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Station wagons evoke images of American family vacations of yesteryear, but the best premium option hails from Sweden. Good Housekeeping recently named the 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country the top luxury station wagon in its “Best New Family Cars” roundup. The V90 combines the engaging driving dynamics of a sedan with the comfort and versatility of an SUV in an excellent family hauler. 

Why is the 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country the best luxury family wagon?

2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country family station wagon
2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country in Thunder Grey | Volvo Car Corporation

The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country is a refined, comfortable, yet rugged family wagon worthy of a spot in Good Housekeeping’s “Best New Family Cars.” This car swaddles riders in soft leather and pleases the eye with genuine wood accents and a crystal gear shift knob. It deftly blends understated elegance and family-friendly functionality. 

Despite the V90’s crossover-like lifted suspension and all-wheel-drive performance, the wagon is “so chic and handsome that it can easily pass muster in places a Subaru would be snubbed,” Good Housekeeping astutely notes. And Gear Patrol says the 2023 V90 is at par with the Subaru Outback in off-roading chops. However, unlike the Subie, the Volvo V90 is a luxurious ride.

The 2023 V90 Cross Country offers only one engine option — a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that gets a boost from a supercharger and turbocharger. The wagon’s mild-hybrid system delivers 295 hp, 310 lb-ft of torque, and a six-second 0-to-60-mph acceleration time. That’s plenty of power for highway merging and passing on the next family road trip.

More about the family-friendly 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country

Only a few cars are built for towing, and the 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country fits the profile with its solid build designed for family adventures. It has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds — impressive for a station wagon. Indeed, the V90 can out-tow a Ford Maverick pickup truck.

(While many people laud the Maverick’s 4,000-pound maximum towing capacity, that’s only available as an optional package. The entry-level model has a towing limit of 2,000 pounds. Ford’s EcoBoost model also has the same configuration, leaving Mavericks with Ford’s 4K Tow Pack as the only ones to out-tow the 2023 Volvo V90.)

Besides impressive towing capabilities and a luxurious interior, the V90 Cross Country has a spacious cabin with up to 69 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. With the seats upright, this wagon has 19.8 cubic feet for everyone’s luggage and gear. That’s more than an average sedan. Audi and Mercedes-Benz are the only luxury rivals that beat the V90 Cross Country in cargo space.

In addition, the V90 boasts a high safety rating and many advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recognizes the V90 as one of the safest vehicles in its class. Volvo is known for prioritizing passenger safety. Advanced features include City Safety, an ADAS with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistant, and pedestrian detection.

Other family cars in the Good Housekeeping roundup

Besides the Volvo V90, Good Housekeeping’s roundup includes models such as the BMW i4, which ranks as the best electric car, and the Hyundai Ioniq 5, the top electric crossover.

The Ford F-150 Lightning takes the top position for electric pickup trucks, the Toyota Prius for the best hybrid car, the Chrysler Pacifica for the best minivan, and the Subaru Outback for the best station wagon. 

The Volkswagen Golf GTI took the top spot in the hatchback category, while the Ram 1500 won for the best pickup truck.

The 2023 Volvo V90 Cross Country delivers an upscale interior, impressive performance, cutting-edge technology, and advanced safety features. Starting at $58,450, this family wagon is by no means cheap, but it offers more than most rivals can do at that price point.