The 2020 Volvo V90 Cross Country takes the good parts of an SUV and mixes them with the best aspects of a luxury wagon. The result is a slightly raised driving position, standard all-wheel drive, lots of cargo space, a beautiful cabin, high levels of equipment and many safety features. To make it even better, it’s all wrapped up in a package that’s pleasing to the eye.
The V90 Cross Country is a variant of the regular V90 midsize luxury wagon (reviewed separately). Not many other vehicles with scuff plates at the back and cladding along the sides enjoy a center of gravity that’s more like a car’s than a truck’s. So the V90 Cross Country is able to tackle muddy trails and snowy conditions, while still retaining a fine control over the handling characteristics.
It’s an approach Volvo started with the XC70 at the turn of the millennium and has since been taken up by Audi with Allroad versions of its A4 and A6 wagons. Volvo does the same thing with its V60 wagon and S60 sedan. Overall, they might best be described as luxurious yet practical conveyances equipped for occasional off-roading duty.
What’s New for 2020?
Volvo has cut the V90 Cross Country down to one trim with one drivetrain option for 2020. The T5 engine and the Ocean Race trim are no longer available for the V90. See the 2020 Volvo V90 models for sale near you
What We Like
Superb looks inside and out
High-quality cabin materials
Abundant safety features
What We Don’t
Only one trim and engine option
Cargo space a bit cramped for this class
Every 2020 V90 Cross Country is equipped with the T6 powertrain and AWD. The T6 is a 2.0-liter inline-four engine equipped with both a turbocharger and a supercharger resulting in 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It’s linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission and returns EPA estimated fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 24 mpg combined.
The V90 Cross Country used to be available with Volvo’s T5 engine, but frankly, the T6 makes more sense in a car this size so we don’t really miss the T5.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Volvo V90 Cross Country only comes in one trim, but is available with two option packages.
The T6 AWD ($55,195) has 19-in alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, black walnut decor inlays, dual integrated tailpipes, lane-keeping assist, a touring chassis, power-adjustable front seats, a panoramic sunroof, and generous standard safety tech, which includes front and rear collision warning, blind-spot monitoring and road sign detection. You also get the Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system, which can control the steering, throttle and brakes under your supervision. Of course, you still need to pay attention to the road and this is no replacement for attentive driving.
Option packages include the Advanced Package ($2,450), which includes a 360-degree camera, full LED headlights with Active Bending Lights, headlight high-pressure cleaning, and a head-up display. You can also get the Luxury Package ($4,500), which adds several features including heated rear seats, front-seat power lumbar support, front-seat power cushion extensions, massaging front seats, front-seat power-adjustable side support, a tailored dashboard, 4-zone automatic climate control, Nappa leather seats, color-coordinated sills and bumpers, passenger seat memory, a power load cover, sunshades for the rear windows and more.
The list of other individual options includes integrated child booster cushions for the outer rear seats ($500), a Bowers & Wilkins 1,400-watt/19-speaker audio system ($4,000), and even a dog harness accessory ($115) plus much more.
Behind the rear seats are 33.9 cu ft. of cargo capacity, expanding to 53.9 cu ft. when those rear seats are folded down. That’s more cargo space than your average sedan, but actually a little tight compared to other wagons in this class. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds.
Standard features include anti-lock disc brakes, traction/stability control, active front head restraints, hill descent control, and a full complement of airbags.
As of this writing, the V90 Cross Country hasn’t been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nor by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). But safety shouldn’t be an issue. This is a product of Volvo, a company that has made a name for itself by emphasizing the safety of its customers and their surroundings.
There are plenty of advanced driver aids, such as adaptive cruise control with detection of pedestrians, cyclists and large animals, plus forward and rear collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, run-off road mitigation and protection, lane-departure warning, road sign recognition and a driver drowsiness alert.
Behind the Wheel
This is truly a gorgeous interior. The nicely sanded dark walnut wood trim pieces and the gorgeous brushed finish of the aluminum accents hint at the great deal of attention to detail that went into designing this wagon. Even the standard seats are some of the most comfortable we’ve ever sat in. This interior is nice enough to give bigger luxury car brands a serious run for their money.
Rear legroom measures 35.9 inches, which is pretty generous, as the XC90 SUV offers 37 inches. This car also enjoys 8.3 inches of ground clearance, only an inch and a bit lower than the XC90 (the regular V90 has six inches). So with AWD, an off-road setting among the driving modes and a decent set of tires also in the equation, that rutted dirt track to the holiday cabin won’t be a problem.
Ride quality is decidedly on the comfortable side rather than anything sporty. Although we normally don’t like a lack of variety under the hood, it’s hard to complain that the T6 is now the sole engine choice in the V90 Cross Country since it’s always made more sense than the weaker T5 for this car. Performance is strong, but the car is engineered for comfort more than engaging driving dynamics.
Other Cars to Consider
2020 Jaguar XF Sportbrake — Stylish, roomy, useful, luxurious and elegant. Comes with AWD as standard.
2020 Mercedes-Benz E 450 4Matic wagon — Not endowed with any kind of SUV like tweaks apart from standard AWD, but luxurious, practical and spacious all the same. Has two extra seats in the cargo area.
Used Volvo V90 Cross Country — This wagon in its current form has been around since the 2017 model year meaning that affordable used and certified models are popping up. Check out our review of Volvo’s certified pre-owned program to see if it’s right for you.
More variety would be nice with more engine options and more trim levels, but that doesn’t change the fact that the 2020 Volvo V90 Cross Country is a great luxury wagon that’s suitable for mild off-roading when the occasion arises.
You could get by forgoing the two option packages, but they’re also worth the extra cost if you have the budget and the desire for more tech and/or more luxury. If you want something luxurious, a little adventurous and something that none of your neighbors drive, this Volvo is worth a serious look. Find a Volvo V90 for sale