With the XC90, XC60 and XC40 some of the best SUVs available, it might be easy to forget that Volvo was perhaps best known for its estates that put a premium on safety.
Now though Volvo’s brought together its estate wagon and SUV expertise to create the Volvo V60 Cross Country. A car for those who like the idea of an all-wheel drive car that can handle some rough stuff, but want something a little different from an SUV.
Volvo V60 Cross Country: Design
- Four-wheel drive and a raised ride height of 2.36-inches
- Healthy dose of plastic trim round the body
- Sports a sharp, sophisticated look
Engines: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder T5 petrol or 2.0-liter 4-cylinder D4 diesel
Power output: 247bhp (T5) | 187bhp (D4)
Max speed: 143mph (T5) | 130mph (D4)
0-62mph: 6.8 seconds (T5) | 8.2 seconds (D4)
Fuel economy: 33mpg (T5) | 47.9mpg (D4)
This is not the first time Volvo has jacked-up one of its station wagons, with the company having invented the genre with the V70 Cross Country back in 1997. Since then rivals Audi and Mercedes have launched their own offerings.
As with the larger V90 Cross Country, Volvo’s taken its mid-size V60 estate as a starting point and equipped it with four-wheel drive, softened the suspension and an extra 2.36 inches of added ground clearance.
To help tell the V60 Cross Country apart from its more traditional V60 station wagon sibling, Volvo has not only raised the ride height, but also added a healthy dose of plastic trim round the body which Volvo calls ‘Charcoal’. This isn’t just for show either, with the dark trim there to protect the paintwork when you take the vehicle off-road. If you think this cheapens the look of the car, you can spec it with color-coded trim.
Using the same design as the latest V60, the V60 Cross Country sports a sharp, sophisticated look, with the raised height and charcoal trim hinting at its slightly more practical capabilities. Interestingly, the V60 Cross Country is a bit longer than its XC60 SUV stablemate, measuring 15.7ft in length compared to the XC60's 15.3ft, though it’s a touch narrower at 6.2ft (6.24ft for the XC60).
Volvo V60 Cross Country: On the inside
- Cabin is light and airey
- Complemented by premium materials
- Center console is dominated by a large 9-inch touchscreen
This means that you’re not short-changed when it comes to loadbay space, with the V60 Cross Country offering up a decent 18.7 cubic feet capacity, beating both the 3 Series BMW and Audi A4 (as well as the 17.8 cubic feet boot in the XC60). A nice touch is the electronically operated tailgate, making access easy when you’ve got your hands full.
Up front and Volvo’s design team as got the cabin pretty much spot on. Light and airy, it’s minimalist Scandinavian design is complemented by premium materials that are a match for any German rival. That’s not forgetting the comfy seats.
The center console is dominated by a large 9-inch touchscreen. Unlike most of the competition, the display on the V60 Cross Country is portrait-orientated, with Volvo believing we want to see more of where we’re heading when using the sat-nav and less of what’s either side.
Coined Sensus, this touchscreen is where most of the V60 Cross Country’s key controls are accessed. Overall the user experience is very good, but some controls or settings can require a couple of presses of the display to drill-down to the required setting, but can be a touch tricky when driving. That minor niggle aside, it’s an intuitive and easy-to-navigate system.
Instead of traditional analogue dials there’s a large 12.3-inch display to relay key driving info as well as giving the driver the chance to glance at media, telephoto and navigation information without the need to get distracted with the Sensus display while driving.
There are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto options, with both integrating very well into the Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, along with two USB ports, while we’d recommend opting for the 360-degree camera that’s a huge help when parking.
The V60 Cross Country sports a 10-speaker sound system, but can be upgraded to Harman Kardon system that delivers 600W, while for the serious music aficionado there’s a punchy 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system that delivers 1,100W.
Volvo V60 Cross Country: On the road
- Effortlessly irons out bumps in the road
- Steering is precise
- Available with an array of advanced driving aids
The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country will be available in the US with the choice of just one petrol engine, with the 4-cylinder T5 unit producing 250bhp. In Europe, the Volvo V60 Cross Country will be available with a 190bhp D4 diesel engine as well as the T5 option.
Performance is good, though the 8-speed automatic gearbox that’s paired with both the T5 and D4 engines can bit ever-so-slightly indecisive when you give the accelerator a real squirt. This won’t be an issue on open roads, but something you need to bear in mind should you see a gap at an intersection.
Compared to the entry-level Momentum variant of the standard V60 that starts at $40,295 / £34,315, the V60 Cross Country is a quite a bit more, with prices starting at $45,100 / £39,935 before extras.
Driving overall though can be very relaxed, with the extra ride height over the standard car adding to the overall comfort as it effortlessly irons out bumps in the road. The extra height on the Volvo V60 Cross Country doesn’t offset handling either. While not a car to tear about in, steering is precise, being both light around town and sharp enough when on the open road.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country isn’t short of advanced driving aids either. There’s an integrated radar and forward-facing camera to detect potential oncoming objects and apply the braking automatically if it thinks you’re not going to stop in time.
As well as this, there’s a Blind Spot Information System. As the name suggests, this piece of tech detects cars in your blind spot, so should you start to pull out of your lane without seeing them, you’ll get a beep and a flashing light in the corresponding wing mirror to warn you to stay put.
The V60 Cross Country also comes with Volvo’s clever Pilot Assist. This semi-autonomous piece of tech automatically keeps you at a set speed or distance from the vehicle in front, braking and accelerating with the flow of traffic. Not only that, but it will also apply gentle steering inputs to keep the car within the lane markings at motorway speeds up to 80mph.
Don’t think you can let it drive you to your destination though, as it still requires you to have your hand on the wheel. Still, this does take the strain out of long journeys.
Volvo V60 Cross Country: Verdict
The Volvo V60 Cross Country is certainly no stuffy old estate, with this sleek Scandi-cool cross-over making it one of the most desireable family cars you can buy right now. You are paying a premium over the standard V60, granted, but you’re getting the best of both worlds – a rock-solid, comfy car that’s a pleasure to travel in that can match many SUVs when it comes to the rough stuff as well.