Bowers & Wilkins stereo system is one of the better audio options out there, and it comes with a few very useful listening modes. When you’re alone, for example, you can adjust the speakers to focus on the driver. Don’t bother fiddling with the EQ—just use the Gothenburg Concert Hall setting, which will give a stellar sound upgrade to any playlist.

Volvo V90 Cross Country on a gravel road in fall
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Bottom line: The Volvo V90 Cross Country starts at roughly $56,200, topping out at over $67,700 as tested. It’s priced as a premium luxury car, and it rides accordingly—with some capable rough-road chops added in. You can find comparable ruggedness in a less expensive Subaru Outback, but you’ll sacrifice technology and cabin comfort. The Volvo holds its own against similarly spendy German wagons, although spec-for-spec it’s certainly not as powerful. Instead, the V90 is an extremely capable people hauler for those looking at crossovers or who don’t need an SUV to tow with. After our weekend, our team came away with a solid appreciation for the V90: It’s a practical, occasionally sporty daily chauffeur that’s easy to love.

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