Volvo didn’t invent the station wagon, but its boxy people haulers from the 1980s and 1990s kept the body style kicking into the SUV age. Their modern-day analogue, the 2023 V90 Cross Country, is one of few remaining station wagons on sale today and it deftly blends traditional longroof styling, a raised ride height, and deluxe cabin trimmings to hold on to its place at the top of the brand’s lineup alongside the flagship XC90 SUV. Rival luxury wagons such as the Audi A6 Allroad and the Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain follow a similar formula, but neither one can match the V90’s Scandinavian appeal. All-wheel drive is standard, as is a 295-hp engine, and the V90 Cross Country’s extra ground clearance means it can venture off the beaten path—although we’d stop short of taking a completely unbeaten one. Like other Volvo models, including the smaller but similar V60 Cross Country, the V90 comes standard with many driver-assistance features including an adaptive cruise control system with lane centering and an automated emergency braking system with pedestrian detection.
What’s New for 2023?
The V90 Cross Country adopts Volvo’s new Plus and Ultimate trim levels this year. Three new exterior colors also join the palette: Black Stone, Bright Dusk Metallic, and Silver Dawn Metallic.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
All V90 Cross Country models come with the B6 powertrain and all-wheel drive, but we would recommend going with the Ultimate trim to unlock the most luxurious features. Such items include Nappa leather upholstery, cooled front seats with a massage function, a head-up display, rear-window sunshades, and a crystal gear shift lever.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The B6 engine is a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 48-volt hybrid system that makes 295 horsepower. Acceleration is fairly brisk and the big Volvo wagon managed a 6.4-second run to 60 mph at our test track. The E450 All-Terrain proved quicker still, zipping to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. Although the V90 Cross Country does not feel overtly sporty, it is nimble and offers impressive cornering competence. However, the ride is harsher than we expect from a large luxury car. The brakes are strong despite the spongy-feeling pedal, and in our 70-to-0-mph braking test, the V90 Cross Country came to a halt in 168 feet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Because of its small-displacement, forced-induction engine, the V90 Cross Country has one of the highest EPA fuel-economy ratings in the luxury-wagon segment. The EPA says the V90 Cross Country with the new B6 powertrain should get 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. On our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test route, the V90 Cross Country returned 28 mpg. For more information about the V90 Cross Country’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Mercedes-Benz aside, no company is doing luxury interiors better than Volvo. The Swedish brand’s warm and comforting cabins offer a compelling argument for its wagons’ premium prices. They offer high-quality trimmings, elegant design, and substantive technology. Two-tone leather on the steering wheel, textured knobs, beautiful open-pore wood, artful speaker covers, and a vertically oriented tablet-style infotainment screen all help to separate Volvo’s vehicles from the pack. As is the case with most wagons, the V90 Cross Country offers generous amounts of interior space. However, it is not quite as efficient in the cargo-hauling department as Mercedes is. Nor can it beat the nonluxury Subaru Outback in that area. The Mercedes and the Subaru both held more carry-on suitcases behind their rear seats than did the Volvo. With all the seats folded, the V90 Cross Country held 21 cases while the Outback had room for 22 and the E-class, 24.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The V90 Cross Country comes with a 12.3-inch digital gauge display and a vertically oriented 9.0-inch center touchscreen that includes features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Navigation, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and in-car Wi-Fi are also standard. The new Google-based infotainment interface looks nice and is more responsive than the Sensus Connect system from previous model years, but its smaller on-screen icons are more difficult to hit accurately while driving.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Volvo has earned a reputation for producing some of the safest cars on the market. It’s a reputation the company clearly intends on maintaining, as illustrated by the abundance of standard driver-assistance features on the V90 Cross Country. For more information about the V90’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Volvo offers warranty protection that is similar to its competitors but gets extra points for offering the longest period of complimentary scheduled maintenance in the class.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles
2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
Base/As Tested: $57,295/$69,440
Options: Bowers & Wilkens premium sound, $4000; Lounge package (4-way lumbar support, 4-zone climate control, front-seat power cushion extensions, rear sunshades, tailored dash and door panels, adjustable front side bolsters, front massaging seats), $2800; Advanced package (head-up display, surround-view camera), $1700; Four-C adaptative air suspension, $1200; 20-inch wheels, $800; Climate package (headlight washers, heated steering wheel and rear seats), $750; Platinum Grey metallic paint, $695; power tailgate, $200
supercharged, turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 120 in3, 1969 cm3
Power: 295 hp @ 5400 rpm
Torque: 310 lb-ft @ 2100 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 13.6-in vented disc/12.6-in vented disc
Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Zero All-Season
245/45R-20 103V M+S VOL
Wheelbase: 115.8 in
Length: 195.2 in
Width: 74.9 in
Height: 60.7 in
Passenger Volume: 97 ft3
Cargo Volume: 26 ft3
Curb Weight: 4354 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 6.4 sec
1/4-Mile: 14.8 sec @ 94 mph
100 mph: 16.7 sec
110 mph: 20.9 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 7.0 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.1 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 4.6 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 112 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 168 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.85 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 23 mpg
75-mph Highway Driving: 28 mpg
Highway Range: 440 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 25/22/29 mpg