Volvo, a brand practically synonymous with wagons in the U.S., is pulling the plug on one of the last great examples of the form. For Americans, at least. The beautiful and excellent Volvo V90 wagon will no longer be sold in America after the 2021 model year.
Its demise was reported by Motor Trend, which didn’t quote a source, so we reached out to Volvo for the official word: “Volvo will offer V90 Cross Country in MY22, but simplify the range and no longer offer the standard V90.”
The move has been foreshadowed for a long time, as Volvo has moved only 1,453 V90s from the car’s debut in 2017 through the end of the 2020 model year. The figures don’t break out the standard V90 versus the lifted V90 Cross Country, but we would bet that the V90 portion of that figure is infinitesimal.
As we’ve said in the past, it’s a chicken-and-egg problem: The V90 wagon is available only via special order and is not marketed; you can’t just walk onto a Volvo lot and choose from stock, as you can Volvo’s hot-selling SUVs. Sales of the wagon have been slow for a long time, and earlier this year Volvo head honcho Håkan Samuelsson said the company would move away from wagons and into the arms of the in-demand crossovers.
To be clear, the V90 Cross Country will still be available, as will the smaller V60 wagon and V60 Cross Country.
The loss is a gut-punch to wagon-loving enthusiasts. The V90 was universally well-reviewed, a competent and competitive car — and stunning to behold. It was a pure wagon form, unfettered by unnecessarily lifted suspensions or extra body cladding to make it appear more rugged. It handled better than its crossover cousins thanks to a lower center of gravity, and carried the torch for a long line of great wagons.
We are in an arms race for taller, bulkier cars that handle worse and are indistinguishable from one another. On the other hand, those who own one of Volvo’s masterpieces have scarcity on their side and will almost certainly have a sought-after collectors’ item in a few years’ time.