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First Drive

First Drive: Volvo V90 Cross Country

Volvo V90 Cross Country D5
The story: Volvo’s off-road-clad four-wheel-drive estate has been a favourite going back to the V70 XC 20 years ago, and this new version bridges the gap from the V90 estate to the XC90 large off-roader.
Key rival:Audi A6 Allroad
On sale:Now

The Volvo Cross Country brand takes in V40, V60 and V90 models, with this one expected to take a quarter of V90 volume.

It has four-wheel drive as standard, and a choice of 235hp D5 or 190hp D4 engines. The Volvo Cross Country is raised by 65mm over the regular V90, and has wheelarch extensions, silver front and rear skid plates, larger door mirrors, hill decent control and an off-road drive mode setting that’s activated below 25mph to maximise off-road performance.

New Volvo V90 Cross Country side with skirts

That ride height hike might not sound like a lot, but it gives the V90 a higher stance, while also making the car softer and feeling a little more like an off-roader.

Pricing is interesting, because in more powerful D5 set-up, the Volvo Cross Country is actually cheaper than the (admittedly higher-specced) R-Design and Inscription models, mainly due to the fact that all D5 V90s are four-wheel drive. On the D4, the Volvo Cross Country tops the range because the rest of the trims are front-wheel drive.

Either way, the Volvo Cross Country emits 139g/km in D5 spec, and 1g/km less for the D4, while the regular V90 D5s are all at 129g/km, and D4s at 119g/km. The powerful and appealing D5, driven here and costing £3500 more than the D4 Cross Country, offers a great package of off-road ability and performance in a stylish package that’s less overt than true off-roaders. And if you accept that other V90 trim levels offer higher levels of standard kit, it’s not astronomically expense either.


paul barker

The verdict

Looks good, and offers decent off-road capability without sacrificing efficiency or driving dynamics.