Volvo’s 2021 V90 Cross Country T6 AWD is still looking great and is better than ever
SEATTLE — For those caught between a full-on overlanding experience and those who want a vehicle that’s more civil for the day to day chores, the wagons of today are better than ever. Volvo’s 2021 V90 Cross Country T6 AWD is such a car. Its popularity stems from the fact that it’s safe and offers all of the flexibility we love about wagons, in a very attractive design; inside and out.
If ever a company could make a wagon look cool, it’s Volvo. This is one of the best-looking cars in its price segment. The bold body lines’ integration with the headlights, front grill and back of the car, have superb execution. The 20-inch wheels also add some nice bling to the mix.
Under the hood we find a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This is done by using a combination of both turbo and a supercharger. Power delivery comes by way of an eight-speed automatic transmission that does a decent job of quickly getting through the gears. There’s nothing overly dramatic about this engine or its exhaust note, however, it’s actually rather punchy and catapults the V90 Cross Country from 0-60 in roughly 5.9 seconds.
The EPA rates the fuel economy of the V90 Cross Country at 20 miles per gallon around town and up to 30 on the highway or 24 combined.
Braking performance is rather solid as well with very little fade. During our extensive drive in this car, we went up rather steep roads and the braking on the way back down was excellent.
Even though its infotainment center is starting to show some signs of age, the rest of the interior is easily among the best you’ll find in any of today’s vehicles. Top-notch surface materials abound, with stitched-leather, wood-grains and even soft-to-the-touch plastic surfaces as well.
The front seats are about as comfortable as you’ll find. They even sport lower-leg bolsters that help give you extra support on those longer drives. There are massage functions as well – our only dismay is that the massagers are on timers, which means you have to reset it every so often. Side note: Why can’t cars simply keep doing something unless otherwise turned off?
Rear seating is comfortable and spacious as well. In fact, the rear passengers get a very good view with the massive sunroof shade open. It completely makes the car feel more open. Even though you can stick someone in the middle back here, you might want to skip on that, unless it’s a child.
Now we get to what is easily my personal favorite feature about this car. The Bowers and Wilkens audio system. Flat out, it is easily the best-performing audio system I’ve heard in any new car and I’ve been reviewing cars for over a decade. The subwoofer is integrated into the body of the car so it takes up zero storage space in the back. It will absolutely shake you with low transient bass with the right kind of music. If you were to go buy an aftermarket audio system, you’d easily dump $5-7k to simply match what B&W has done here. Breathtaking is the term that comes to mind as you crank it up, with very little noticeable distortion. It is so clear, you can literally hear every minute detail in whatever kind of music you enjoy.
The exhaustive controls to the infotainment center are easily accessed via the vertically oriented 9-inch display. It literally behaves like a tablet or cell phone. You simply move the menus around from side to side or even pull down a sub-menu from the top. It’s super intuitive and you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
Its on-board navigation works rather well and is especially good when used with the voice commands while driving. We found it to be pretty accurate without a great deal of fuss to use.
Driver aids include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, a 360-degree rear back-up camera and emergency braking. In fact, Volvo’s safety systems are so top-notch that they have earned a whopping nine IIHS safety awards.
On the road, the V90 Cross Country drives like a dream. Super smooth, quiet and is rather responsive in its steering and adept handling. While I’d like to see more refinements in the engine’s acceleration, it’s still a rewarding, yet relaxing driving experience. There are four different drive-modes you can choose from: comfort/normal, eco, dynamic and off-road. Additionally, there are options to set things up in an individual mode to better accommodate your driving preferences.
There’s no question that the V90 Cross Country has a lot to offer any consumer looking for a wagon. It’s still a great-looking car, performs well, has decent fuel economy and will absolutely make you feel pampered behind the wheel.
Price as tested: $67,740, including destination charge.
For more information or to setup a test drive at your local dealer, visit: https://www.volvocars.com/us