Crossover & Midsize

The 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country Is an SUV Alternative That Looks Like a Snack

SUVs have taken over the automotive market. Sure, pickup trucks tend to be in the top spot for America’s favorite vehicle, but the SUV has all but taken over. But while other segments are taking this domination lying down, the station wagons are making a hard push back toward glory. Leading the charge is the 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country, the ultimate SUV alternative. 

Can the 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country really be an SUV alternative?

Volvo has always ruled the station wagon game. Back in the day, the automotive enthusiasts would turn their noses up at a station wagon. However, these days, the wagon has become something we car nerds can’t get enough of. 

grey Volvo driving through the mountains
2021 Volvo V90 B6 AWD Cross Country in Thunder Grey | Volvo

Road Show calls the 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country “achingly pretty,” which I could not agree more with. Volvo did well on this one. It has a fantastic all-wheel-drive system and sports a tall lift making this wagon both sportier than most SUVs and plenty roomy. 

Is the 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country a good car? 

Road Show reports that the V90 is powered by Volvo’s 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The crazy thing is, this engine is both turbocharged and supercharged resulting in an output of 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a station wagon, eh? 

grey 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country could be a great SUV alternative
2021 V90 T6 AWD Cross Country | Volvo

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Road Show reports that the engine is not the best sounding or smoothest running internal combustion powerplant of all time, but it works well and returns 24 mpg combined. Compare that to most SUVs with anything near 300 horsepower, and you might find that 24 mpg is pretty good. 

The review showed that the power for the Volvo V90 Cross Country is pretty torque heavy. The reviewer says that the acceleration is snappy and quick but loses some gusto in the higher rev range. He also notes that the transmission works well enough that he rarely ever noticed it or thought of it at all. I guess that is kind of what you want from most transmissions. 

The V90 is still a luxury car 

Road Show’s test unit was set up with the $1,200 optional Four-C adaptive air suspension. This really drives home the luxury and comfort aspects. The reviewer says that this suspension upgrade “really isolates passengers from all but the gnarliest road imperfections, but not so much that the V90 feels disconnected from the road.” 

close up of the front of the 2021 Volvo V90
2021 V90 T6 AWD Cross Country | Volvo

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The Volvo’s interior is exactly what we would expect of a solid SUV alternative. Volvo continues to build on its reputation for having some of the best seats in the automotive industry. The tester mentions that the seats are not just comfortable; they are heated, cooled, and even offer a massage feature. That is next level, Volvo. The rest of the interior also gets top marks with thoughtful design elements and a logical layout of controls. 

Don’t overlook the Volvo V90 wagon if you need an SUV

With its tall ride height, AWD system, and expansive cargo area, there really isn’t much missing here that you could get from most other compact SUVs. It is likely to handle better than most SUVs and will likely be equivalent or maybe even better on fuel than many of them. It is comfortable, family-friendly, and more capable than many two-wheel-drive SUVs. 

The wagons are coming back quickly, and for good reason. The value you get from the Volvo is pretty great, all things considered. Granted, the V90 Cross Country isn’t cheap, but it is a Volvo, after all. The 2021 Volvo V90 Cross Country starts at $56,690 and costs $67,740, as tested. Sure, you could get a Ford Escape for less money, but this easily twice the car. It really covers all the bases and still is comfortable and easy to drive. If you need an SUV, consider buying a station wagon instead.