If you fancy an SUV that isn’t an SUV, then the Volvo V90 Cross Country may be the answer. While it’s an estate car, the ‘Cross Country’ moniker is more than a name – it’s higher, has four-wheel drive, and it does work on the rough stuff.
The model on test here is the T6 Pro Automatic which, as the name suggests, gives you an automatic gearbox (eight speeds). The ‘T’ means it’s petrol and the ‘6’ means it has four cylinders. Obviously. The Cross Country’s body sits 6.5 centimetres taller than the V90 estate on which it’s based, so you should be able to get by, no matter how long the grass is.
A higher centre of gravity means it leans in the corners a bit more, but the body roll isn’t excessive, and it remains comfortable to drive. Four-wheel drive cars are never the most economical, but the Cross Country still manages almost 36mpg, which may not sound great in today’s eco-world, but it’s quite adequate for a 310PS petrol. Inside is very nice. The Pro version adds a heated steering wheel, 19- inch alloys, an instrument display on the dashboard and adaptive headlights, but the standard Cross Country should have enough features. There’s plenty of room in the front and back and, being an estate, boot space is plentiful – 560 litres to be exact.
It has a five-star NCAP safety rating, scoring very well with safety systems as standard including emergency braking to hopefully stop you running people over or having a head-on collision. Lane assist should keep you between the lines on motorways, too, plus there are other optional extras available to increase safety further.