2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country Review: Back Among Us

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country Review: Back Among Us

  • The 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country is priced from $70,640 including shipping and handling.

  • Beautiful, spacious, well finished interior.

  • Driving lacks refinement, the multimedia system and air conditioning controls are annoying, the brakes are painful at first.

When it arrived for the 2017 vintage, the Volvo V90 was praised for its sleek and stylish design as well as its fuel-efficient engines, but its sale in Canada lasted just three years before it was pulled from the lineup. However, the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country is available, marking the return of the car to us, at least, its high-footed variant.

In Volvo parlance, the Cross Country designates a station wagon with a raised stance and a more solid-looking body with plastic strips around the wheel arches. This name was adopted before the 2000s, when the adventurous version of the Volvo V70 was introduced, which proved to be very popular. It was later renamed the XC70, inspiring the range of utility vehicles we know today.

Why is the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country available in Canada after a two-year hiatus? It’s a good question, but you have to realize that the uglier looking cars are on the rise, so why not offer this style to Canadian consumers again? It must also be said that the Cross Country version now has direct competition in our market, which was not true a few years ago. Indeed, its rivals are called Mercedes-Benz E 450 4MATIC All-Terrain and Audi A6 allroad.

Aesthetically, very little has changed since the 2017 vintage, and that’s okay. Volvo designers created a svelte body, with a low roofline and muscular proportions, which the side extensions of the Cross Country version did not spoil. 19 to 21 inch wheels are available, which further enhance the look of the car.

However, there are some external changes. The front bumper has been redesigned, placing the fog lights slightly higher, the taillight details have been modified, and the exhaust tips that were attached to the rear bumper have been removed. As the manufacturer begins its transition to 100% electric motors, it was deemed appropriate not to emphasize this behavior any longer. Note that the windshield wiper arms cannot be raised, being placed too low to improve aerodynamics. This complicates the removal of the wipers in winter. However, if there is a brand with experience in winter conditions, it is Volvo.

In the cabin, the same story, while the changes since the 2017 vintage have been very subtle. The seats offer excellent comfort, a Volvo trademark, and the presentation is chic with a minimal number of buttons, a clean style that only Scandinavians seem to be able to create beautifully, and the wooden covers bring a touch of warmth and durability. However, we like black non-shiny surfaces, which collect dust quickly. The available 19-speaker Bowers & Wilkins audio system is top-notch, but its $3,750 price tag makes it an expensive option.

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country

Regarding the design, there are no problems, but we would like an ergonomic improvement to correct the shortcomings that have existed since the introduction of the model in 2017. The multimedia system has a 9.3-inch touch screen, more responsive than before, and perfect. the driver’s digital instruments have been revised, allowing the navigation map to be displayed almost full-screen. Although the menu layout has been updated and the system now has Google features, it’s still a bit difficult to use while driving. What’s worse, and the compromise of a dashboard that includes few physical buttons, is that you have to use the on-screen buttons to adjust the climate system, which requires several steps to get there. Also, the location of the climate control buttons is very small, and it is difficult to focus when the car is moving. In short, it’s small, unnecessarily complicated and fun.

As for cabin space, there’s plenty of headroom despite the low roofline. The rear occupants will be comfortable if there are two of them, but the third passenger will spoil comfort and space. It will not be his fault, as the advance on the floor is annoying and the middle seat is narrow. As for cargo space, with 714 liters with the rear seats up, and 1,517 liters with them folded down, it’s adequate, although a similarly priced mid-size sedan like the Volvo XC90 is roomier and more versatile. With the rear seats in place, the V90 does better than the E 450 All-Terrain (640 litres), but the A6 roadster is roomier (849 litres).

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country

The biggest changes in the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country, compared to the 2017 to 2019 vintage, are found under the hood. The supercar now comes with Sweden’s new hybrid powertrain, which still has a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder as its base. A 13-horsepower engine-generator has been added to the system, making the automatic stop-and-restart feature even better. An eight-speed automatic transmission handles power to all four wheels. According to Volvo’s website, the V90 can tow up to 1,580 kg or around 3,500 pounds.

This engine, called the B6 compared to the T5 or T6 for the non-hybrid engines of previous model years, produces 295 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque, impressive figures for a displacement of just two liters. Acceleration is clear, without being violent, perfect for daily driving. As for city/highway/combined fuel consumption, it comes in at 10.6/8.1/9.5 L/100 km, not too bad for a midsize car of this size, and the first gasoline is needed. During our test, we saw an average of 10.8 liters per 100 km.

The V90’s off-road appearance is impressive, with its 204mm ground clearance and suspension boasting more travel than the regular V90, which is no longer available from us anyway. The off-road mode, which can be activated from the multimedia screen, includes an anti-skid system that can control the speed of the car without touching the brakes. The mode also adjusts the steering assist and all-wheel drive settings, making it no real adventurer to follow a real 4×4 on a trail, for example. To get to the cabin at the end of a bumpy road, the V90 makes the job a breeze.

Alas, in quiet driving, the engine is not the most refined, while the stop / restart system shakes the occupants while doing its job. In addition, the brakes, although good, are very painful as soon as they are applied, causing more vibrations when it is difficult to adjust the effort of our right foot on the pedal.

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country

On the other hand, the Mercedes-Benz E 450 All-Terrain has a 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder with 362 horses, while the Audi A6 allroad has a 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder with 335 horses. The two rivals benefit from a smoother, more refined engine and a more pleasant sound, while using less fuel, with a combined average of 9.8 L/100 km for the E 450 and 10.0 for the A6. In short, a good effort from the Swedish brand, but the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country doesn’t take advantage of its smaller engine.

The 2022 V90 Cross Country retails from $70,640 including shipping and handling. Our test car also had several individual and group options, including 20-inch wheels, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, power front seats, four-zone automatic climate control, a display headrest, surround-view camera system, Bowers & Wilkins chain, and cargo area guards, cost around $82,000. That seems pricey, but the E 450 All-Terrain and A6 allroad boast starting prices of more than $80,000 before you even add options.

The V90 is a well-designed, pleasant, comfortable luxury car for long road trips. It is as broad as it should be, even if comparable services are more numerous, and it uses it accordingly. By limiting yourself to options, you can get one for less than its direct rivals. On the other hand, and as it was during its first presence on Canadian soil, it is not the best option compared to the services of the brand, unless you really want to get a station wagon.