Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go…in snow or ice or whatever. It’s what the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country T6 AWD wagon does best, providing comfortable, even luxurious sojourns on or off-pavement. The V90 is the newest member of Volvo’s Cross Country Club, its newly designated membership marking the 20th anniversary for Cross Country and all-wheel drive. Cross Country Volvos deliver a blend of a premium luxury wagon traits, combined with the ability to traverse non-paved equally well.
The V90 comes two ways, as a regular wagon, or in Cross Country form. Visually, the two are differentiated only minimally. The Cross Country features black gloss trim elements and sports a metal stud grille compared to the waterfall grille of the V90. Black gloss substitutes the window surround chrome trim, and there is black or color-matched trim around the wheel wells. U.S. customers may roll on either 19 or 20-inch alloy wheels shod with Pirelli Scorpion Verde tires.
The Cross Country clears the ground by 8.3 inches (only 1.1 inches less than Volvo’s XC90 crossover without air suspension), while regular V90’s ground clearance is only 6.0 inches.
Acquisition of the regular, smaller-volume V90 must either be ordered online through Volvo’s Concierge website, or by participating in their overseas delivery program, traveling to the factory in Torslanda, Sweden, to take delivery. The vehicle is then shipped to a U.S. dealer for the finalization of the purchase.
My test 2017 Volvo Cross Country came with the T6 engine in AWD configuration. The base price was set at $55,300, while the price as tested came to $64,640. after factoring in the Osmium Gray metallic paint, complemented by the Beige and Charcoal leather interior, along with all the Cross Country features, Convenience Package, Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound System, HUD, Outer Child seat, Premium rear air suspension and the Destination charge.
Cross Country V90s are available with two powertrains – a T5 or a T6. Both are inline four-cylinder engines with Gasoline Direct Injection. The T5 is turbocharged only, producing 187 horsepower along with 258 pound feet of torque. The T6 engine is both Turbo and Supercharged, and delivers 235 horses and 295 pound feet of torque. Both engines mate to an electronically controlled eight-speed Gearttronic automatic gearbox with auto Stop/Start, that gears motive force to the driving wheels.
In addition to the wagon’s elevated ride height for navigating off-road terrain, the track is now wider, and the tires now feature a softer compound to better absorb rough uneven surfaces. Hill descent control and underbody Skidpads are standard fare as well. The steering feel is precise, with the electric power assist being light.
The V90’s wheelbase happens to be the same as the Volvo S90 sedan, but the overall length is shorter. The wagon now tips the scale in a range from 2,050-2319 lbs. depending upon equipment, and because of the standard fifth-generation all-wheel-drive system.
Four drive modes include Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and Off-road, which transfers torque to the rear wheels at all times at speeds up to 25 mph. In other modes, the power is sent to the back axle only when needed. A full 100 percent is directed to the rear if the front wheels are on ice for maximum stability and traction.
The delivery of power from the turbocharged 2.0-liter T6 inline four-banger is linear and smooth except for the auto stop/start, which tends to-be on the surgey side. The supercharger compensates for any turbo lag, though there’s some noticeable roughness at idle. The standard electronic Haldex-type all-wheel-drive biases more torque to the rear when the electronic stability control is turned off.
Performance oriented consumers will be able to boost performance by ordering Polestar’s Performance Optimization package, which provides approximately 70 significant modifications. Optimization, which is primarily a software program, changes the throttle mapping, boosts horsepower and torque, and adjusts shift speed, and it may be accomplished at the port or factory.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The Volvo’s heated seats and steering wheel are standard, along with the Thor’s Hammer daytime running lamps. The V90 Cross Country, like all new Volvo models, features the Sensus infotainment system with a large touchscreen and a number of screens to search though for various commands. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and the optional Bowers & Wilkins stereo comes with 19 speakers. The key fob or a foot kick below the sensor opens the rear hatch.
Volvo’s latest Pilot Assist, and Apple CarPlay/Android for Auto comes standard, and the company expects a higher take rate on the Cross Country, compared with the XC90, for the luxury package, with its ventilated Nappa leather seats, featuring power side and cushion controls and backrest massage for the front, leather upgrade on the dash and rear door panels, heated rear outboard seats, four-zone electric climate control and cooled glovebox, rear side curtains and a really nifty power operated cargo cover. Dashboard trim is a choice of dark walnut, or metal aluminum trim.
The V90 Cross Country also provides laminated side windows and a panoramic sunroof as part of its standard equipment menu.
TFLCAR’s TAKE: If you have no need for a third row seat, the V90 Cross Country T6 — even though it is a crossover — is the way to go over the XC90 SUV. It represents the iconic Volvo wagon, and though I wasn’t fortunate enough to participate in its Swedish launch program, those who did raved positively about its ability to drift controllably in rallye-style with ease.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Volvo V90 T6 Cross Country AWD Wagon
- Base Price: $55,300, as Tested: $64,640
- Engine Type and Size: 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve Super and Turbocharged inline four-cylinder with Gasoline Direct Injection
- Horsepower (bhp): 235 @ 5,700 rpm
- Torque (ft./ lbs.): 295 @ 2,200-5,400 rpm
- Transmission: Electronically controlled eight-speed automatic
- Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / AWD
- Suspension: Front – Double wishbone, coil springs, hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar
- Rear – Integral axle with transverse composite leaf spring, hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar – Air Suspension optional
- Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, EBD and EBA
- Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Verde 235/50 R19 103V mounted on 5-“V-Loop” machine faced outer and painted inners
- Wheelbase: 115.8 inches
- Length Overall: 194.3 inches
- Width: 79.5 inches
- Height: 58.1 inches
- Curb Weight: 2,050-2319 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 15.9 gallons
- EPA Mileage Estimates: 22 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
- Drag Coefficient: 0.31
- 0 – 60 mph: 5.8 seconds – Top speed=130 mph