By on September 15, 2016

New Volvo V90 Cross Country Studio

What a difference a lift makes.

Always the purveyors of something different, Sweden’s Volvo Car Corporation has officially lifted the veil on its newest product — a lifted, all-terrain version of its elegant V90 wagon.

Just don’t call it a crossover. It’s a Cross Country.

Maybe all-terrain is a misnomer. Think “more terrain” instead. The V90 Cross Country, first revealed at last November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, is meant to replace the brand’s slow-selling XC70. That wagon also sported a raised ride height and all-wheel drive, with a very healthy dash of plastic bodyside cladding.

Thankfully, the body cladding has gone the way of the Aztek and Avalanche.

With the Cross Country, Volvo has fleshed out its 90-series lineup. Long, elegant and packed with technology, the top shelf sedan and wagons compliment the XC90 SUV that sparked the once-struggling brand’s turnaround.

New Volvo V90 Cross Country Driving Matte

Specifications released by Volvo show the ground clearance of the Cross Country increasing from six inches to 8.2 inches. The automaker lists the model’s approach and departure angles at 18.9 degrees and 20.7 degrees, respectively. Owners aren’t likely to risk a Jeep-worthy off-road excursion in the pricey V90 Cross Country, but you never know when the woods will come calling.

Speaking of coniferous trees standing starkly against a brilliant white sky, the promotional videos accompanying the Cross Country’s launch must have been filmed by the Swedish Tourism Bureau. You’ll want to freeze your ass off after watching them. Oh, and the Volvo seems nice, too.

V90 Cross Country models are available in T5 and T6 guise, with the former turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 254 horsepower and the latter making 320. T6 engines are supercharged and turbocharged. There’s as much air blowing under the wagon’s hood as there is in the vast Scandinavian mountains.

Both engines are bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

When the going gets rough (in a refined way), Cross Country owners can engage the vehicle’s “Off Road” drive mode, one of four modes available — including Eco, Comfort and Dynamic (meaning high performance). Rear air suspension with computer-controlled dampers are optional.

Tested in the bone-chilling snows of northern Sweden and the butt-scorching flats of Arizona, Volvo claims the Cross Country’s all-weather capabilities are sufficiently vetted. Anything less, of course, would be un-Scandinavian. The V90 Cross Country starts production this fall.

[Images: Volvo Car Corporation]

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74 Comments on “2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country: The Swedes Debut an Anti-Crossover...”


  • avatar
    jmo

    We had the formal upright sedans of the 30s and late 40s give way to the longer, lower, wider Harvey Earl era cars of the 60’s and 70’s. Is there any chance that fashions will change and SUV/CUVs will be viewed as dowdy and old fashioned and we’ll see a move back toward low slung sedans and wagons?

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I think this is great…although I’d probably either just go for the V90 or the XC90.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Yeah, this honestly looks a bit odd as a sleek car that’s riding as high as an SUV. It’s a nice 60 cm lift to actually make it off-road capable, but it seems to be riding about the same height as the XC90 while having a much lower body heightwise. In the end, the normal V90 and the XC90 seem to make more sense, particularly since the wagons don’t offer a 3rd row like the E-class estate does.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      Kyree

      I agree in a way. However, my own situation always requires a slightly higher vehicle than normal these days.

      My ridiculous angles at top and bottom of my drive.

      Cars and wagons are pretty low, and usually for good reason like MPG.
      But my drive way and garage are really forcing me to look for anything a little higher. Especially the garage which has this extreme lower drain grill across the front. My house is on the side of a steep hill along a lake and this sudden angle transitioning from downward slope to garage is always scraping the MKS lower bumper. I have temporarily addressed this with heavy and thick metal plates…but cleaning the grates is hell.

      If not a scrape there…then when the MKS gets onto the road I get a scrape along the muffler.

      So I would LOVE a car like this or even the VW SportWagon, which I think is slightly higher than the regular golf wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        derekson

        IIRC the Golf Alltrack is 20 mm higher than the normal Sportwagen ride height.

        This V90XC is 60 mm higher than the normal ride height of a V90.

        I don’t know how the stock ride heights compare on the non-lifted models.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Looks and sounds great. If it was available with the inline 6 in my XC60 R-Design, I’d be trading up in a year or so.

    Not quite sold on the new double-boosted four cylinders, yet.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Only four cylinders needed, no matter how heavy! Superturbochargehybrid will not be an issue of reliability later.

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        On one hand, it’s awesome that they’re able to develop and package that sort of powertrain.

        On the other, the hell if I ever own one. Too much to go wrong with FI sitting on both sides of the engine.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I agree, their engines are an impressive technical achievement.

          And so are most S-Class models when they come out, and we see how the long-term ownership proposition on something like that is.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Oh no, a Swedish turbo!

            It’s been 40 years and people still don’t know.

            Swedish turbo is the way to go. And go. And go. Definitely not slow.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “Swedish turbo is the way to go. And go. And go. Definitely not slow.”

            Until the check-gearbox light turns on.

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            I know someone who had a Saab 9-5 Aero … briefly.

            “Swedish turbo” is not always good.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            check-gearbox light?

            Is that a common thing on Volvo? I hadn’t heard of it until now. A quick search show a few hits for 94-98 Saab 900 automatics, the top one being caused by a squirrel chewing through wires.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            ““Swedish turbo” is not always good”

            The turbo is okay. The PCV system? Not so much.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “check-gearbox light?

            Is that a common thing on Volvo”

            A lot of turn-of-the-century front-drive Volvos definitely had transmission issues.

            Me, I had a Saab. I missed the B205 sludge issue only to be nailed by a flakey gearbox.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    A modern take on the long, boxy Volvo wagon. I dig it. The wheels look comically oversized in that second photo, though.

    • 0 avatar
      1998redwagon

      kefkafloyd that was my thought too – comically oversized wheels. reminds me of a hot wheels car from my youth. once i got to that point i accepted it. odd how my previous experiences with something similar but not the same guided me in my decision to accept or reject.

  • avatar
    gwwyjjliu

    I’m not sure I could justify an extra $20K over the price of a Subaru Outback, unless you can’t live without the Volvo’s 320 hp.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Haha, $20k over the Outback?

      Try $35k+ over. This is the replacement for the S80, is larger (+$$$), AND is a wagon (+$$$$) AND is a CrossCountry (+$$$$).

      I’m gonna say base price $45,000 for FWD. Maybe going up to $60,000 loaded AWD.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        V6 Outback Touring stickers for 39K.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Now provide sales figures for the V6 Touring model. ;)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            V6? Yay Subaru finally decided to start buying 3.5 V6 from Toyota!

            Are they going to purchase automatic transmissions with real gears instead of CVTs?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah, I always forget they’re pure CVT nowadays if you’ve got an automatic. Deletes the point of the H6. The only reason to get that model is the uplevel interior.

            …Which is why very few do.

          • 0 avatar
            Detroit-Iron

            @Corey

            Dan was making fun of me for saying V6 instead of H6. Regardless of how many 6 cyl (happy?) they sell, the 4 cyl touring trims are not cheap either and Fuji Heavy is not putting a lot of cash on the hood.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The point -I- was making was that you cited the very top trim level as your example for what the Outback costs, and those are pretty rare. The mid-low trim levels are reasonably priced, and will have a great distance in said price between them and the S90 CC.

      • 0 avatar
        random1

        It’s going to be pushing $50k base in FWD. The S90 starts 45/46, the V90 will be maybe 1k higher, another 1 or 2 for the CC’s plastic. OTOH, the base models include Volvo’s self-driving features, one of the cheaper cars to have that included.
        Right now, the tricked out S90s at dealers are $65k, but they have all the bells and whistles.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      The ride quality, interior quality, seat comfort and NVH are going to be vastly better in the Volvo.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        Perhaps true. Volvo’s are beautiful inside but not, in my mind and pocketbook, $35k more beautiful.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        I’ve driven and ridden in my parents’ last-year Outback 3.6R Limited.

        It’s … actually pretty comparable (and likewise the price isn’t $25k; the 3.6R costs as much new as my 6 month old XC70 did wit 10kmi on it).

        For $38k you get excellent interior quality, a smooth ride, peace and quiet, and seats *not quite as* nice as the Volvo.

        So, no, not “vastly better”, when the Subaru is *high spec*, not a base Outback, at least in my experience with recent models of both.

        On the other hand, I’m pretty sure the V90CC will start higher than the XC70 did… and as mentioned, the V90’s a bit bigger than the XC70, which is the same size as an Outback.

        In other words, the Outback competes in two segments: Cheap and harsh, and Expensive and really nice.

        The Volvo only competes with the high-spec Outback.

        • 0 avatar
          Sigivald

          (Also re. above, having driven a 3.6R, I can say the CVT was … not a huge issue.

          It wasn’t quite as zippy in the powertrain as my XC70 T6, but I’d definitely choose the 3.6R over the H4 Outback.

          Of course, as someone who not just would, but DID buy a T6, plainly I’m not in the “cheap interior, slower engine” segment the Outback makes its volume with…)

        • 0 avatar
          derekson

          Subaru seats being “not quite as nice as Volvo’s” is the understatement of the decade.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      It’s a size class above the Outback, so that justifies part of the price. The XC-60 is sized more like the Outback, although it’s more of a crossover than a wagon.

      • 0 avatar
        Detroit-Iron

        I agree with everyone. I have the H4 with a stick purchased right before Scoobie really blew up. It is kind of shabby and it is really not that big, but it didn’t cost too much. I would love to have the Volvo.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          This thing is probably going to cost as much as a Tahoe, the outgoing XC70 got the same gas millage as a Tahoe anyway. I’m not sure if that’s an achievement for Chevy or an embarrassment for Volvo.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            If you cannot appreciate the difference between a Volvo and a Chevy than you should probably stick with the Chevy.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            Volvo’s engines were gas pigs during the Ford years. Their new “Drive-E” motors are as good as they come. Case in point, Audi just introduced a de-tuned 190 hp version of their A4 so they could match the MPG of the 240 hp S60.

            A bunch of Saab engineers came on the jobs market when they were developing these motors. Probably not a coincidence. Google Maps tells me that Volvo Powertrain is just over an hour away from Saab’s old headquarters.

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    What a fantastic looking wagon!

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Gorgeous proportions, even with (or maybe even _because_ of) the lift.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    The Swedes? Thought this was a Chinese outfit now.

    • 0 avatar
      Asdf

      You’re right – Volvo is no longer Swedish, but has been Chinese since 2010.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Only at the bank. Geely is letting Volvo be, to great effect. Volvo gets to keep its quirky, unique Swedish identity while avoiding the negative connotations associated with the Chinese auto market and manufacturing. And yes, I know there is Volvo production in China now, but its only the signature series for now and Volvo sure isn’t advertising the fact.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      They still make everything for the US market in Sweden, with Swedes evidently making the design decisions.

      “Chinese holding company” doesn’t magically change everything, any more than Jeeps are “really Italian” now.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Dödge Mågnüm

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Frend,

      One time a few of month’s ago, indeed I took a Euro train to Sweden. Everywhere I see sort of the words like in English like you have put up above there, but also with little circle and dots. On my Nokia I took lots of pic’s of their signery. Of course as I was in their country, I saw lot of Native Swedenian Volvo car and Saab car. Too bad neither of them are part of their Native Country now (hey almost like in a story when they took Pocahantos to their England and she became so ill and almost catacombs! sad)

      Anyway, I discretion to a different topic. Mostly I wanted to write you about their letters, and ask how you think it might be a difficult endeavour to merge a language of a Swede and a language of a Mandarin (Chinese person, not orange citrus ha ha!) Like when they are different in all culture, business, looks likes, is it then a problem to “co-parent” a company?

      (Hey look, I’m American parenting now!;;)

      Helicoptering,

      Grango Relago

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Doing a little happy dance for the most wagonoid of all CUVs this side of a Flex.

  • avatar
    lon888

    Given the elegant looks of this machine, I wager that 99.9% of them will never see as much as a dirt road. It’s just too pretty to mess up while going “off road”.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      I bet 99.9% of the owners will enjoy the easier ingress/egress :)

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Depends where you live.
      Where I live, the price tag puts them in the demographic that owns cottages. The last mile or five are rarely paved.

      Of course, there’s also snow, hurricanes and bad roads.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Here in Portland, we see a fair number of XC70s (and Outbacks, which are a comparable vehicle and the PNW is one of their biggest markets).

        Lots of people seem to take them at least on dirt roads or snowy “gotta go ski” uses.

        I certainly do with mine, though equally I’m sure *most* of them still never get off pavement any more than an XC90 does.

  • avatar
    John

    Swedish AMC Eagle wagon?

  • avatar
    whitworth

    What a beautiful wagon.

    Volvo seems to be on a roll lately.

  • avatar
    whynot

    I want them to have a S90 Cross Country.

    The S60 Cross Country is so ridiculous I can’t help but love it.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    I really hope this doesn’t mean we won’t get the regular V90 wagon without the lift and cladding.

  • avatar
    Sigivald

    I feel *much better* about the death of the XC70 now.

    (I was literally just yesterday thinking “they should make a V90 CC, since obviously they can’t call it the XC90″…)

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      (That said I *like* the cladding, but then I actually take my XC70 off pavement and there’s brush and trees around, and frankly it’s good armor in a parking lot.

      I’m … skeptical about the “T6” ultra-blowing I4, but time will tell.)

  • avatar
    Click REPLY to reload page

    As much as I am heartened that Volvo didn’t end up like Saab, the metallurgy of China isn’t the same as that of Scandinavia.
    “Made in China” means that after a while, the contractors begin to cheapen the materials in order to make a bit more profit, and long-term reliability of the final product begins to suffer.
    Volvo engine rebuilds are not nearly as common as American, Mexican, German, Korean and Japanese engine rebuilds. The high nickel content in their engine blocks and capacious oil sumps have made their longevity rather legendary.
    Only time will tell if the buyers of new Volvos will get as many years out of them as Volvos past.

    • 0 avatar
      tremorcontrol

      Not sure where you’re getting the idea that this car is built in China. For now, they still design, engineer, and build most of their cars/engines in Sweden/Belgium (at least the ones that come to the US). Plus Volvo is bringing manufacturing jobs to the USA when the South Carolina plant opens in 2018 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/25/volvo-breaking-ground-on-500m-manufacturing-plant-/

      (It’s true that the S60L is built in China and available in the US – that one will be interesting to follow for long-term durability.)

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      Do you have any citation for this regarding fewer rebuilds and higher nickel content?

      Engine rebuilds in general are largely a service of the past.

  • avatar
    pb35

    It’s beautiful and I love it. If I didn’t purchase 2 new cars within the last year I would strongly consider putting one of these in my garage.

    As a current Volvo owner for the past 9 years however, I would highly recommend the extended warranty. Like forever.

  • avatar
    Tifighter

    Woo, that does look nice. When the V90 was shown, I was put off by the sloping rear hatch and its predictable effects on the cargo space. Figured my XC70 (T6, P*,yadda yadda) was safe for awhile.

    But that is a fine looking wagon. Ugh. Better start downplaying that 4 cyl engine for my next strategy.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    8 speed vs 10 speed vs 9 speed trans….

    We were talking about the Ford 10 speed a few days ago, maybe it was in the Pacifica review, and I think somebody mentioned the 8 trans was designed for RWD chassis and engines. It was why the 9 speed was used in certain models as compared to the 8 speeds.

    This is likely wrong or I am remembering it all wrong. But why would you put a nine speed trans in when an 8 speed like this is available? From what everybody says, this 8 speed is a dream and the 9 speed, even now with all the latest updating used in the Pacifica, is still thumping and irrational.

    Here, even with a 4 cylinder, this 8 speed seems very well reviewed in all of the cars it is in.

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    A compromise between the greater capacity of the XC90 and the better handling and ride of a V90 wagon.

    I don’t get it. But I don’t live where it snows all winter.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Hopefully FCP Euro will carry an aftermarket suspension package for “normal” and thus I can haves me wagon.

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