Volvo V90 Cross Country (2017 – 2023) Review

Volvo V90 Cross Country (2017 – 2023) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
If you’re in the market for an SUV, and you genuinely need some off-road capability, you really ought to consider the Volvo V90 Cross Country.

+Sophisticated styling and smart interior, large boot and excellent towing capacity, excellent on and off the road.

-Expensive when new with heavy depreciation. high running costs, firm ride on larger alloy wheels.

New prices start from £39,785
Insurance Groups are between 27–40
On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure

The Volvo V90 Cross Country is the premium off-road estate car for people who don’t want an SUV. A rival to the likes of the Audi A6 Allroad and Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain, designed to get its boots muddy at the weekend, while offering plenty of room in the, er… boot. Based on the standard V90 estate car, the Cross Country boasts a raised ride height, SUV-like body armour and rugged all-wheel-drive running gear. You also get a classy cabin, excellent driving manners, both on- and off-road, plus a generous level of standard kit. It’s not cheap, but it’s a thoroughly convincing alternative to an SUV.

Launched in 2017, the Volvo V90 Cross Country is designed for rural types who haven’t bought into the SUV craze. It’s based on the standard V90 – the ‘V’ is used to denote Volvo estate cars – and it rivals the likes of the Audi A6 Allroad, Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain and, to a lesser extent, the cheaper Subaru Outback.

It’s an expensive car. You’ll have to spend around £50,000 to buy a new V90 Cross Country, while heavy depreciation means you’ll lose a significant chunk of that outlay within the first few years.

This means the V90 Cross Country represents incredible value for money on the second-hand market. Some of the earliest cars, which are still covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, are available for less than £20,000. That’s the price of a new Ford Fiesta.

For that you get one of the most luxurious and sumptuous estate cars in the world, more ground clearance than the standard V90, the reassurance of all-wheel-drive, and enough space in the boot for whatever lifestyle things you do at the weekend.

Yes, the E-Class All-Terrain is more practical, but the V90 Cross Country remains a cavernous estate car. The boot is wide and of a good shape, while the low loading lip makes it easy to pack, unpack and for your dogs to climb aboard.

An electric tailgate comes as standard, along with levers in the boot for folding the rear seats. Do this and you’re presented with enough space to open a dog kennels.

Just don’t let your pooch run riot in the delightful cabin. The interior quality is a match for the V90’s German rivals, while the rich materials and subtle details give this suave Swede the edge in a small but fiercely competitive segment. Make no mistake, the V90 Cross Country is a fine place to while away the hours, on- or off-road.

It’s not designed to rival a Land Rover or a Land Cruiser, but how many SUVs are bought to go off-road? The Volvo V90 Cross Country is perfect for green lanes, rough tracks, parking at equestrian events and for accessing cottages at the end of a rutted road. When the weather turns nasty, you’ll be glad you’re driving a V90 Cross Country.

Just don’t drive it too quickly. This is a car for smooth and considered inputs, not for sharp cornering and swift acceleration. Push it too hard and you’ll put a dent in the already questionable fuel economy, especially if you opt for one of the petrol engines. The B4 and B5 diesel engines are better, especially since Volvo added mild hybrid tech to the mix.

The V90 Cross Country is likely to be more practical than the SUV you’re considering, almost certainly nicer to drive, and it offers a degree of exclusivity you won’t find elsewhere. We think the styling and cabin quality go some way to justifying the £50,000 price tag.

Not that we would recommend buying one new. Instead, let somebody else tackle the depreciation, leaving you to enjoy a used car bargain.

Ask Honest John

What should I replace my Volvo XC70 with?

"I wish to update my 2015 Volvo XC70 D5 and am having difficulty finding anything as comfortable/efficient with lots of legroom. It must be an auto, with heated front seats and steering wheel, and have enough room for two cockers in the rear! I am open to a SUV as long as the 'boot' is low enough to accommodate the dogs fairly easily. Some estates that I have tried have rather small seat squabs that do not appear to be comfortable enough for the long journeys that we occasionally make .... nor do they have the 600 mile autonomy that the Volvo has! I have the XC70 plus about £25k .... what would you suggest?"
As you're finding, rugged estate cars like the Volvo XC70 are out of fashion in favour of SUV alternatives. Have you considered a Volvo V90 Cross Country? Production is ending (and a new one would be over budget) but it's a lovely, versatile wagon and you should be able to find a low-mileage used example within budget. If you would like to consider SUVs, we'd recommend a Hyundai Tucson or Kia Sportage.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is the Volvo V90 estate too wide for narrow lanes and bridges?

"I'm keen to buy a good (petrol auto) cross country estate rather than an SUV. The Volvo V90 Cross Country is very well-reviewed and V90 depreciation is so strong that a 2019 V90 CC seems cheaper than a Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4. But I've just noticed their extra width compared to an SUV. We have family in Dartmoor - so lots of narrow bridges and narrow lanes. Some bridges are 7-foot wide, some are even narrower. Does that rule out a V90 Cross Country? One day, post-Covid, we might even want to park at an airport - again width restrictions are often used. How do drivers cope? Thanks. "
The V90 Cross Country is certainly a big car, but there are much bigger cars on the market. People often buy large SUVs like the Range Rover without giving it a second thought. With the door mirrors folded in, a V90 Cross Country is about 1.9 metres wide, so should get over most of the bridges you've mentioned. As for airport car parking, most restrictions are wide enough to squeeze a van (or a van-based people carrier like those popular with airport taxi firms), so that shouldn't be an issue. Look for one with the optional 360-degree camera if you're concerned.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Can you recommend a comfortable Estate?

"I'm looking at an Audi A6, Volvo V60, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Skoda Superb to replace my 2015 Volvo XC70. I require 4x4 and it must have very comfortable front seats with good lumbar support. Is there another estate that I have missed? I have about £25,000 plus the trade in for the Volvo. Doesn't need to be new. What would you recommend?"
Your shortlist is pretty strong. A Volvo V90 could be a good option, particularly if you like your XC70. Perhaps even go for a V90 Cross Country for the ultimate in comfort. Or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class All-Terrain...
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a Volvo V90 Cross Country (2017 – 2023) cost?