Volvo V90 2.0 B5D Cross Country Plus 5dr AWD Auto

  • Automatic
  • Diesel
  • 5 door estate
  • 164 g/km CO2

Ten Second Review

Volvo's V90 Cross Country offers a more conventional, less showy alternative to that luxury SUV you might have been considering. AWD is standard of course, as is a higher ride height and a wider track. It won't get you across the Serengeti but it'll be just as capable as any luxury SUV in a snowy snap.

Background

Not everyone wants a luxury SUV. Not even luxury SUV buyers. Volvo knows this of course, the Swedish brand being a major player in this market with its strong-selling XC90 model. Hence the company's decision to offer a more conventional alternative to buyers in this sector in the form of this V90 Cross Country variant. As you can see, this essentially is a raised version of the V90 estate with a few rugged-ised styling modifications, but you do get AWD, a feature not available with many mild hybrid variants in the standard range. And there's as much winter driving capability as you'll probably ever need. Plus, as you'd want, it remains as Swedish as meatballs and as practical as ever. The prospects then, are promising.

Driving Experience

On paper, this V90 Cross Country should feel just like any ordinary V90 estate to drive. In practice though, it feels a little softer and more supple, though you can expect a touch more bodyroll, courtesy of the extra ride height. Ultimately, it's the kind of feel you'd get from a luxury SUV, which is presumably what Volvo was aiming at. On that subject, we should point out that AWD is standard. That might sound an obvious thing to say in relation to a car like this but the old Volvo XC70 model that this model effectively replaced was available in 2WD guise. Engine-wise, just as in mainstream versions of the standard V90, buyers get a four cylinder mild hybrid diesel unit, a 235hp B5 powerplant mated to smooth 8-speed auto transmission. There's also a couple of mild hybrid petrol options, a 250hp B5 and a 300hp B6. On the move, you aren't served up anything that encourages much driving involvement - blame the rather vague steering for that - but in compensation, there's unruffled poise and exemplary refinement. You get supple standards of ride comfort from the soft suspension too and there's the option of rear air suspension if you want it. A standard 'Drive Mode Settings' driving dynamics system allows you to tailor throttle response, steering feel and auto gearshift timings to suit the way you want to drive. And if you do push on a bit, grip and traction are actually quite impressive.

Design and Build

You'll recognise this Cross Country derivative from standard V90 models by its black plastic wheel arch extensions, blacked out trim pieces and front and rear titanium skid plates. Body-coloured alternatives are available if you don't want to stand out. Look a little closer and you might spot that the ride height of this variant has been raised by 65mm, plus the front track has been widened by 20mm and the rear by 40mm. In addition, the specially designed tyres are 42mm larger in diameter. In short, this is more than just an exercise in rugged styling. Visual updates with this revised model are minor - new fog lights, a fresh spoiler design and a new lower front bumper. At the back, there's a brand-new rear light design, including full LED-powered signature lighting and a sequential turn indicator. Inside, things are exactly as they would be in any normal V90 estate. Which means you get beautiful cabin finishing and plenty of leather, classy wood and glass. As with the XC90 luxury SUV, the dash features a massive tablet-like touch screen that plays a key role in creating an interior that is modern, spacious and uncluttered. Changes made to this updated model are minor. You can now specify seats with an exclusive tailored wool blend, there's an improved version of the premium Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system and there are now double USB-C charging points in the rear. In the cargo area, there's up 1526-litres of bootspace (including underfloor storage). That's a useful figure, though is a little bit less than you'd get with rival BMW 5 Series Touring and Mercedes E-Class estate competitors. That's probably down to the stylish sloping rear glass.

Market and Model

You'll need a budget starting from just under £52,000 for this V90 in Cross Country spec. All variants come with AWD and auto transmission. If you're comparing against the only conventional AWD model in the standard V90 range, the B6 petrol AWD R-Design, that means a premium for Cross Country model ownership of around £900. Going for a Cross Country V90 gives you a bodykit with silver front and rear skidplates, wheelarch extensions and charcoal-coloured mouldings for the lower sills and side doors. With this variant, you also get larger 19-inch 5 V-Spoke alloy wheels, larger door mirrors and unique upholstery stitching. V90 safety gear includes a run off-road protection package which tightens seatbelts and activates energy-absorbing technology in the seats when the car detects challenging terrain ahead. Another system is the auto-braking feature, which cuts in if a driver pulls out in front of oncoming traffic. Plus at its launch, the V90 also introduced a world-first - large animal detection - a system capable of detecting large animals such as elk, horses or moose, night or day. All these safety systems aim to bring Volvo closer to its vision of nobody being seriously injured or killed in any of its vehicles.

Cost of Ownership

There's no really significant WLTP efficiency penalty for opting for this Cross Country variant. With the B5 diesel most V90 Cross Country buyers will choose, expect up to 44.8mpg on the combined cycle and 164g/km of CO2. Inevitably, these figures take a tumble in the B4 and B5 petrol variants; there, you're looking at up to 36.2mpg and 177g/km for the B4 petrol; and up to 34.0mpg and 187g/km for the B5 petrol. What else? Residual values? They're key in this segment of course and you'd expect those of a big, relatively expensive Volvo luxury large estate to lag severely behind the kind of figures you could realise in a rival BMW or Mercedes. You'd be wrong though. The V90 has turned around Volvo's performance in the Executive sector when it comes to depreciation. To the point where independent experts reckon that after owning a typical B4 model for the usual three year/60,000 mile ownership period, you'd get between 39 and 41% of your original purchase price back, depending in the trim level chosen. That's pretty close to the kind of return you'd get from a rival Mercedes E-Class Estate.

Summary

Here, Volvo has delivered a very good compromise between on and off road ability which would probably suit a lot of luxury SUV buyers - if only they could be persuaded to try it. The Swedish maker's latest 'Scalable Product Architecture' has delivered to the brand a platform for a really credible luxury line-up these days and this model is yet another example of it. It's certainly true that this car's driving experience could be a little more involving. The Swedish engineers particularly need to learn from brands like Jaguar and BMW when it comes to steering feel for example. Having said that though, a more laid back, luxurious cosseting feel is all part of this car's appeal. It should feel different - in the way that it does.

  • Handsfree bootlid opening/closing
  • Power operated tailgate
  • DAB Radio (Digital Audio Broadcasting)
  • Premium Sound by Harman Kardon, dirac unison, dolby pro logic II surround sound, 13 speakers/600W output and fresh air subwoofer
  • Steering wheel remote infotainment controls
  • Charcoal lower grille
  • Charcoal lower sill mouldings
  • Charcoal wheel arch extensions
  • Chrome window surround
  • Cross Country embossed rear bumper
  • High gloss black front grille with chrome details
  • High gloss black window trim
  • Integrated roof rails in silver
  • Rear side wing doors
  • Roof antenna
  • Roof spoiler
  • Silver front and rear skid plate
  • Visible VIN plate
  • A-pillar parking ticket holder
  • Bright metal luggage threshold
  • Cargo divider with grocery bag holder
  • Center Console Cupholders and Storage
  • Front 12V socket tunnel console and cargo area
  • Front/rear door pockets and front cupholder illumination
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Height/reach adjustable steering column
  • Illuminated front and rear aluminium tread plates
  • Integrated sun curtains in rear doors
  • Leather upholstery
  • Load cover
  • Load protection net
  • Rear armrest with cupholder
  • Underfloor cargo storage
  • Driver assist pack - V90
  • 3x3 point rear seatbelts
  • Active bonnet
  • City safety with steering support with Pedestrian + cyclist + front collision warning with full auto brake and rear auto brake
  • Drivers knee airbag
  • Dual stage driver/passenger airbags
  • Electric child locks
  • IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length
  • Passenger airbag cut-off device
  • Power child locks
  • Road sign information display
  • Run off Road Mitigation
  • Run off Road Protection
  • Seatbelt reminder and pretensioners for all seats
  • SIPS (Side Impact Protection System)
  • Slippery road and hazard light alert
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system
  • Warning triangle and first aid kit
  • WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
  • Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor
  • Care key with user defined top speed
  • Key integrated remote control central locking + fuel flap with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows
  • Keyless drive with Keyless entry and start
  • Locking wheel nuts
  • Private locking for tailgate
  • HC: N
  • Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb: 164
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEH: 179
  • WLTP - CO2 (g/km) - Comb - TEL: 164
  • Camshaft: DOHC
  • Catalytic Convertor: True
  • CC: 1969
  • Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
  • Cylinders: 4
  • Engine Layout: FRONT TRANSVERSE
  • Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
  • Gears: 8 SPEED
  • Number of Valves: 16
  • Transmission: SEMI-AUTO
  • EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: False
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEH: 6.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Comb - TEL: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEH: 7.1
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Extra High - TEL: 6.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEH: 5.8
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - High - TEL: 5.3
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEH: 8.4
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Low - TEL: 7.9
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEH: 7
  • WLTP - FC (l/100km) - Medium - TEL: 6.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEH: 41.5
  • WLTP - MPG - Comb - TEL: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEH: 39.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Extra High - TEL: 44.8
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEH: 48.6
  • WLTP - MPG - High - TEL: 53.2
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEH: 33.6
  • WLTP - MPG - Low - TEL: 35.7
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEH: 40.3
  • WLTP - MPG - Medium - TEL: 45.5
  • AdBlue: True
  • Alternative Fuel Qualifying: True
  • Badge Engine CC: 2.0
  • Badge Power: 235
  • Based On ID: N
  • Coin Description: B5D AWD
  • Coin Series: Cross Country Plus
  • Generation Mark: 1
  • Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 8
  • Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
  • NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
  • NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
  • NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
  • NCAP Safety Assist %: N
  • Safety Concerns: False
  • Service Interval Frequency - Months: 12
  • Special Edition: False
  • Special Order: False
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 60000
  • Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
  • Vehicle Homologation Class: M1
  • 0 to 62 mph (secs): 7.5
  • Engine Power - BHP: 235
  • Engine Power - KW: 173
  • Engine Power - PS: True
  • Engine Power - RPM: 4000
  • Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 354
  • Engine Torque - MKG: 48.9
  • Engine Torque - NM: 480
  • Engine Torque - RPM: 1750
  • Top Speed: 112
  • Emissions Test Cycle: WLTP
  • RDE Certification Level: RDE 2
  • Alloys: True
  • Space Saver: False
  • Tyre Size Front: 235/50 R19
  • Tyre Size Rear: 235/50 R19
  • Tyre Size Spare: TYRE REPAIR KIT
  • Wheel Style: 5 V SPOKE
  • Wheel Type: 19" ALLOY
  • Height: 1543
  • Length: 4959
  • Wheelbase: 2941
  • Width: 1929
  • Width (including mirrors): 2052
  • Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 71
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2510
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1517
  • Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 714
  • Max. Loading Weight: 598
  • Max. Roof Load: 100
  • Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 2400
  • Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
  • Minimum Kerbweight: 1912
  • No. of Seats: 5
  • Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12