Volvo is ready to face the Germans and Subaru in the niche of rugged midsize premium wagons.
The all-wheel-drive V70 XC that came out back in 1997 was the first Volvo to get the Cross Country recipe and since then many other wagons have been blessed with the rugged treatment. Even the S60 sedan can be had in the CC flavor, but to us it makes more sense in the more practical body style. The latest to join the family is the gorgeous V90 Cross Country, representing Volvo’s competitor for the Subaru Outback, the Audi A6 allroad and the forthcoming Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain.
The all-rounder from Sweden is the perfect alternative to a plethora of crossovers and SUVs since it’s a versatile vehicle perfect for all roads, regardless of weather conditions. It sits 2.4 inches (60 millimeters) higher than the regular V90 to better cope with bumpier terrains, while the extra body cladding provides the wagon not only with a beefier appearance, but also with additional protection on rough roads.
Volvo has managed to keep the elegance of the regular V90 almost intact and at the same time sprinkle some manlier cues to make the vehicle worthy of its “Cross Country” designation. As you would imagine, the wagon comes as standard with an all-wheel drive layout and will likely be sold with the same selection of turbocharged four-cylinder engines as the regular model.
Pricing isn’t out yet for the V90 Cross Country, but the extra goodies will definitely command a premium over its less rugged counterpart. Production of the model is scheduled to start this fall at the company’s factory in Torslanda, Sweden and sales should begin either by the year’s end or early 2017.
As a reminder, Volvo will not attend the 2016 Paris Motor Show where Mercedes will take the wraps off its E-Class All-Terrain set to compete in the same segment alongside the A6 allroad. The latter is rumored to spawn an RS6 allroad derivative, thus creating what would be the epitome of a niche model. For something smaller and a lot more affordable, there's always the VW Golf Alltrack / SEAT Leon X-Perience / Skoda Octavia Scout trio.