Even though Volvo likes to be celebrated for the idea of an all-wheel drive recreational vehicle based on a regular car model – they weren’t quite the first. As early as 1990 Volkswagen raised the Golf II as Country, and from 1995 Subaru offered the first Legacy Outback. It took two more years until the Swedes entered the rough-road crossover market from 1997 with the first V70 XC AWD (7/2020 from 67,850 D-Marks) and finally established this segment with us.
The Volvo V70 XC AWD stands for quality
In less than three years of construction there were around 54,000 buyers and Volvo decided to stick with the newly created niche model. The high-quality V70 XC AWD is still very modern by today’s standards and has a 193 PS / 270 Nm 2.4-liter five-cylinder turbo (US specifications) in the case of the photo model. Its power is sent to all four wheels via a viscous coupling, with 95 percent of the power being delivered to the front wheels on normally dry roads. If, on the other hand, the TRACS anti-slip system detects increased loss of traction, up to 95 percent of the drive energy can be automatically transferred to the rear axle.
Extended interventions in the all-wheel drive are not possible by the driver and so the ultimate manual work is the operation of the 5-speed manual switch. A 4-speed automatic was also available as an option. The Volvo V70 XC AWD accelerates to 100 km / h in 8.3 seconds and reaches a maximum of 205 km / h. As a designated touring car, the Swede, which is 2.5 centimeters higher, not only has a 575 liter trunk, but also a comfortably tuned chassis. In keeping with the zeitgeist of the 1990s, an on-board computer in mouse cinema format provides information on the operating status, while a CD player was handed out next to the cassette deck as a highlight at the time.
Active driving V60 Cross Country with US five-cylinder
The technical leap to the next test subject could therefore not be greater. Exited from the V70 XC AWD and took place in the V60 Cross Country built in 2015 (from 36,350 euros). A cassette radio is of course no longer on board, but the CD slot has been retained. A screen is now enthroned above the freestanding center console, and the appearance of the material shows ups and downs. In addition, the operation already looks antiquated after only six years. Just like the 2.5 five-cylinder turbo of the US version driven here, which no longer made it to Europe and was instead replaced by a more fuel-efficient four-cylinder (in the standard).
In terms of engine sound, the robust, 254 hp five-man car remains the measure of all things, but the torque has only increased marginally over the years to 360 Newton meters. The switching cycle is achieved via a six-stage Geartronic automatic, whereby the driver is still just a spectator when it comes to all-wheel drive. It remains with the front-wheel-heavy system, which, if necessary, distributes the power at lightning speed to those wheels with the greatest grip level.
Compared to the regular V60, the chassis of the Cross Country is 65 millimeters higher (ground clearance 201 millimeters) and is designed to be comfortable for bad roads. Nevertheless, the V60 is not at a loss for fast country road stages. The grip of the front tires breaks early, however, after which the Swede is carried into the visible curve, easily controllable, but noticeably pushed. Although Volvo likes to emphasize in various press releases that the V60 CC is the legitimate successor to the V70 XC – with its luggage compartment volume of just 430 liters, it clearly has the disadvantage.
V90 Cross Country for the last time with diesel
The here and now of the current Allroad model range symbolizes the spacious Volvo V90 Cross Country, which has been offered since 2017. Between 560 and 1,526 liters of storage volume, the XC debutant would like to load up, with the 4.94-meter-long northern lights captivating above all with its high quality workmanship and improved multimedia offerings. For model year 2021, Volvo introduced Android Automotive as the operating system, which offers further advantages in everyday use.
Under the hood of the Volvo V90 Cross Country B4 driven here (from 64,150 euros) slumbers a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel with 145 kW / 197 PS (combined fuel consumption: 5.3 l / 100 km; combined CO2 emissions : 140 g / km²). The only diesel in the trio also marks the end of the diesel in the Volvo model range, because the Swedes will no longer develop this drive. Possibly a bug. The slightly grumpy journeyman under full load impresses with its low consumption of less than seven liters per 100 kilometers and a torque of 400 Newton meters from 1,750 tours.
The overall very harmonious interplay of the chassis (on the rear axle with air-sprung level control, ground clearance 210 millimeters), steering and 8-speed gearbox, all of which do their jobs in the background and without any noteworthy airs, goes well with the unexcited diesel. A rich passive and active safety offer rounds off the overall package of the great Swede.
By the way, you can find a detailed test of the current Volvo V90 Cross Country here.
Fascination of the off-road station wagon: Anyone who appreciates the long, comfortable and spacious journey will be interested in one of those Volvo station wagons at the latest when it comes to a rough dirt road to the local winery or in a muddy meadow to camp. The Swedes, on the other hand, are not suitable for rough terrain. In particular, the rustic Volvo V70 XC AWD is now much too good for that. Regardless of which Cross Country model you ultimately choose, they all combine a high level of utility, solid workmanship and tried and tested large-scale technology. (Text: Thomas Vogelhuber | Pictures: Manufacturer)