The station wagon has traced an interesting trajectory here in North America. When I was a kid, the wagon was the default domestic dromedary. I crossed Canada one summer in the back seat of a Ford Falcon Futura wagon, unbelted, no air-con, and fighting with my sister the whole way. Oh, and camping every night. Life was different back then. When the minivan came along, the station wagon became unfashionable. Then it was the minivan’s turn — it became heroically unfashionable when buyers turned their gaze to SUVs.

You want a full-size station wagon in North America today? Well, you’d better have deep pockets and a penchant for ritzy European iron, ‘cause this niche of jacked-up, body-cladded wagons is pricey and wafer thin.

But here’s the good news. After a year away from selling its stylish V90 wagon in Canada, Volvo returns with the updated 2022 V90 Cross Country B6 that gets a version of the marque’s 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder equipped with a 48-volt mild hybrid system.

With a starting price of $65,950, this longroof Swede undercuts its competitors from Audi (A6 Allroad) and Mercedes (E 450 All-Terrain) by thousands. Yes, the Germans have six-cylinder power and are arguably more refined, but the Volvo is a delight in its slightly off-beat way Nordic way, and there’s no questioning the Cross Country’s aesthetic appeal, both within and for those viewing its rakish good looks.

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2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

With Volvo aiming to soon have a fully “electrified” fleet, this new mild hybrid system in the B6 just slips under the wire. It won’t deliver any fully electric propulsion — the small 13 hp, 30 lb-ft integrated starter/generator is there for auto start/stop and to recoup energy from the brakes for the 48-volt battery. The B6 ditches the old T6’s belt-driven supercharger for an electric supercharger. It all works, giving the CC a determined shove off the line and super smooth transitions through the eight-speed’s gear changes with its programmed “torque fill.” The auto start/stop is nearly imperceptible. Horsepower drops a bit from the old T6’s 316 horses to 295, but torque rises marginally to 310 lb-ft.

I wouldn’t call the V90 CC B6 quick, but it certainly gets the job done. On the road this wagon is poised, handles well, and lasers along the highway with the stability and relaxed confidence expected of top-shelf European goods. It seems Volvo has been working on its steering feel too — the previous non-committal vagueness appears to be vanquished. Under acceleration, the B6’s growly intake sound will either be music to your ears or a reminder your Euro-long roof has a small turbo four-pot toiling away underhood. Either way, the mild hybrid powertrain’s smooth drivability is an improvement.

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

Just don’t expect miraculous efficiency gains here. Compared with the old V90 Cross Country T6, the B6 does marginally better in the city and marginally worse on the highway. So it’s pretty much a wash. Nonetheless, my observed 10.3 L/100 over the course of a freezing week is pretty good. Premium grade fuel is required.

The Cross Country’s cabin delights with haute Nordic style, exceptional build quality and terrific front seats (heated and ventilated), enhanced here by the $3,850 Lounge Package that adds massage, four-way lumbar, cushion extension, side sun shades, four-zone climate, and more. Enjoying a heated steering wheel requires the $1,000 Climate Package, which also brings heated rear seats and headlamp cleaners. The optional Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound System sounds fab and worth the $3,750 outlay.

As with other Volvos, the CC B6’s dash is dominated by a 9.1-inch portrait-oriented touchscreen. The fresh for 2022 infotainment system is Google-based and powered by Android, with the capacity for over-the-air updates. The system is better streamlined and more intuitive, faster to respond, and the embedded Google Maps navigation works a treat. Nonetheless, the interface still requires too much in the way of screen poking at small icons to access basic HVAC functions.

autos, cars, luxury, volvo, android, volvo v90, android, wagon review: 2022 volvo v90 cross country b6

2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 Photo by Peter Bleakney

I’m not sure why all Volvo electronic gear selectors require two nudges to get into drive or reverse, but this Scandi-quirk soon becomes second nature.

Volvo’s standard safety kit runs the gamut from blind spot monitoring to advanced collision mitigation to road sign recognition to semi-autonomous capability. You’ll need the $2,000 Advanced Package for head up display, 360-degree camera, advanced cabin filtration, and high-level interior illumination.

Of course, the reason “wagonistas” love their long roofs is for the unbeatable combination of functionality, car-like drivability, and an intangible “cool” factor — all of which the 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6 has in spades. With its 20.4 cm ground clearance, all-wheel-drive, and snow tires, I muscled through post-blizzard Toronto, no problem. The sizable cargo hold proved invaluable for runs to the building supply store, and the fab Bowers and Wilken audio kept my ears happy. With an as-tested price of $77,450, this Thunder Grey specimen still comes in below the starting price of both the Audi Allroad and Mercedes E 450 All-Terrain. So let’s add value to this heady mix.

Keyword: Wagon Review: 2022 Volvo V90 Cross Country B6

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