Wagons are a hard sell in the United States because of the lingering images of those huge, boxy ones from the 60s with their rear seats facing backwards. We aren’t sure why American automakers ever thought that was a good idea. Volvo has introduced a new V90 wagon for the U.S. market with two rows and plenty of storage for families. It’s a rare breed with no competition.
We recently drove the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD.
What’s New For 2017
The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country wagon is an all-new vehicle. Volvo’s V90 Cross Country is basically the S90 sedan in wagon form. It gets an increased cargo area, a raised ride height, and standard all-wheel drive.
Features & Options
The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country ($55,300) comes with a lengthy list of standard features including adaptive LED headlights, a hands-free power lift gate, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a 10-speaker audio system. Extras include full LED headlights, headlight high-pressure cleaning, aluminum roof rails, roof spoiler, skid plate, wheel arch extensions, hill decent control, blind spot detection, and cross traffic alert.
As you would expect, the V90 is loaded with other safety features including a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, collision mitigation with emergency braking, and lane departure warning and intervention.
The Convenience package ($1,950) added an automated parking feature, a 360-degree camera, heated washer nozzles, and ambient interior lighting. A rear air suspension system ($1,200), a heads-up display ($900), and a premium Bowers & Wilkins audio system ($3,200) were separate add-ons. Total MSRP including destination: $64,640.
The interior isn’t much different from that of the S90 we reviewed earlier this year. The cabin offers quality craftsmanship and materials, an elegant design, and front seats that are among the most supportive in any class. A 9-inch touchscreen serves as the central command for the navigation, phone, climate control, and audio functions. We had a fall snow storm hit the mountains west of Denver this week, allowing us to fully experience the heated steering wheel, heated seats, and high-pressure headlight washers, which kept our view clear at night.
Our tester came with a dark brown interior with dark walnut wood inlays, complete with chrome and metal accents wrapped across the big dash. The cabin will compete with the rival’s best examples from Germany.
The seats in the V90 Cross Country are wrapped in fine Nappa leather with lots of support and adjustments. The power side support and cushion extension make it conducive for long trips. We thought the driving position was more upright than usual, allowing a better view of the road. The “Start” knob on the center console fires up the engine, while the Sensus Touch feature controls the 9-inch touchscreen.
Back seats are appropriately contoured and well-cushioned, providing excellent support, though our taller passengers this week said there wasn’t much head clearance. They also had issue climbing into the back, saying it wasn’t the easiest task. Seat backs fold forward, increasing the luggage area’s capacity from the sedan’s 13.5 cubic feet of trunk space to 25 cubic feet for the new V90 wagon.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The V90 Cross Country is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is both supercharged and turbocharged. It produces 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque, and comes mated to an 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. EPA estimates come in at 22/30 city/highway and 25 combined mpg with the vehicle’s standard all-wheel drive system.
Like the S90 sedan, we didn’t think a smaller 2.0-liter displacement engine could move this big wagon, but the super and turbocharged engine had enough power for all driving situations. The V90 offers a satisfying experience and performance is adequate for a large family hauler. It offers up a comfortable and controlled ride, and when equipped with the optional air suspension, that comfort is maintained. The wagon also stayed level as we traveled twisty mountain roads this week.
Overall, the interior is a quiet place with its tight construction and active noise cancellation to keep any engine growl and city noise outside the cabin. The 8-speed automatic delivered a widespread of gear ratios as we traveled up I-70 at elevation. At highway speeds, the V90 wagon delivers an efficiently relaxed experience. Finally, we put the all-wheel drive to use in about four inches of fresh snow that hit the mountains. The V90 powered through the slick mountain roads with complete composure and we didn’t detect any wheel slip.
The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country is better equipped than many luxury sedans, with plenty of cabin comforts and technical features. Safety is another reason to take a look at this family wagon as Volvo is known for safety. It also offers up all-wheel drive to make it an all-weather capable vehicle.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy