What is it?
The Volvo V90 Cross Country is essentially a more rugged, off-road-oriented version of Volvo’s new estate that has been designed to take the fight to the ever-popular Audi A6 3.0 TDI Allroad quattro and the technologically advanced Mercedes E 350d All Terrain.
It follows in the footsteps of a number of other Volvo Cross Country models - a legacy that dates back to 1997 and the launch of the original V70XC. Conceived to bridge the gap between a load-lugging wagon and a high-set SUV, that original off-roader-cum-estate proved to be surprisingly popular with buyers in North America and Europe, thanks to its rugged yet understated looks, and unshakable all-weather ability.
In fact, Volvo got the ratio of off-road looks to on-road ability so spot on, that all following Cross Country models have followed the original car’s design to a tee; a trend that the V90 Cross Country proudly continues. Therefore, the ride height of the all-wheel-drive chassis has been raised by an extra 65mm, the front track has been widened by 20mm (the rear by 40mm) and the specially designed tyres are 42mm larger in diameter. “This is not a just an exercise in rugged styling” Volvo insists.
With that said, the V90 XC also receives those recognisable iconic black plastic wheel arch extensions, blacked out trim pieces and front and rear titanium skid plates. However, you can’t help but notice that there has been a slight change in approach to the overall design, which looks deliberately more refined and polished compared with the previous V70 XC.
In fact, for the first time, buyers can now select body-coloured alternatives - a design decision, which may or may not please those customers who enjoy the odd green lane.