2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country Review and Test Drive

Long live the wagon.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country parked on paved road near neighborhoodPerry Stern


Remember the station wagon? It was the family car of choice in the 1970s, offering plenty of space for the whole crew and enough luggage for summer vacation road trips. But with the introduction of the minivan, then the SUV, the wagon practically disappeared from the automotive landscape.

However, after spending time with the alluring — yes, alluring — 2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country, I think this body style is an excellent alternative to the types of models that replaced it.

While Volvo briefly offered a V90 wagon in the late 1990s, the Swedish automaker added the current V90 in 2018 and in 2022 simplified the lineup to include only the Cross Country variant.

The 2024 V90 Cross Country is one of just a handful of wagons still available for sale in the U.S. Perhaps in response to the popularity of crossover SUVs, Volvo gives the V90 Cross Country rugged styling cues, raised ground clearance, and all-wheel drive. Volvo employs the same formula on the V90's sibling, the smaller 2024 V60 Cross Country.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country parked on gravel in rural settingPerry Stern

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country Prices

The 2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country comes in Plus and Ultimate trim levels, and base prices range from the low $60,000s to the high $60,000s, including the destination charge to ship the wagon from the Torslanda, Sweden, factory that builds it to your local dealership.

For this V90 Cross Country review, I test-drove the Ultimate trim in southeastern Michigan. Selected highlights from the optional equipment list included 21-inch wheels, a Climate Package, adaptive damping with a rear air suspension, and a Bowers & Wilkins high-end audio system. The manufacturer's suggested retail price of the test vehicle came to $73,380, including the $1,095 destination charge. Volvo provided the vehicle for this V90 review.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country steering wheel and dashboardPerry Stern

Sleek Looks With a Premium Cabin

Wagons tend to be more similar in appearance to cars than crossover SUVs. The Volvo V90 is a perfect example, featuring a steeply raked windshield that flows smoothly into the roofline, which tapers as it culminates in a rear spoiler. The long hood and rear window that leans forward add to the sleek appearance, as do the stylish taillights that frame the rear liftgate.

The V90 also carries styling cues found throughout Volvo's lineup, including "Thor's hammer" headlights flanking a wide grille with a large Volvo emblem in the center. Bright lower front and rear fascias and 7.9 inches of ground clearance — higher than the average car — add to the rugged look.

Slide into the V90 Ultimate, and the high-quality materials and clean design are immediately apparent. My test vehicle featured soft premium nappa leather on the seats, center console, and door armrests, with a dashboard trimmed in wood. The wood also covered the retractable cover on the center console and decorated the door panels. The stylish crystal gear selector, made by the Swedish glass-design company Orrefors, added a touch of class.

At the center of my test vehicle's dashboard was a portrait-mounted 9.0-inch infotainment display screen flanked by vertical vents with artfully rendered center pulls. Nearly all control access comes through the touchscreen, as the only physical controls are for the front and rear defrosters, basic audio controls including a volume knob and tuning buttons, and the hazard flashers.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country back seatPerry Stern

The Interior Theme Is Swedish Luxury

In my experience, Volvo seats are among the most comfortable in any vehicle, and the V90 is no exception. Ergonomically designed with multiple power adjustments, the front seats provide excellent support, the nappa leather they're covered in is supple, and there's good padding. Heating adds to the comfort, as does the multi-program massaging system.

Rear-seat passengers will find plenty of legroom and headroom. The back doors open wide for easy access, and the space feels quite roomy. Like those up front, the seats are comfortable, and while the padding on the middle seat is stiffer, it is still a reasonable seating option for an adult.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country cargo areaPerry Stern

There's Lots of Storage Space

With a good-size center console, the V90 has plenty of space to store small items. There's a generous bin under the center armrest, and between the seats are dual cupholders with a conveniently located wireless phone charger. The door pockets can handle a large water bottle, and it doesn't fall out when you open the door.

One advantage of a wagon over a crossover SUV is that it's lower to the ground, making loading much easier, whether placing items in the cargo area or strapping them to the roof. The wide liftgate opening reveals a spacious 25.2 cubic-foot cargo area, more than enough for multiple suitcases or other gear. Fold the 60/40 split-folding rear seats to increase the volume to 69 cu-ft.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country infotainment screenPerry Stern

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country Infotainment: Google-Based Convenience

Like other Volvo models, the V90 Cross Country features a Google-based infotainment system with Google built-in. It includes Google Maps, Google Assistant voice control, and the Google Play Store, allowing you to load additional apps as you would on an Android phone. I downloaded Spotify and Waze apps, which instantly integrated into the system. I could also log in to my Google account and access my personal settings for these Google-based features.

Android Auto seems redundant given the Google features built into the system, but it is available, as is Apple CarPlay. I connected my Samsung Galaxy S23+ Android phone via a USB cable and launched Android Auto quickly enough. However, during most of my time in the Volvo, I just used the native Google system.

The infotainment system features a 9.0-inch touchscreen with four horizontal tiles that update to show the most recently accessed features. The large tiles are easy to read, and a physical button below the display returns the system to the home screen. Shortcuts to climate functions remain static at the bottom of the screen, but they're small, and I found them challenging to adjust while driving.

This Google-based system's voice interface worked very well for me. You activate it by saying, "Hey, Google," like an Android phone or Google Assistant device in the home, and the voice recognition technology is outstanding. Requesting directions, making musical selections, adjusting cabin temperature, and locating points of interest — such as the closest coffee shop — worked perfectly.

My test vehicle had the high-end Bowers & Wilkins audio system. It features 1,410 watts of power and 19 speakers and delivers fantastic sound quality.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country digital gaugesPerry Stern

Digital Driver's Display Adds High-Tech Feel

Volvo's 12.3-inch digital instrumentation panel adds a high-tech vibe to the V90 Cross Country. The screen is bright and easy to read, although, with just two basic display modes, it isn't as configurable as similar tech found in some rivals.

When using the native Google Maps, the map appears in the middle of the driver's screen with navigation instructions. That frees up the center display for media or other helpful information.

Unfortunately, when I used Waze rather than Google Maps, the map wouldn't show on the driver's display, even when installed in the native system. Directions and distance information stayed at the top of the screen, but the center section remained blank.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country driver-assistance featuresPerry Stern

Driver-Assistance Tech Basics Are Standard

Volvo has long been known for its focus on safety, and the V90 Cross Country comes well equipped with standard advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS). In addition to the now commonly expected features, the V90 Cross Country has an automatic emergency braking system that reacts to pedestrians, bicyclists, and large animals. The wagon's rear cross-traffic alert includes rear automatic braking, and an intersection turn-assist function can help prevent a collision.

In addition, Volvo's Pilot Assist is standard. Pilot Assist combines adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assist. Activated via controls on the steering wheel, Pilot Assist helps the Volvo maintain a set speed and safe following distance to vehicles ahead while providing steering input to help keep the V90 in the center of the lane.

When I was stuck in traffic due to construction on Interstate Highway 94 in southwest Michigan, the system paced the car ahead, even coming to a complete stop when traffic ground to a halt. The stop was just for a few seconds, and then the Volvo automatically started moving again. The system worked seamlessly, removing the hassle and stress from stop-and-go traffic.

While Pilot Assist seemingly takes over the driving duties, it is not a hands-free driving-assistance system. Drivers must keep their hands on the wheel and always pay attention.

The 2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country earned good ratings in several crashworthiness tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, the model still needs to undergo complete testing, including the latest versions of the moderate frontal-impact test and the side-impact test.

Ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are unavailable as of publication.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country engine with hood upPerry Stern

This Volvo's Power Is Turbocharged

The 2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. The powertrain generates 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, delivered to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

According to the EPA, the V90 Cross Country should get 22/29/25 mpg in city/highway/combined driving. During my time in the Volvo, including plenty of highway travel, the trip computer indicated 27 mpg, closely aligning with the EPA estimates.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross CountryPerry Stern

A Smooth Ride on Freeways and Back Roads

With good power, a smooth-shifting transmission, and excellent traction from the all-wheel-drive system, the V90 accelerates reasonably quickly. According to Volvo, the wagon can reach 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. The automaker limits the top speed of all its vehicles to 112 mph.

The V90 doesn't feel slow, and there's plenty of power for getting up to speed on the freeway, but this Volvo is more of a cruiser than a drag racer. Moving along at 70 mph, the Volvo is comfortable and quiet. In addition, the optional adaptive suspension did an excellent job smoothing the ride during my time with the test vehicle, even on rough pavement.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country parked on paved roadPerry Stern

With the adaptive cruise control set, seat massagers in action, and great sound from the Bowers & Wilkins sound system, the V90 is the ideal road-trip transport.

The Volvo also held its own when tackling the back roads near Dexter, Michigan. The steering provides good feedback, and while the wagon leans a bit in the corners, it delivers confident handling and trustworthy stability more akin to a passenger car than a typical crossover SUV. Impressive tire grip, good traction, and brakes offering plenty of stopping power help to make hustling a V90 Cross Country a drama-free endeavor.

2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country in profilePerry Stern

An Excellent Alternative to an SUV

The 2024 Volvo V90 Cross Country makes a great first impression with its sleek styling, upscale interior, roomy cabin, and spacious cargo area.

Spend time with this Volvo, and you'll likely discover the seats are quite comfortable and the Google-based infotainment system functions well, taking advantage of popular features such as Google Assistant and Google Maps. In addition, the turbocharged engine delivers solid performance, and the V90's ride and handling impress on the pavement, while its all-wheel drive and raised suspension are likely to handle winter weather and the occasional light off-road adventure without any trouble.

Living with the 2024 V90 Cross Country for a week demonstrated how good wagons can be — and why they can make excellent alternatives to crossover SUVs. If you're shopping for a luxury SUV and have no plans to travel well off the beaten path, it might be time to give the classic wagon a look instead.

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Perry Stern
I have loved cars and trucks since childhood, and that fascination with anything that drives is just as strong today. As a teenager, I knew I wanted to become an automotive journalist, and during the past three decades, I have driven, written about, and photographed all manner of automobiles ranging from affordable econocars to exotic supercars. With the idea that there is a perfect car, truck, or SUV for everyone, my goal is to help consumers determine the right one for their wants and needs.