Skip to main content

Station wagons were once America’s favorite type of vehicle outside the pickup truck. But as ride height became one of the top market demands, their understated utilitarianism failed to keep up with the wants of vehicle buyers. Although they now have a cult following, station wagons could prove more valuable than simple, nostalgic honor badges in some social circles. For instance, the 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country may be all the vehicle one needs, especially for towing. Compared to the bog-standard base Ford Maverick, it comes out on top. 

What car has the largest towing capacity?

There aren’t many cars that are built for towing nowadays. Manufacturers have moved on since the mid-90s Buick Roadmaster that could keep up with today’s midsize trucks. Most cars that can tow a fair bit are now in the crossover SUV segment, but there’s one left. It’s not a sedan or coupe, but a good ol’ station wagon.

The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country sits above its V60 younger brother, which also has a plug-in variant. Volvo says the luxury wagon is “designed for exploration,” and part of that may include pulling a teardrop trailer to the mountaintop. Luckily, the Cross Country has the pulling power to handle up to 3,500 pounds.

Can the V90 really out-tow the Ford Maverick?

It may seem ludicrous that a Volvo station wagon can out-tow a Ford pickup truck, but it’s true. Many laud the Ford Maverick’s 4,000-pound maximum towing capacity, but the extra hauling capabilities are part of an optional package. Potential buyers must pick the Maverick stocked with the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with all-wheel drive (AWD). Otherwise, Ford’s entry-level pickup has a towing limit of half of that.

The base 2.5-liter hybrid Maverick in front-wheel drive (FWD) has a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 pounds. Ford’s EcoBoost does the same in either drive configuration. The only way to tow more than the 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country is with Ford’s 4K Tow Package. Starting with the Ford Maverick LT, it’s an extra $2,220 for AWD and the EcoBoost and another $745 for the tow package. The option upgrades the Maverick’s tires, transmission oil cooler, adds in a higher capacity radiator, more cooling fans, and all the trailer brake accouterments.

With a post-destination price of just over $27,000, it’s comfortably half the $59,000 and change for the V90. But the Cross Country doesn’t just provide great towing power for a car, but premium luxury.

2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country configurations

The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country can tow more than the ford maverick
2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country | Volvo Cars USA

It’s hard to find a manufacturer that does luxury interiors better than Volvo. Two-tone leather, open-pore wood accents, a tablet-style infotainment display, and artful design make the V90 a warm and comforting wagon. The spacious cabin can also suck up 69 cubic feet of cargo, more than the 33.3 cubic-foot Ford Maverick pickup bed.

Opulence and space aside, the 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country is a rocket for a station wagon. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is supercharged and turbocharged, with a 48-volt hybrid system attached. The results are 295 horsepower, 310 pounds-feet of torque, and a 6.1-second 0-60 time with AWD. Moreover, the Ford Maverick and Volvo V90 Cross Country ground clearance figures aren’t that dissimilar. With its crossover SUV-like ride height, the station wagon can manage 7.9 inches of clearance to the FWD Maverick’s 8.3 inches and the AWD’s 8.6.

Not many are going to pick the 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country as a daily towing rig. Most likely, they’ll stick to the middle land on the interstate on the way to a business park. However, it’s nice to know that wagons are still around and still bode as more functional that some of the industry’s go-to practical vehicles.


Towing With the Ford Maverick Hybrid Isn’t Great