Volvo has pulled the sheet off of its new V90 Cross Country, revealing what could well be hottest-selling version of the 90 Series family here in North America. It’s been nearly two decades since Volvo opted to lift up its classic family wagon into something a little more suitable for snowstorms and dirt roads, and in 2016 there’s never been a more ravenous appetite for just these types of vehicles.
What you see is pretty much what you get with the 2017 Volvo V90 Cross Country. It’s essentially a V90 wagon that’s been lifted 2.36 inches (totaling 8.2 inches of clearance), plus new wheels, tires, and adjustments to the car’s electronic chassis system. Starting with the tires, Volvo says that the new rubber is both softer and rounder than on the standard V90 wagon and S90 sedan. Over rocky paths and dirt roads as well as uneven pavement, the switch to a softer tire is intended increase ride comfort without significantly sacrificing on-road driving dynamics.
The V90 Cross Country rides on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) as the V90 and S90, as well as the hot-selling Volvo XC90 SUV. Volvo engineers say its SPA allows for a wide latitude in chassis tuning, and that the Cross Country was tweaked in a number of ways to handle tougher conditions. Changes to the electric power steering, all-wheel drive system, and stability control all improve driving dynamics over more challenging surfaces and in nastier weather. The V90 Cross Country will also come with hill-descent control as well as continuously controlled damping.
All-wheel drive will be standard on the Cross Country, offered in concert with Volvo’s 2.0-liter supercharged and turbocharged T6 four-cylinder engine or the base 2.0-liter turbocharged T5. The T6 delivers 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque via an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the T5 makes 250 hp and 258 lb-ft and uses the same transmission. A Volvo spokesperson said a plug-in hybrid T8 model is still being considered.
Inside you’ll find the same attractively designed interior as in the S90 and XC90, with the same useful touchscreen infotainment system, gorgeous wood trim, and high-end Bowers & Wilkins audio.
Volvo says it will begin production of the V90 Cross Country in fall of this year, and we anticipate it will hit U.S. showrooms in the second quarter of 2017.