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Your Guide to the Volvo V90 Cross Country

By Zlatan Stankovic on October 20, 2017

For those of you that have followed us on our journey in recent weeks and months, you’ll know we absolutely love talking about new vehicles. In addition to this, we like to see automakers who just get everything right. Within the industry these days, there seems to be a focus on all the things car makers are doing wrong and where they could do ‘better’. Instead, we like to focus on the positives; today, it’s the Volvo V90.

Don’t get us wrong, we will be talking about a couple of drawbacks to choosing this model but we’re also going to bring you the benefits and all the features you’ll be getting after making the investment. If you like the look of the Volvo V90 Cross Country and want to learn more, keep reading because this is going to be the guide for you!

The Basics

According to Volvo, the V90 Cross Country is ‘ready for every adventure’ and this is a great way to summarize the vehicle. With traditional Scandinavian design and high-quality craftsmanship, this model looks powerful and this is the first impression you might get from the vehicle. With a rugged exterior highlighted in the bold lines, you get the feeling this Volvo can do anything…on any surface. With the large wheels and large ground clearance, you can be confident in driving in all terrains and all conditions without causing damage.

Regardless of where you’re driving, the interior will always stay the same and this is a safe haven from the world. With luxurious materials and natural light flooding in from the Panoramic Moonroof, it creates a relaxing atmosphere for people in both the front and back. Not only are the seats comfortable, they’re streamlined to allow for extra legroom for those in the back.

Key Features

Before we head into the benefits and drawbacks of the model, let’s take a look at some of the key features and why you would even consider investing in the Volvo V90 Cross Country.

Specifications - Fitted with a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbocharged engine, you’ll enjoy a front-wheel drivetrain, four cylinders, and up to 250 horsepower. As the base model, this is available for just under $50,000 and it also offers 258 lb-ft of torque and around 4,800rpm. Known as the T5 R-Design, you also have an opportunity to upgrade to the T6 AWD R-Design for an extra $6,000.

If you make this decision, the engine becomes turbocharged AND supercharged and the drivetrain is all-wheel drive. Once again, the four cylinders and 2.0-liter features remain in place but the improvements should bring an increase to horsepower, revs per minute, and torque.

Elsewhere in the basic specifications, we find a fuel capacity of 14.5 gallons (15.9 gallons upgraded), five passengers, and a total weight of between 3,900 and 4,200 pounds depending on the model you choose.

Performance - With all the features we’ve mentioned above, they can be paired with innovative engine management systems, low friction engine technology, advanced turbo technology, and common rail direct fuel injection. With a low engine weight, this allows for balanced handling on twisting roads while the powertrain can be optimized with the Start/Stop and Eco functions.

In terms of the chassis, Volvo has noted how they tried to find a balance between sharp handling and a smooth experience and we can’t pick holes in this since we’ve felt the car in action. With the advanced aluminum double wishbone suspension for the front wheels, this allows for a more balanced experience and you can tune each characteristic individually with the exclusive integral axle.

With the eight-speed automatic transmission, you don’t ever have to worry about being in the wrong gear and the electrical power steering will adjust depending on the speed at which you’re traveling. In the center display, you can actually select which feel and sensitivity you want from three options. As you travel through the speed range, you should notice a difference as it moves from low, medium, and high steering assistance.

Despite the automatic gearbox, you will have paddle shifters to make the driving experience even more enjoyable. If you’re looking for more precise gear changes, drivers can use the paddles without ever taking your hands off the wheel and this is one of the many features that seems to have safety at the forefront of all thinking.

Safety - Talking of which, Volvo has clearly thought about safety in all areas of the car and there are some amazing innovations that make this clear. For example, Standard City Safety auto-braking technology is a superb start because the car will brake automatically when a collision is imminent. If you’re driving under the speed of 31mph, the manufacturers believe the vehicle can avoid collisions altogether. Compared to the Mercedes Benz E-Class, there are more safety features and this includes semi-autonomous driving capabilities.

Technology - Finally, we should also mention technology since this is a key factor within all vehicles these days. Starting with the Standard Sensus Navigation system, you’ll experience intuitive guidance while connecting with several navigation apps and cloud-based services. Additionally, with the Bowers & Wilkins audio system, you can also experience the very best sound quality. Throughout the model, state-of-the-art technology will keep bringing you surprises long after first buying the model.

The Customer Experience

In our own experience and the experience of people we’ve spoken to, the model really does live up to what Volvo claims. Not only does it handle a variety of terrains really well, you don’t feel as though you’re being short-changed when driving on the road which is something you get sometimes. When manufacturers concentrate so hard on making the vehicle thrive on rocky terrain, you feel as though they forget it also needs to ride smoothly on the road but Volvo has the balance spot on.

From the luxurious interior, it allows you to feel comfortable inside regardless of what’s going on outside. Even if there’s a storm, the inside is so calm it allows you to stay relaxed; plus the fact you feel confident the V90 Cross Country would handle even the strongest of storms.

Benefits of the V90 Cross Country

Spacious Nature - Firstly, we’d like to talk about something we haven't yet discussed in the sheer amount of space available. Although even more space can be found with the XC90, there’s nothing wrong with what’s available with the V90. In total, 69 cubic feet of space can be found with the model which means you can have four passengers, luggage, and perhaps even buggies without having to arrange it all like a piece of art.

When they first see the V90, people often think they need more space but we urge you to look around the back first because you might just be surprised.

Perfect Balance - In the market these days, we have the models that look pretty and the models that look like a bodybuilder competition all laid out neatly on the forecourt. However, there are very few models that find the balance between the two and this is something we have with the V90. Within the crossover niche, we’ve seen plenty try and the disappointment in many models perhaps shows how difficult the balance can be to master.

From the outside, it offers a wide stance and a bulky appearance but it rides with elegance. In fact, all Volvo 90-series models seem to hit the nail on the head. Just because this one is in Cross Country form and they’ve had to make some changes, it doesn’t mean the beauty of the brand has been lost. If you really want to play around with the car, you could even buy the Luxury Package and add a two-tone effect.

Strong Off-Road Prospects - Within the automobile industry, it’s not often you get a company executive compare and contrast their own models but one from Volvo recently did just this. In a conversation during an interview, they noted how the V90 Cross Country is better-equipped to deal with off-road situations than the XC60 and XC90 SUVs. For those who go off-road regularly, they said these customers tend to choose the V90 before any other. If you like to go off-road yourself, this is important to remember.

Smooth Ride (No Matter How Long!) - You know the drill; you’ve been driving for a number of hours and you start thinking about how you’d love to have a more comfortable chair. With any long drive, we always thought this was a given because our bodies need to move every so often. However, many customers have noted how this feeling never comes with the V90.

As well as the driver, the passengers remain comfortable on long journeys and this allows a more relaxed drive (especially with children in the car!). Even if you’re traveling around the city and navigating the many speed bumps and potholes, the V90 Cross Country deals with the pressure well.

At this point, you might be wondering whether this means some of the excitement has been taken from the driver but this simply isn't a problem. Driver involvement is still key and the steering is responsive; just as it should be. With the chassis, this also keeps you connected and you really feel it when twisting and turning through corners. Ultimately, the experience is smooth, enjoyable, and never seems to get old no matter how many times you get behind the wheel.

Drawbacks of the V90 Cross Country

Processor - In the first of only two drawbacks we could think of for this model, the processor on the infotainment system could be a little better. Although this is clutching at straws a little, it does lag at times and it can become rather frustrating. Not only does it take a while to fire up, you also need to leave it a few minutes to wake up otherwise you just end up pressing the wrong button and getting delayed screen changes.

Powertrain - Secondly, some have noted how the engine is a little laggy too. Despite the specifications we showed earlier, there can sometimes be a delay to get hold of the power. For many, they struggle to keep the engine ‘in the zone’ and owners of the non-supercharged model have actually noted a smoother experience.


There it is, your ultimate guide to the Volvo V90 Cross Country. Whether you’re considering buying the vehicle or just interested in the model, we’re sure you can see why it has been getting so much attention. Well done Volvo, we envy anybody who gets to drive these vehicles on a daily basis!

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