The Internet—or at least the bits of it that like to think about cars—has over the years coalesced upon a few favorite vehicles. There's the Mazda Miata, championed as the perfect car by those idealize driving purity and bolt-action gear shifts. The Subaru WRX used to be another, before it lost its way a generation or two back. And the brown Volvo station wagon is often a contender, for the people of the Internet have broad and varied tastes—and perhaps a sense of irony. A four-wheel antidote to the boy racer, the brown Volvo station wagon stands for safety and practicality with some clever Scandinavian design values in there, too. Here, then, is the 21st century brown Volvo station wagon: the 2017 V90 Cross Country T6.
The past few years have been good ones for Volvo. Under Geely's ownership, it's been given a giant pile of cash with instructions to make good stuff, and that's what it's done. There's an all new platform to be used as the building blocks for a new line-up of medium and large vehicles, called Scalable Product Architecture. A very good infotainment system called Sensus comes along. And the latest iteration has class-leading driver assists, part of a corporate policy that wants 2020's Volvos to be the safest passenger vehicles ever. Our first taste of the new Volvo was the XC90 SUV. Then there was the S90 sedan, a nordic alternative to the default German luxury car. And now the V90 offers the missing piece of the 90-series Volvos: the station wagon.