2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country

Is it a wagon? Is it a crossover? All we know is, the V90 Cross Country continues to give buyers a more stylish alternative to a traditional SUV
Is it a wagon? Is it a crossover? All we know is, the V90 Cross Country continues to give buyers a more stylish alternative to a traditional SUV

by Imran Salam and Nathan Leipsig | February 26, 2024


Volvo is one of the few manufacturers that (thankfully) refuse to let the station wagon die. The 2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country is a stubborn but welcome example of that — it’s a lifted station wagon with body cladding, which sounds like what a crossover essentially is, except the V90 isn’t one, because it’s really a wagon. Confused yet?

The Swedish automaker has always made some nifty station wagons, not to mention extending the Cross Country treatment to a number of models, over the years. Today, that designation is only available on the V60 and V90 wagons — the latter of which exclusively available in Cross Country trim — but what exactly does that mean in the Volvo world?

In all honesty, not much. All-wheel-drive is standard, you get a bit more ground clearance, and some minimal plastic cladding around the wheels and lower body. That’s really it. It’s mostly a visual upgrade, plus a slightly taller ride height to woo crossover buyers. I can see the appeal to some; the V90 Cross Country isn’t bad-looking by any stretch of the imagination, but I prefer the body-cladding-free look. The V60 Polestar Engineered and the V90 from previous years are positively beautiful in my looks, and the Cross Country trimmings take away from that look more than they enhance it.

Still, it’s a Volvo, and Volvos have a sense of quiet attractiveness to them. The so-called ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights still look great on the V90, and the signature rear tail light treatment remains. I was surprised to see 21-inch wheels on our particular tester; it wears them well without looking like a Hot Wheels toy. The rest is typical Volvo, slightly squared-off and traditional-looking, which I’m perfectly fine with. Some might mistake the V90 Cross Country for an Audi from afar, but I think that’s a complement. Our tester’s Platinum Grey paintwork is an interesting colour, in that it’s an average-looking grey until sunlight hits it, revealing a hint of brown.

The V90 Cross Country’s interior is a very nice place to be. Space is plentiful both front and rear, especially since there is no sloping roofline cutting into rear passenger headroom, and cargo space is terrific given the V90’s long body. As with most other Volvos, materials, build quality, and the overall aesthetic are all top-notch. It lacks the theatre of its German rivals — there’s no disco-club ambient lighting like Mercedes or BMW, instead offering the faintest of white lighting around some dashboard and door pieces — but the V90 makes up for it with a less-is-more motif.

The brown leather and wood trim look classy and luxurious, the gauge cluster is all-digital as expected, and the vertical-oriented infotainment works well with its Google-based software, although i wouldn’t call it bleeding-edge tech. The etched crystal shift knob with white ambient lighting was the cherry on top.

Another highlight inside, both in form and function, was the optional Bowers and Wilkins audio system. Mounted up in the middle of the dash is the signature tweeter, much like you’d find atop their very expensive home theatre systems. From there, metal speaker grilles were littered throughout the cabin, doing an intentionally poor job of hiding the excellent speakers behind them. Functionally, it delivers over 1,400 watts of clean, crisp audio throughout the cabin, with the major highlights being deep bass and in-your-face [In-your-ears? —Ed.] vocals that only a Bowers and Wilkins tweeter could give. I even enjoyed the surround sound modes, adding a concert-like element to my music. You could argue many other systems may sound better overall, but I’ve yet to hear one that accentuates vocals so well. Mercedes’ Burmester system is terrific, but personally, I’d give the (slightest) nod to Volvo’s Bowers and Wilkins system.

Things aren’t as extraordinary when you get moving. The V90 Cross Country feels more SUV than car with its raised suspension, swaying much like a crossover would. Admittedly, it isn’t trying to be sporty, but the V90 far too soft and the ride doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence. It’s an odd feeling overall considering most people who go for wagons over SUVs typically prefer the car-like driving dynamics while maximizing space. Steering is equally light, even in its sportiest setting, but passing power is more than adequate.

The V90 Cross Country’s supercharged-and-turbocharged 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine works with a 48-volt mild hybrid assist — talk about complicated — to put out 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the hybrid powertrain feels smooth and torquey, but it isn’t particularly quick, taking 6.4 seconds to scoot from zero-to-100 km/h. It’s a solid powertrain, despite the rest of the V90 Cross Country’s driving dynamics being mostly forgettable.

And that’s entirely what the 2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country feels like. It’s a solid and stylish offering that feels like the last bastion of station wagons, let down by an overall personality that’s trying too hard to be SUV-like, which kind of defeats the purpose. Still, I’m glad it exists, giving buyers a quality option that’s more distinctive than a traditional crossover.


Vehicle Specs
Midsize station wagon
Engine Size
2.0L twin-charged four-cylinder w/ 48-volt mild hybrid assist
Horsepower (at RPM)
295 hp at 5,400 rpm
Torque (lb-ft.)
310 at 2,100 rpm
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Imran Salam

Staff Writer

Imran is a true enthusiast who you'll find at shows, local meets, Sunday drives or the track. He appreciates the variety the car industry has to offer, having owned over a dozen cars from different manufacturers. Imran is grateful to own one of his childhood poster cars and enjoys inspiring the next generation. When Imran is not behind wheel he is found playing basketball or spending time with family.

Current Toys: '13 Boxster S 6MT, '24 Integra Type S, '08 328xi