The V90 Cross Country drives like any other V90 – just one that’s taller. The raised suspension makes it feel larger than the regular model – like an SUV that has been lowered rather than an estate that has been raised.
Decide to spec your V90 in Cross Country trim and you’ll be limited to a choice of D4 or D5 diesel engines. Although, as they are the pick of the range – that’s no bad thing.
The D4 is the most conventional of the two – and an engine we have grown fond of because it is one of the best 2.0-litre diesels on sale. With 190hp and maximum torque of 295Ib ft from just 1,750rpm – performance is effortless, the CC gliding from 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds courtesy of its smooth-shifting, standard eight-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel economy sits at 54.3mpg and it produces CO2 emissions of 138g/km.
The D5 Power Pulse has a 2-litre tank of compressed air that can spin the turbo up to speed almost instantly
Opting for the D5 model sees power increase to 235hp and torque swell to 354Ib ft at the same low engine speed. It also benefits from Power Pulse – Volvo-speak for a system that bursts compressed air into the turbocharger to cut lag at low speeds (when there isn’t enough exhaust gas to spin the turbo). The result is a 0-62mph of 7.2 seconds and responsive acceleration that makes overtakes quick and hassle free. Running costs are almost exactly the same as the D4.
Refinement from both engines is excellent – even under hard acceleration, diesel clatter is almost completely absent. Still, in this class of car, some buyers will lament the lack of a smooth, six-cylinder motor like that in the A6 Allroad.
As a result of its raised ride, the Volvo can feel a little unwieldy on tight country roads or in multi-storey car parks. That being said, the raised suspension gives you a decent view out and the Cross Country has larger wing mirrors than the rest of the V90 range for improved rearward visibility.
On road, the benefit of the raised suspension is a more comfortable ride that seems to float over road imperfections much like a Skoda Superb estate. It does mean the CC’s a car that prefers to be driven at a leisurely pace because anything quicker can leave the driving experience feeling a little remote as the big estate leans in corners and wallows over crests. It’s is the ultimate comfy cruiser, though, thanks to the quiet interior and extremely comfy seats.
Of course, the raised suspension means the Cross Country can tackle road conditions that a regular V90 cannot. Driven along a rough and muddy country track, the big Volvo soaks up bumps, cambers and deep mud with ease – the underside of the car refusing to bottom out and the four-wheel drive system seemingly having no problem finding traction. Even steep hills are easily tackled because the car’s hill descent control, which comes on automatically in the Off-Road Drive Mode, holds the car at a crawl with no input needed from the driver.