Volvo’s V90 Cross Country is very easy to like, especially if you want to glide along in a luxurious, well-finished bubble
Model tested D4 AWD Cross Country Auto Price £42,520 Kerbweight 1860kg
The Volvo V90 Cross Country is a more rugged V90 estate car, with a raised ride height to make it more able off road. It competes with the Audi A6 Allroad and Mercedes-benz E-class All Terrain. All three are practical four-wheel-drive estate cars – an alternative to an SUV for drivers who don’t plan to venture too far off Tarmac. But the V90 Cross Country is more affordable than either the Audi or the Mercedes-benz. We’re testing the entry-level model, the D4 AWD Cross Country Auto, priced at £42,520.
What are we looking for?
One advantage of this type of car is their lower centre of gravity, which can make them more stable at high speeds than some SUVS. But does that general rule apply here? Towing ability The Volvo V90 Cross Country is the first car to go through our revised tow test method. We’re spending more time on the road than the test track, covering a higher mileage than before. Without acceleration and braking figures to report, there’s more space to discuss things like the ease of hitching up and how well a car copes with reversing onto a pitch. Volvo quotes a kerbweight and a running order weight for its cars. We’ve checked with them and it’s the running order that includes fluids and 75kg for the driver, so that’s the weight we’ve used for matching. In this case it’s 1860kg, which gives an 85% match figure of 1581kg. That’s enough for a good match for a variety of vans, but it’s worth noting the Mercedesbenz E-class All Terrain is a lot heavier, with a kerbweight of 2010kg, so will make a sound match for weightier tourers. more travel than the standard car’s, and doesn’t feel as tightly controlled. In crosswinds, we could feel the caravan gently tugging at the back of the car, but this never got out of hand. We felt confident driving at motorway speeds, but a Jaguar XF Sportbrake or BMW 5 Series Touring would keep the caravan on a shorter leash when winds start to pick up. Hill starts were easy, despite the considerable weight of the Expression. On a 1-in-10 slope, the electronic parking brake held firm and released smoothly, and the car pulled away with no sign of strain. This was on dry roads during the heatwave, but the Volvo’s four-wheel drive would clearly have helped in the wet. Hitching up was easy. The retractable towball has the electrics on the side, clear of the bumper. Reversing onto a pitch was simple, too, with smooth low-speed responses We matched the V90 Cross Country to a Swift Expression 635 with a MIRO of 1485kg. Our vehicle has the D4 engine rather than the more powerful D5, but with 295lb ft of torque, we found it performed well, even with a twin-axle tourer. Some of the roads on our test route include gradients as steep as 1-in-6, so we were impressed by the ease with which the car performed on these hills. The eight-speed auto helps, changing gear smoothly and promptly. However, we did find the ’box sometimes dithered at junctions – it was more decisive with ‘Dynamic’ mode selected. Switching modes adjusted the throttle response and the weight of the steering, too. For most situations, we stayed in ‘Comfort’, but ‘Dynamic’ was worth switching to on hilly roads or at a busy junction. Once up to speed, the Volvo towed well. However, the suspension is softer and has
We matched the V90 Cross Country to a Swift Expression 635 with a MIRO of 1485kg