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First drive: Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.

First drive: Volvo V60 Cross Country
New badging for Volvo's V60 'soft-road' estate.

 



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Volvo V60 Cross Country

4 4 4 4 4

Volvo has dropped the XC badging for its road-car-based off-road machines and so the new estate that can supposedly handle all terrains is the V60 Cross Country. Fitted with a Drive-E engine, it proves to be a strong, premium contender in a marketplace rapidly filling up with diverse rivals.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Volvo V60 Cross Country D4 Lux Nav manual
Pricing: from 30,195; D4 Lux Nav manual from 34,995, car as tested 42,540
Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door estate
CO2 emissions: 111g/km (VED Band C, 0 year one, 30 annually thereafter)
Combined economy: 67.3mpg
Top speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 7.8 seconds
Power: 190hp at 4,250rpm
Torque: 400Nm from 1,750- to 2,500rpm

What's this?

The latest in a long line of Volvo off-road estates, stretching back to the original XC70 of 1998. However, Volvo has decided that the XC badging - which stands for cross-country - is now to be reserved for the 'proper' SUVs in its range (the XC60 and XC90), meaning this all-purpose V60 is called the, er... Cross Country. Note the capital Cs, there.

Over and above a V60, it wears the same styling updates as the S60 Cross Country launched alongside it, so look for the wheel arch protection, gloss black window surrounds and door mirrors, discreet side skirts, front and rear 'scuff' plates guarding the car's underside, a honeycomb front grille, the words 'Cross Country' etched into the rear bumper and a ride height a fulsome 65mm taller than a normal V60. We like it, because there are very few modern cars that can carry off brown as successfully as this; by the way, Volvo calls this hue Twilight Bronze. The inside is less special, as the sports seats that are standard on the S60 Cross Country are a cost option on the V60. There are two trim levels for the V60, though, with top-rank Lux Nav joined by SE below.

The V60 Cross Country range has slightly more engine choice than the ultra-niche S60 Cross Country, so alongside the D4 and D4 AWD models is a D3 version of the Drive-E 2.0-litre, which makes 150hp and 350Nm. As with the S60 Cross Country, all-wheel drive cannot be teamed with the Drive-E diesel engines so the most expensive V60 Cross Country has the old 2.4-litre, 190hp five-cylinder engine and six-speed Geartronic auto, while the two Drive-E models both get six-speed manuals as standard and the option of an all-new eight-speed Geartronic gearbox. The more powerful 190hp front-wheel drive manual is expected to be the chief seller, so it's that car we're driving here.

How does it drive?

It's very quiet, very comfortable and reasonably quick, so as big, luxurious estates go the V60 Cross Country can be termed a success. That towering 65mm injection of height makes for the commanding driving position commensurate with something that has off-road capability, and like the Cross Country saloon it improves the ride over the already-capable demeanour of a regular V60. The body roll into corners is notable but the V60 proves a handy machine when it comes to cornering.

As in the S60 Cross Country, the 190hp/400Nm D4 manual has no trouble moving the 70kg heavier V60 around and it never becomes raucous. The on-paper stats show no penalty in terms of economy or emissions compared to the S60 Cross Country, but the 0-62mph time drifts by a tenth to 7.8 seconds. Not that you'd ever really discern such a thing out on the road.

The Drive-E is a superb powerplant mated to a lovely, slick gearbox and we can fully understand why people would opt for this over the all-wheel drive model. Because we drove the V60 thus equipped, with its 2.4-litre five-pot and six-speed Geartronic auto, and - while the engine note is undoubtedly charismatic, it's also louder, plus it introduces more vibrations in the cabin, doesn't ride as nicely and is far heavier on fuel; we saw more like 38mpg on the 62-mile congested Cotswolds test route, compared to the Drive-E's 48mpg.

You'll never feel the difference between the two- and four-wheel drive models in terms of grip on a dry road, so unless you live in the middle of the remotest part of the Yorkshire Dales and absolutely have to have all-wheel drive (will you fit winter tyres, though, to make the most of that extra traction?), then the front-wheel drive Cross Country is more than enough crossover for anyone's needs.

Just a final note on its off-road capability, which we were not offered the opportunity to put to the test. The V60 Cross Country has 201mm of total ground clearance, can wade through 300mm of water and has approach, breakover and departure angles of (respectively) 19.4-, 20.7- and 25.7 degrees. So now you can fully plan that off-road expedition you were considering.

Verdict

Via the simple expedient of being an estate rather than a saloon, the V60 Cross Country makes much more sense than its sibling the S60 Cross Country and is the 'soft-roading' Volvo to have. It forms a clear and intelligible link between the normal road car range and Volvo's XC60 entry-level SUV, and with a Drive-E engine it's a fine all-round package. It's not cheap, especially at more than 42,000 as tested here, and there are some rivals that are (supposedly) from the class below, like the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and Skoda Octavia Scout, which make a convincing case for saving you ten grand if you want a rugged wagon like this. But as a premium rival for the Audi A4 allroad quattro, the V60 Cross Country makes a strong case for going Swedish instead of German.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

4 4 4 4 4 Passenger Space

4 4 4 4 4 Luggage Space

5 5 5 5 5 Safety

5 5 5 5 5 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 Powertrain


Matt Robinson - 6 Aug 2015









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2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.



2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 

2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country. Image by Volvo.
 






 

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