Volvo V90 Cross Country review: Everything and then some more

It's good looking, great to drive and very capable

There’s no shying away from my love for the modern Volvo.  The Stunning S90 luxury sedan stole the show for us last year, taking out our Best Car award for 2016, so when the opportunity to sample the Cross Country wagon variant presented itself, we grabbed the keys!

As a wagon owner, there’s a definite bias here, but I’ll take a wagon over an SUV any day.  Something preferable with the height, the size the overall look quite frankly.

And as someone who has nothing but good things to say about the S90 sedan, a wagon variant with all-wheel-drive and a touch of off the black stuff capabilities has a lot going for it even when unsighted.

But there’s nothing wrong with the sight of the V90 Cross Country, it’s got the heart of the modern Volvo design from front to back, with the addition of a raised ride height and the swooping rear compartment.

Critically, no expense has been spared on the inside either.  Fully equipped luxury, with Volvo’s Auto Pilot technology, touch-screen infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – though the latter is a “tech pack” optional extra.

At just under $100,000 without options, it’s hardly cheap.  But we’re not shopping Ford, Holden and Volvo here, which is actually Volvo’s biggest challenge.  Just like a brand like Jaguar, they need to be seen as a luxury car option up against the likes of Audi and BMW, rather than a high-priced “alternative” to those browsing the car yards.

And make no mistake, this is as good a luxury car as you can buy.  Put your Mercedes or BMW brand loyalty aside, and you’ll be hard pressed to fault this – inside and out.

The V90 Cross Country has a 2 litre engine, pumping out 173kW, and would do 0-100 in 7.5 if pushed.

I felt it didn’t like to be pushed, tended to act like it disagreed for a second and then went into action. Though in reality, those moments are few and far between in regular driving.

Volvo quote a 5.7 L/100km fuel consumption and in my short test the number was a touch higher – but I did almost exclusively short trip city driving.

Ride and handling on the simplest trips was a joy, and on the freeways with Auto Pilot assisting with control you feel at ease in the V90.

I didn’t test it’s off the road capabilities, but the all-wheel-drive and raised ride height alone make it perfect for a basic bush track, somewhere the family car just couldn’t go.

At $99,900 it’s a steep price, add in the Tech Pack ($3,000), Lifestyle Pack ($2,000) and a few more creature comforts and the car I tested tops out at $111,500.

 

A bit of a stretch to step up from a Commodore Sportswagon, but for the SUV buyer and the Luxury European wagon owner the Volvo V90 Cross Country is a car more than worth of your attention.

For the young family, the in-built car-seats now common to many Volvos are a must see.  The two-stage lift up boosters allow young kids who are just in booster age to take their seat without you having to throw in a bulky extra booster.    It’s a simple thing, but the switch between taking adults or teens then back to taking the young ones is a real winner.

I just bloody love the look of this car – the front and rear angles are an outstanding design – it should be a top selling wagon in the price bracket, if only there were more Volvo dealers, and more people looking outside their normal couple of brands.

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Motoring

Trev produces two of the most popular technology podcasts in Australia, Your Tech Life and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He hosts a nightly radio show on Talking Lifestyle, 8pm Monday to Friday in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show and A Current Affair. Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave. Like this post? Buy Trev a drink!
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