Review: Test Driving the 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country

Like Chevy’s El Camino, Volvo is synonymous with a certain auto shape—the wagon. Regardless of the popularity of the utilitarian Subaru Outback and luxury introductions from Audi and Mercedes-Benz, the lengthy, reduced-slung, five-door wagon human body fashion has never ever been as well-liked right here as in Europe. But with its significant ground clearance and all-wheel drive—handy in winter season temperature or on dicey roads—the Volvo V90 Cross Country could possibly make extra useful sense than an SUV for a lot of potential buyers.



If you’re extra apt to cruise asphalt than reside the off-roading, hill conquering daily life you see in SUV commercials, you could possibly be better served in a wagon. To see if this luxury-minded people hauler—which you can option up to charge twice as a great deal as a base Outback—is able ample, we loaded it with equipment and baggage and headed for the Adirondack mountains. Go through on for our Volvo V90 Cross Country overview.

2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country parked in a parking lot with trees in the background
Courtesy Image

Working day 1: Loading Up and Delivery Out

The V90 is lengthy, extensive, and sculptural—a real looker. With its 20-inch-extensive wheels and eight inches of ground clearance, it seems to be athletic and able. For our take a look at, Volvo dropped off a T6 product fitted with a rooftop box. Originally, we didn’t hope to will need it, but following loading up the cargo area driving the back again seats we seen the V90’s trunk wasn’t as big as the one particular in our Outback. Regardless of getting 4 inches for a longer period and five inches broader than the Subaru, the V90 has fewer-than-average storage area. Can you in shape a handful of carry-on luggage and a haul from the current market back again there? Yes, but we did stop up utilizing the cargo box to carry three luggage on our vacation. On the moreover side, the Volvo’s decrease roofline built accessing the Thule rooftop box a great deal a lot easier than it would be on an SUV or crossover.

The wagon’s rear hatch opens palms-totally free with a sweep of the leg, which is extra practical than it sounds. There is sufficient storage in the cabin for matters like phones and beverages for all passengers. The centre console up front does a smart task of keeping a telephone on the grippy wi-fi charger pad in transit, but it also tidies up quickly with sliding doorways that address the cup holders, which inevitably fill with junk.

Working day 2: Using On Mountain Streets

Volvo matches the V90 Cross Country with a 2.-liter, 4-cylinder motor that is the two supercharged and turbocharged. The electricity plant puts out 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque by an eight-pace computerized gearbox with comprehensive-time all-wheel push. Compared to a burlier 6-cylinder SUV, the V90 could possibly appear underwhelming, but on the street it feels flawlessly able. It’s brisk off the line, with all the electricity you will need and the handle you want. The motor is neither flashy nor unexciting it is useful. If the auto turns heads at a stoplight, it will be for the handsome, 16-foot lengthy wheelbase, not the roar from underneath the hood.

Settling into what could possibly be the most relaxed seat in any car—more on that later—the inside was pretty peaceful and nicely insulated from street sound, even at highway speeds. From lane alterations to merging on to the highway and navigating limited parking plenty, the V90 managed like a scaled-down auto. A selectable wheel on the centre console allows for brief alterations involving its five driving modes. The eco option forces the Cross Country to use the engine’s commence/stop function when braking, which we’re not lovers of. Fortuitously, Volvo’s engineers incorporated a devoted button to override this function (only accessible in other push modes) instead of burying it in the infotainment method.

The consolation mode soaks up street bumps for a plush come to feel, and in dynamic mode the shifts are significantly crisper and the shocks stiffen up so you come to feel the street a little bit extra. Volvo’s not trying to mimic a paddle-shifting roadster right here (despite the fact that the shifter will allow you handle the gearbox), but this mode is an simple way to get a extra spirited ride to the health and fitness center or even though having the backroads. The V90 also will come with an personal mode that allows you tweak configurations like the driver’s display screen, comments in the steering wheel and brake pedal, and the stiffness of the suspension—but someway this wasn’t as enjoyable as the constructed-in dynamic mode.

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

The driving configuration we appeared ahead to the most was off-street. In this mode, retaining traction can take priority and hill descent handle kicks in to deliver better handle at decrease speeds. The adaptive Four-C suspension labored to amount out the back again of the auto on uneven terrain. On rough trails, it encouraged confidence even though leaving just ample bump in the street to hold matters enjoyable. Crawling up the paved Whiteface Veterans’ Memorial Highway, a five-mile ride that will increase in elevation about 450 feet for each mile, the motor never ever felt overcome, even at torquey 20 mph. Coming back again down even though crawling at ten to 15 mph, the V90 put on a clinic, exhibiting handle in the tires and decisive steering.

Volvo is recognized for security, and the V90 Cross Country is no exception. It will come with a host of security capabilities, including fundamentals like blind-spot monitoring all the way up to collision avoidance and preventative braking. But the function we preferred very best was pilot aid with lane centering. When it is not accurate autonomous driving, it is a pretty user-helpful method which is controllable from the steering wheel. We utilised it to aid on lengthy stretches of highway. With our foot off the fuel and a hand on the wheel, the Volvo centered itself in its lane and modified its pace to hold a harmless distance from the motor vehicle ahead. If we allow go of the wheel for a handful of seconds, the auto gently reminded the driver to just take handle once more.

2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country back seat in black leather
Courtesy Image

Working day 3: Soaking in the Luxurious

Once you’re inside, it is really hard to miss the large sunroof that blasts the cabin, including approximately all of the back again seat, with gentle. Individuals driving in back again get accessibility to USB ports, HVAC controls, and pull-up sunshine shades tucked into the doorways, along with a centre armrest with cup holders and storage. For mothers and fathers, people rear seats include constructed-in boosters, much too. When there is ample room for two older people to comfortably ride in the back again on a lengthy journey, three bigger buddies would confront a tricky squeeze, especially for extra than a thirty-minute vacation.

Up front, the Volvo pulls away from the pack. It has far extra luxury than the Subaru and, we’d argue, a extra refined inside than its German opponents. The sprint is a persuasive mix of delicate leather-based, real wood, thoroughly clean horizontal lines, and a brilliant 9-inch infotainment display. The centre console’s commence knob, along with a handful of other buttons, function a textured plastic surface—a tactile reminder that designers compensated awareness to the facts.

The perforated leather-based front seats are heated and cooled and have just about just about every adjustment you can imagine—including massage modes that built us take into account operating from property in the driveway. You sit deep in this auto, which will help it come to feel extra like a sedan and lightyears away from an SUV. The centre console is positioned higher ample that your forearm can relaxation on it and your hand has simple accessibility to the shifter and a variety of knobs. In accurate Swedish manner, the inside is minimal and thoroughly clean.

Volvo V90 Cross Country infotainment screen
Courtesy Image

The centre touchscreen is quicker and extra responsive than people found on previous V90 styles, and even though it took some getting utilised to, swiping around to get to one particular of three primary screens ultimately turned 2nd mother nature. The physical buttons beneath the display are minimal, but luckily Volvo docks the HVAC controls at the bottom of the display so no make a difference what menu you’re on, adjusting the temperature is simple.

The indigenous Sensus navigation works nicely and you can generate in destinations on a compact trackpad on the display, although we suspect most will use their Iphone or Android for directions. The car’s assistant was hit or miss with our requests, usually excelling at matters like tweaking the temperature but clumsier with responsibilities like finding a coffee store. Volvo didn’t include a wi-fi connection to your telephone, so you will however will need that twine. We desire to use Waze in town, but people transform-by-transform directions won’t show up in the car’s twelve-inch-extensive digital gauge display screen.

The Bowers & Wilkins stereo method is one particular of the better audio possibilities out there, and it will come with a handful of pretty practical listening modes. When you’re by yourself, for instance, you can alter the speakers to concentrate on the driver. Really don’t hassle fiddling with the EQ—just use the Gothenburg Concert Hall setting, which will give a stellar seem improve to any playlist.

Volvo V90 Cross Country on a gravel road in fall
Courtesy Image

Bottom line: The Volvo V90 Cross Country begins at roughly $fifty six,two hundred, topping out at more than $67,seven hundred as analyzed. It’s priced as a quality luxury auto, and it rides accordingly—with some able rough-street chops included in. You can find equivalent ruggedness in a fewer highly-priced Subaru Outback, but you’ll sacrifice technological innovation and cabin consolation. The Volvo holds its individual from in the same way spendy German wagons, despite the fact that spec-for-spec it is not as powerful. In its place, the V90 is a pretty able people hauler for people wanting at crossovers or who don’t will need an SUV to tow with. Soon after our weekend, we arrived away with a reliable appreciation for the V90: It’s a useful, sometimes sporty daily driver which is simple to like.

Get it

For accessibility to distinctive equipment videos, celeb interviews, and extra, subscribe on YouTube!

Next Post

Luggage Gift Guide 2021: Carry-ons, Dopp Kits, and More

We have all accumulated a great deal of baggage these past two a long time whilst watching formidable travel plans slide by the wayside and staying cooped up at residence much more than we ever imagined. (On top of all the other items COVID-19 threw our way, of class.) But […]