The 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country starts at $59,545 in the United States and at $70,640 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.
Beautiful, spacious, well-appointed cabin.
Powertrain lacks refinement, distracting infotainment system and climate controls, grabby brakes.
Having arrived in North America for the 2017 model year, the Volvo V90 was acclaimed for its elegant design in addition to its fuel-efficient powertrains, but sales haven’t exactly been through the roof. To the point where the midsize wagon was actually pulled from the Canadian market after 2019. However, it’s back, as it has always been in the U.S. market, although it’s now only available in Cross Country trim.
In Volvo-speak, Cross Country means a station wagon with an elevated suspension and more robust-looking bodywork, with plastic cladding around the wheel wells. This name was adopted just before the turn of the century, when at the time, a more rugged version of the Volvo V70 wagon was introduced, and ended up being fairly popular. It was renamed XC70 afterwards, inspiring a while range of utility vehicles in the brand’s lineup.
Why is the Volvo V90 Cross Country 2022 back in the Canadian market after a two-year hiatus? That’s a good question, but we must realize that vehicles boasting a more adventurous, active-lifestyle look is a current trend, so why not give the model another change to seduce Canadian shoppers? It’s worth noting that the Cross Country variant now has direct rivals in the U.S. and Canadian markets that weren’t available a few years ago, the Mercedes-Benz E 450 4MATIC All-Terrain and the Audi A6 allroad.
From a styling standpoint, very little has changed since the 2017 model year, and that’s fine. The brand’s designers initially concocted a skin-tight body, with a low roofline and muscular proportions that the Cross Country’s lower-body cladding hasn’t tarnished. Wheel sizes ranging from 19 to 21 inches also enhance the wagon’s look.
There are in fact some small exterior changes. The front bumper has been revised, placing the fog lamps higher up, while the taillamp detailing has been reworked and the exposed exhaust tips have disappeared, as the brand is heading towards an all-electric powertrain future.
Inside, same story, as changes since the 2017 model year have been very subtle. The seats offer great comfort, a Volvo trademark, and the overall look is elegantly simplistic, with a minimal number of physical buttons and tasteful light wood trim in an elemental design that only the Scandanavians seem to get right. On the other hand, we’re not too fond of the piano black inserts that quickly attract dust. The optional 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system delivers outstanding sound quality, but its price of $3,200 USD or $3,750 CAN is a costly addition.
The 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country gets a new mild hybrid powertrain that still uses a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0L inline-four as a base. A 13-horsepower motor-generator has been added make the automatic stop/start system more efficient, while the powertrain still includes an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. According to Volvo’s website, the V90 Cross Country can tow up to 3,500 pounds or 1,588 kilograms.
Called the B6 powertrain as opposed to T5 or T6 in previous model years, this new mild hybrid setup produces 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. City/highway/combined fuel economy ratings are set at 22/29/25 mpg or 10.6/8.1/9.5 L/100 km. We managed an average of 22 mpg or 10.8 L/100 km during our test.
The 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country starts at $59,545 in the United States and $70,640 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.
What the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country Does Well
- As mentioned above, we like the V90’s exterior design that will likely still look good in 10 or 20 years. The cabin’s styling is also appealing, even though it’s starting to look dated.
- Volvo’s new B6 mild hybrid powertrain is more fuel-efficient than the outgoing T5 and T6 engines, and especially helps reduce the V90’s consumption around town.
- The 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country is a roomy station wagon, with more cargo space behind the rear seats than in the Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain, although it’s down a little compared to the Audi A6 allroad.
- What can we say—it’s one of the rare station wagons still left on our market. A rare alternative for those who loathe SUVs and minivans, but still want or need versatility.
What the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country Doesn’t Do Well
- Volvo’s infotainment system, with its 9.3-inch portrait-layout touchscreen, has recently been updated with Google built-in features, and its screen seems more responsive than in the brand’s earlier models that adopted this system. However, its menu layout is still unintuitive. The minimalistic row of buttons on the centre stack may look clean, but that means users will have to use the on-screen button zones to fiddle with the climate controls and the heated/ventilated seats, which are always a multi-step process. And those zones are really small, so they’re hard to poke while the car is in movement.
- As much as the B6 engine is powerful and efficient, the E 450 All-Terrain’s turbo 3.0L six belts out 362 horsepower and consumes 24 mpg or 9.8 L/100 km on the combined cycle, while the A6 allroad’s turbo 3.0L six generates 335 horsepower and is rated at 23 mpg or 10.0 L/100 km combined. The competition’s powertrains are more refined, more powerful and sound better with a small compromise in fuel economy.
- The 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country’s recessed windshield wiper arms can’t be lifted for the sake of aerodynamics, making the wipers hard to de-ice in wintertime. If there’s a brand that should know how living in harsh winter conditions is, it’s Volvo.
- The V90’s automatic start/stop system, although now more efficient, is still harsh when it comes into play, sending shakes throughout the cockpit. Meanwhile, the grabby brakes are difficult to modulate, further tarnishing the driving experience.
The 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country can draw buyers on looks alone, but the luxury wagon is more than that. It’s versatile, boasts a well-appointed cabin and drives very well. However, Volvo’s B6 engine could use a little more refinement and be notably more fuel-efficient than the competition’s six-cylinder powertrains.
On the other hand, the V90 Cross Country’s price undercuts its rivals by a significant amount, before adding on options, and that’s always a good thing. It may not be perfect, but its look hides those imperfections well.