Why The Volvo V60 Cross Country Is The Only 'Acceptable' Crossover

If you really have to do the crossover thing, Volvo's off-road-ified V60 is surely the way to do it
Why The Volvo V60 Cross Country Is The Only 'Acceptable' Crossover

However good a crossover is, there is always a caveat. Behind each and every one is a hatchback or estate car, often from the same manufacturer, which will better serve 99 per cent of buyers.

The problem is physics. Car makers may have gotten very good at making their high-riding wares stop and steer very well, all things considered, but there’s only so much you can do to mitigate a car putting on several hundred kilos compared to the equivalent hatch and keeping its centre of gravity much further up than you’d like.

It’ll be slower, use more fuel and won’t be as nice to drive. The fact is, people are buying compromised cars for an increase in ride height plus some off-road ability they’ll never use.

But, there is a saviour. A car to break this spell of automotive madness. And it’s called the Volvo V60 Cross Country.

Why The Volvo V60 Cross Country Is The Only 'Acceptable' Crossover

Like the V90 CC, the genius of the V60 is that it’s still… well, it’s still an estate car, isn’t it? Just a jacked up one, with some tough grey plastic cladding that shows everyone else you have an active lifestyle that requires your car to be decked out thusly. Even if you don’t.

It sits 60mm higher than a regular V60, giving you a lofty (ish) driving position, and together with a dedicated off-road mode plus hill descent control, it can actually do the rough stuff, so long as you remember it isn’t quite a Land Rover Defender. And it does all this with little in the way of compromise.

The Volvo V60 Cross Country can handle some moderate off-roading, should the need arise...
The Volvo V60 Cross Country can handle some moderate off-roading, should…

It may be 123kg heavier than a regular V60 D4, but almost all of that increase is down to the Haldex four-wheel drive system - this is the only V60 available with 4WD. It rolls a little more than other V60s and is noticeably softer (it rides beautifully, actually), but it still just feels like an ordinary estate car.

It’s not the most thrilling thing to drive quickly, but there is a decent amount of traction, and the 187bhp D4 turbo diesel engine makes progress easy enough. We’d probably hold out for the punchy and refined Cross Country T5 petrol, though.

Why The Volvo V60 Cross Country Is The Only 'Acceptable' Crossover

What’s particularly unusual about the V60 Cross Country is it’s somehow so much cooler and more appealing than a regular, already very pretty V60, without trying hard at all. Perhaps it’s because Volvo effectively gave birth to this sub-genre of cars with the V70 XC. The Swedish brand followed it up with a long line of slightly jacked up, slightly toughened estate cars (and even a saloon, in the form of the S60), and they’ve all just looked right.

If I was in the market for a V60, there’s no question that the Cross Country is the one I’d buy. And then I’d adapt my lifestyle to get the most of it. Perhaps I’d buy a remote hut somewhere to live in, or find a hobby that requires driving down a muddy track from time to time. Either way, I know I want one - the same certainly can’t be said for any crossover.

Why The Volvo V60 Cross Country Is The Only 'Acceptable' Crossover

The interior is, as on any SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) Volvo, overly familiar, but thoroughly lovely. The nine-inch touchscreen is very good (even if I’d still prefer the climate controls to be separate), and the general environment a far classier and more subtle than what you’d find in any of the V60’s German rivals.

Just like the German rivals, however, there’s no such thing as a cheap one. Our test car had its £38,270 starting price inflated to a wallet-busting £50,915. Granted, I could see plenty on the options list I could do without, but also plenty I’d want to keep - you should expect to drop at least £45k on one of these. But, for a car that’s brilliantly built and able to tick many boxes while also looking effortlessly cool, that doesn’t seem so bad.


Kyle Ashdown

Let’s all take a moment and appreciate this glorious photograph of Matt getting air in a Volvo wagon. You can’t not love this.

02/28/2019 - 16:55 |
140 | 0

Photo found on internet but it’s beautiful <3

03/03/2019 - 22:49 |
6 | 0
Martin Burns

It’s a crossover… and I like it… hmm

02/28/2019 - 17:02 |
58 | 0

But how about a lovely Subaru Outback with 3.6 L 6 cylinder Boxer Engine?

02/28/2019 - 17:20 |
30 | 0
RWB Dude

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


02/28/2019 - 17:24 |
4 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Only if it’s a manual, which I don’t think exists.
But a 3.0 H6 manual of the previous gen is a thing.

02/28/2019 - 17:38 |
6 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

IDK, I think Subaru has become too soft and somewhat lack in personality in the recent years.

02/28/2019 - 21:08 |
0 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Or maybe the old, five cylinder V70?

03/01/2019 - 06:12 |
0 | 0

That is one sexy car all hail the wagon/estate

02/28/2019 - 18:00 |
8 | 0
Ali Mahfooz

Car manufacturers, take note! This is how you do a proper crossover.

02/28/2019 - 18:20 |
14 | 0
Dominik Maslyk (Euro & JDM Addict) (Autistic boi)

In reply to by Ali Mahfooz

This is a tarted up estate

03/02/2019 - 00:26 |
4 | 0
RodriguezRacer456 (Aventador SV) (Lambo Squad)

Think of it not as a crossover but as a lifted estate with a higher roof.

02/28/2019 - 20:01 |
16 | 0
Chewbacca_buddy (McLaren squad)(VW GTI Clubsport)(McLaren 60

In reply to by RodriguezRacer…

Just what I was thinking

03/01/2019 - 00:46 |
0 | 0

Just had to do a small correction…
Haldex doesn’t do four wheel drive systems any more. Nowadays it’s a Borg Warner system.
Same (just newer and better) system, but Haldex isn’t involved any more.

02/28/2019 - 20:16 |
0 | 0

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Don’t BorgWarner own Haldex?

02/28/2019 - 23:19 |
0 | 0
Chewbacca_buddy (McLaren squad)(VW GTI Clubsport)(McLaren 60

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

I thought that transverse mounted audis used it?

03/01/2019 - 00:46 |
0 | 0

Nobody is going to mention a Golf Alltrack with a stick?

03/01/2019 - 03:47 |
4 | 0

And there’s also it’s sister car the skoda octavia scout and that car can also be optioned with a stick&#x1F44D;

03/01/2019 - 08:39 |
6 | 0

Not really a cross over more of a estate car

03/01/2019 - 15:53 |
0 | 0

Scandinavian magic?

03/01/2019 - 05:46 |
0 | 0
adam thompson

Randy Pobst did a review for the V90 CC a while back and hooned the crap out of it. Think I’ll take one of these though. Because it’s cheaper

03/01/2019 - 19:53 |
2 | 0



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