The Volvo 90-Series comes in two distinct flavors. There’s the S90 sedan that compares to the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, plus the V90 Cross Country wagon that squares off against the Audi A6 allroad and Mercedes-Benz E450 All Terrain. Sedate, luxurious, stylish, and powerful, these cars are great choices in any form. Last year’s special-order V90 wagon is gone, but so few were sold that you may not even notice. The rugged-looking V90 Cross Country, which was our test vehicle, is far more popular and still for sale.
Volvo tweaked the 90-Series lineup quite a bit this year. The base turbocharged engine is jettisoned in favor of a new mild-hybrid version of the turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-4, which is marketed as B6. Fuel economy improves slightly with the new B6 engine to around 25 to 26 mpg combined. These changes nudge Volvo’s biggest V90 wagon toward a fully electric future.
Subtle, clean lines make the Volvo V90 models stand-out choice. Though their basic lines have been around for a while, these cars have a timeless charm and close attention to detail. We’re especially smitten with their gorgeous interiors. The V90 is actually slightly shorter than the S90 but this works in favor of the slick wagon dressed up with its off-roady bits.
While not exactly performance-focused, these Volvos have a comfortable and capable manner. A new version of Volvo’s turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-4 powers the Volvo V90. With 295 hp paired to 48-volt starter-generator, the setup is actually down on power compared to last year’s 316 hp, but torque and fuel economy go up slightly. The new setup makes the powertrain much smoother. The outgoing T6 was a bit coarse under hard acceleration but the B6 uses its electric power to make launches and the transition from supercharger to turbocharger much more seamless. It also feels a touch quicker and more responsive, thanks to the starter generator and the stop/start operation is now nearly undetectable.
The V90 rides well with the base suspension, and better with the available air suspension setup. Handling is good overall, though no version slices through corners with the verve of German competitors. Instead, the focus here is on comfort and control. V90 Cross Country wagons have 8.3 inches of ground clearance that makes them great choices for drivers who may encounter heavy snow or the occasional dirt road but don’t want to make the leap into an SUV. A responsive 8-speed automatic shuffles power to each corner regardless of engine and all-wheel drive is now standard across the line. The large Volvo excels at acceleration, ride quality, and isolation from the road.
The Volvo V90 is fairly frugal as wagon’s go. The higher-riding V90 Cross Country is rated at 22/29/25 mpg. The 2022 Volvo S90 is a safe choice with a couple of asterisks that make comparing it to other sedans a bit tricky. The IIHS has called S90 and V90 models a Top Safety Pick+ thanks to great performance all around, although its “Acceptable” headlights are a notch off of the top “Good” rating. For the 2022 awards, it hasn’t specified whether the V90’s front-collision avoidance system merits the award again, though it’s unchanged. The NHTSA has not yet tested the latest version of these Volvos, although once again, we don’t expect the ratings to change. Standard fare is extensive, including adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control, plus a system called Pilot Assist that allows for limited hands-free driving. A surround-view camera system is optional and outward vision is excellent.
Inside, these cars don’t have to scream for your attention. Careful attention to detail, attractive materials, and just enough buttons and knobs result in a clean, orderly appearance that we find tremendously appealing. Luxurious without being ostentatious, the Volvo V90 is a divine luxury wagon. Volvo outfits its biggest wagon with beautiful, well-equipped interiors that also happen to have a lot of space. Lighter interiors have a spa-like atmosphere, though the black headliner included with some interior hues can feel a bit cave-like.
Both the base and optional multi-adjustable front seats offer fantastic support, with optional massagers. Rear-seat room is good, and even with a somewhat low roofline, the Volvo V90 has a spacious, airy feel. Cargo space is great which tops out at an SUV-rivaling 54 cubic feet with the second row folded down. Additionally, built-in outboard rear child-seat boosters are optional. Fit and finish in our test cars have been top notch, and these cars come in a wide array of leather and wood hues. There’s not a bad choice here, though we do secretly wish the automaker’s textile option available in other models made its way to the V90 Cross Country.
Even with a pared-down wagon lineup this year, the Volvo V90 is well-equipped. The 90-Series Volvo wagons come well-equipped against like-priced luxury cars, undercutting German rivals while still doling out luxuries such as advanced driver-assistance tech, big alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a decent infotainment system, and a standard sunroof. Volvo includes a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty and its free scheduled service for the first 3 years/36,000 miles.
The V90 Cross Country comes only in B6 trim at about $59,545 for the Plus trim level. Though the Ultimate trim line dresses it to Inscription-level amenities inside including four-zone climate control, 20″ upsized wheels, softer leather with cooled front seats, a crystal gear knob, heads-up display, and a Harman/Kardon audio system. Optional gear includes a few packages that contain features such as a surround-view camera, heated rear seats and steering wheel, a stellar Bowers & Wilkins audio system, and massaging front seats, plus an air suspension. All in a loaded-up V90 runs about $74,000.
Few vehicles are as capable and well-rounded as Volvo’s V90 Cross-Country. From classic styling and luxury-car road manners to efficient new powertrains and decent off-road ability, the V90 Cross Country does everything very well. Blending in decent value and leading safety scores only make the 2022 V90 Cross-Country a true winner. Whatever you ask of it, Volvo’s V90 Cross Country does it all in a classic efficient style.
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