This Swedish estate is prepared for everything
We love the idea of a high-riding estate made for offroading. The relentless snow and dreary conditions make an offroading estate ideal for the Swiss mountains. Unsurprisingly, they are popular in Switzerland for all the best reasons. People love the raised ride height and added versatility of an estate. This is why we wanted to review the all-new Volvo V90 cross-country: Volvo's largest estate on stilts.
The V90 cross-country cannot be considered a full-fletched offroading vehicle. It can deal with gravel and mud but don't take it on some overland offroad adventure where LandRovers reign. Like with the V60 cc, the cross-country treatment makes life just a little bit easier in tricky conditions. Unlike the regular V90, the cross-country variant does not get air suspension on both axles. The V90 cc only has air suspension on the rear axle to stabilize the back end under towing conditions. Even though the ride height cannot be altered, it still gets a generous 21cm of ground clearance. Other offroad-related touches include the plastic cladding on the sides, as well as a reinforced front skid plate. Unlike any plug-in hybrid V90, the cross-country gets a permanent 4x4 drivetrain for maximum traction and security. One area where this comes into its own is the snow, our main testing ground for the V90 cc. Compared to the regular V90, the V90 cc has a wider track and fatter tires to aid in low-grip situations. It makes this the ideal car for snow driving, and we're not only talking about compacted snow. We quickly discovered that it feels very comfortable on snow, thanks to the BorgWarner 4x4 layout and rugged suspension. Speaking of the suspension: it's supremely comfortable wherever you go and allows for long-distance journeys. In this way, the V90 cc is incredibly versatile. On one side you have an offroading estate that can tackle anything a "normal" road can throw at you. On the other, you get a supremely relaxing and luxurious cruiser to cross long distances. A raised suspension dosen't mean that it's only made for offroading! It just makes it more uncomplicated. The option is always there if you need it.
One area where the raised suspension does have a negative impact is fuel consumption. Frankly, a car that sits higher will be less slippery through the air. It is as simple as that. We also opted for the roof box: for one to transport large items (such as Skis) and because it looks so badass, which worsened the economy even more. The good thing is, it's still better than an SUV, so why wouldn't you get a raised-up estate? It answers all our prayers.
The offroad vibe continues on the inside with driftwood decor inserts on the dash and center console. A beautiful touch. Unfortunately, our press vehicle was not equipped with Nappa seats. They are still comfortable, but not as premium feeling. If the standard Harman/Kardon sound system is not enough for you, there is always the bombastic Bowers&Wilkins Stereo to choose from. The roof has been replaced by a fantastic panoramic sunroof that can open up to let in the fresh air. Volvo has refreshed the infotainment on all their vehicles for the 2022 model year. This includes a built-in Android operating system with Spotify, Google Maps, and the Google Play store. Because Volvo hires intelligent Swedish software engineers, the display is extremely responsive to the touch and can be used using gloves. In front of the driver sits a digital gauge cluster with Google Maps built. The interior of the V90 cc is generally very well thought out and simple.
We think the V90 cross country sits in a segment of its own. It doesn't have any real competition. There is the Audi A6 Avant Allroad, but that isn't very popular at all. The smaller variants like the V60 cross country, Audi A4 Avant Allroad, and VW Golf Variant Alltrack are much cheaper. For us, the V90 cross-country ticks all the right boxes for a perfect family car in Switzerland. The boot is massive, there is plenty of space in the back, and it's a Swedish offroading estate with a roof box on its head.