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2018 Volvo V90

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2018 Volvo V90 Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.7

The 2018 Volvo V90 is the flagship wagon from the Swedish automaker, a luxurious hauler of people and gear that blends upscale amenities, striking design and the brand's latest arsenal of safety and driving aids. In Cross Country form, the V90 is a standout alternative to luxury SUVs, boasting all-wheel drive (AWD) and extra ground clearance while retaining the sophisticated driving manners of a stately sedan. The V90 can also be ordered as a standard wagon that sits a bit lower but is elegant in its own right. The V90 Cross Country is unique, with few direct rivals. Rather, it sits atop a pack that begins with rugged wagons like the Volkswagen Alltrack and Subaru Outback, and continues to the Audi A4 Allroad.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want an alternative to a luxury SUV, the Volvo V90 is a true crossover SUV, hitting the white space between sport-utility vehicle and wagon and sedan. In addition to its premium nature and practicality, the V90 packs a wealth of active safety and driver-assistance features.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The V90 Cross Country is certainly adept slogging through snow and tackling light trails, but it's not quite at SUV levels for anything tougher. If you're not a fan of touch-based controls, be aware that the V90 relies heavily on such a system to control everything from audio to climate functions.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.7
  • 8.3
  • 8.9
  • 8.5
  • 8.8
  • N/A
2018 Volvo V90 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2018

For its second year on the market, a T5 variant joins the V90 Cross Country lineup, which features a lower-powered engine and a lower starting price of just over $53,000. V90 T6 models receive Oncoming Lane Mitigation, a new collision-avoidance feature.

Driving the V90
2018 Volvo V90 Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

The 2018 V90 Cross Country shares a similar dynamic nature as the S90 sedan, while its long wheelbase grants a supple ride. The steering is direct, well-controlled and offers precise...

... feedback. The difference from the sedan, as well as the standard V90 wagon, is its slightly higher ride height. The V90 Cross Country's 8.3 inches of ground clearance plus its standard all-wheel drive figure greatly in its neutral handling characteristics. The rugged wagon is well-balanced, exhibits little in the way of body roll and is decidedly more car-like in its road-holding than traditional SUVs. But that doesn’t mean the Cross Country gives up the ability to take on 2-track off-road trails or plow through snow. The lower-riding standard V90 has a more dynamic nature. All use a force-fed 4-cylinder engine, the supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter making 316 horsepower. Put your foot into it, and this little engine provides a real rush.

TURBO/SUPERCHARGED ENGINE
The performance from this 2.0-liter 4-cylinder is simply amazing. Getting 316 horsepower from this engine is quite a feat -- the car doesn’t seem to lack for power and still delivers fuel economy that shames less powerful drivetrains.

SELECTABLE DRIVE MODES
In addition to the Eco, Comfort, Off Road and Dynamic modes (all of which are nicely tailored to their individual missions) is the standard hill-descent feature that gives the 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country dirt-trail cred.

2018 Volvo V90 Details
2018 Volvo V90 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Volvo's interior design language entered a new realm with the recent revamp of the XC90 flagship SUV, and it continues in a similarly beautiful fashion with the V90. The 5-passenger cabin drips of class, starting with the bejeweled knob that you turn to start the engine. The front seats are comfortable and highly adjustable. Good legroom is had in back, and cargo space is SUV-like at around 54 cubic feet. Dominating the dash is a large, vertically-oriented touch screen reminiscent of a Tesla. It's elegant, but makes simple actions like changing cabin temperature rely too heavily on touch commands.

Exterior
2018 Volvo V90 photo

The V90's wagon profile makes it look sleeker than the S90 sedan, a looker in its own right. The concave shape of the grille and the detailing from the lighting elements to the use of brightwork match the level of elegance inside. The Cross Country signals its off-road ability via front and rear skidplates, fender extensions and aggressive rocker panels. If you don’t want to look as macho, you can opt for body-colored flares instead of the matte finish. An integrated roof-rack system is both good-looking and functional. The standard V90 is nearly identical in dimensions but sits lower to the ground.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to AWD and hill-descent control, the Volvo V90 Cross Country’s long list of standard features includes Pilot Assist (combining lane-keeping steering assist with adaptive cruise control), blind-spot monitoring, driver-alert sensing, road-sign information and lane-departure warning. Other upscale items include heated leather seats and steering wheel, panoramic moonroof, a digital instrument cluster and 9-inch center screen with navigation, keyless entry and start and hands-free power tailgate. The standard 10-speaker 224-watt audio/infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility. The standard City Safety system can sense cars and pedestrians in front of the vehicle and automatically apply the brakes.

Optional Equipment

The new V90 Cross Country T5 base model can be upgraded with the Plus Package that bundles 4-zone climate control, 12.3-inch digital dash and active bending headlights, or a Convenience Package with heated washer nozzles, Park Assist Pilot and 360-degree camera. The T6 model has access to the Luxury Package with Nappa leather with ventilated and massaging front seats, leather on the dash and door panels, heated rear seats, 4-zone climate control, rear sun curtains, and body-colored doorsills, bumpers and fender flares. Stand-alone options include air suspension, a 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, head-up display, and 2-step rear-seat child-booster cushions.

Under the Hood
2018 Volvo V90 Engine photo

Two engines are now offered in both the V90 Cross Country and standard V90 wagon. Both are 4-cylinder engines, but don't let that cylinder count fool you. One is turbocharged and makes a respectable 250 horsepower, while the other is turbocharged and supercharged -- yes, both -- to crank out 316 horsepower. All V90 Cross Country models have all-wheel drive (AWD) standard, while the V90 wagon is either front-wheel drive (FWD) or AWD. All models use an 8-speed automatic transmission.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (T5 models)
250 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg (AWD V90 Cross Country), 24/34 mpg (FWD V90 wagon)

2.0-liter turbocharged/supercharged inline-4 (T6 models)
316 horsepower @ 5,700 rpm
295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,200-5,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 mpg (AWD V90 Cross Country), 22/31 mpg (AWD V90 wagon)

With the introduction of the T5 trim, the 2018 Volvo V90 Cross Country starts with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $53,295, around $2,000 less than the previous starting price. T6 V90 Cross Country models begin at $57,095. The dealer-order V90 wagon, meanwhile, starts just under $51,000 for a T5 model or just under $57,000 for the T6. Fully loaded, a V90 Cross Country can reach into the mid-$60,000 range. At its starting price, a 2018 V90 Cross Country is several thousand more than an Audi A4 Allroad, while the V90 wagon is roughly $12,000 less than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Volvo. Because it's such a new model, the V90's resale value hasn't been predicted yet by our number-crunchers.

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