Stop pretending like you don’t love wagons

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What is it: The 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country is a midsize station wagon overflowing with Scandanavian presence, evoking safety, utilitarianism and a chic minimalist style. Volvo has used the Cross Country moniker for 20 years now, but its flexible Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform — shared with the XC90 crossover and S90 sedan — is nearly new.

Key Competitors: Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon, Audi A4 Allroad

Base Price: $56,295 As-Tested Price: $70,435

Full Review: 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country first drive

Highlights: The V90 Cross Country continues Volvo’s decades-old station wagon tradition, with the automaker’s typical beautiful interior, oodles of room and all-wheel-drive security. The Cross Country version adds body cladding and 8.3 inches of ground clearance.




Our Opinion: The V90 Cross Country ditches Volvo’s boxy look in favor of a much-sleeker body. Spending a week cruising around Detroit, the exterior got more than its share of compliments. Ditto the interior. The warm, Scandinavian-chic design looks awesome and the build quality is as good as most. The seats are among the best in the business. Like the wagon itself, fantastic seats are another Volvo tradition.

With 8.3-inches of ground clearance the Cross Country sits a couple inches higher than the standard V90. The 2.0-liter turbo/supercharged four has 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque on tap, an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive.

The new Cross Country drives sort of a like a slightly quicker and lighter XC90. The steering is light and communicates well and the four-cylinder’s power is more than sufficient with minimal lag. The ride is about as you’d expect: Comfortable, soft, but not overly floaty. There are four driving modes: Eco, Comfort, Dynamic and Off-Road, adjusting throttle response, suspension settings, steering and the like. The Bowers and Wilkins stereo in our tester was definitely a highlight.



2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country review and test drive



Conversely the ginormous screen in the center of the dash is a lowlight, and maddeningly so. It looks elegant, but the simplest operation — say, adjusting the heat/AC system, is far too complicated and takes far too much attention away from the road. Sadly most of the car’s adjustments are accomplished through swiping your way around the iPad-sized screen. Even the owner’s manual is in there. The younger people in the office seemed to mind it much less than me. “You get used to it,” they said. “I shouldn’t have to,” I replied, then demanded they get off my lawn. Frankly, for me the system is a deal breaker.

That’s the biggest beef by far, and otherwise this is a good-looking, high-quality wagon. If you’re one of the three people left in the US who don’t yet have a crossover in the garage and don’t intend to, the V90 Cross Country is worth a look.

–Wes Raynal, editor

Options: Luxury package ($4,500), premium sound ($3,200), convenience package ($1,950) premium air suspension ($1,200), head-up display ($900), 20-inch wheels ($800), metallic paint ($595)






Wes Raynal



Wes Raynal



– Wes Raynal joined Crain Communications’ circulation department while still in college. When he graduated in 1986, he became a reporter for Autoweek sister publication Automotive News. He has worked as Autoweek’s associate editor, news editor, motorsports editor and executive editor before being named editor in 2009.

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On Sale: Now


Base Price: $56,295


As Tested Price: $70,435


Powertrain: 2.0-liter turbo and supercharged I4, AWD, eight-speed automatic


Output: 316 hp @ 5700 rpm; 295 lb-ft @ 2200-5400 rpm


Curb Weight: 4,334 lb


Fuel Economy: 22/30/25 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)


Pros: Comfortable and gorgeous


Cons: iPad-like main screen takes time to learn



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