★★★★ | Volvo V60 Cross Country, Volvo’s Luxury Woodland Cruiser
What have we got?
Hot on the trail of the newly launched Volvo V60 range, Volvo launch their new “life style” version for those who need a bit more from their estate. When we say more, we mean an added ability to go off the beaten track and into places unknown.
But has Volvo just jacked up the V60 by 60mm, clad it with some plastic and given it a 4 wheel drive system to make this Cross Country a viable off-roader? THEGAYUK went to find out.
One thing that impresses with the Cross Country is its ability to ride remarkably well on the road. The trouble with raising cars is it tends to at the detriment to the on-road handling dynamics. It’s no R-Design in driving style but then it was never supposed to be. On the road, it had a reasonably good blend of comfort. That increase in height allowing perhaps just a little more suspension travel to compensate.
The 187bhp D4 diesel engine spreads the torque power well to the driven wheels through an 8-speed automatic box. Over 25mph, the system automatically selects the front-wheel drive.
The XC60’s off-road capabilities are more impressive. Considering these were fitted with on-road tyres, they had the ability to climb a reasonably wet hill with surprising vigour. Hill descent also showed up no nasty surprises either. Locking wheels were attended to by a system with rapid-fire adjustments.
It has to be said that road tyres will give limited adhesion in the most arduous conditions but Volvo dealers are able to upgrade you to a more suitable off-road rubber should you wish.
The inside of the V60 Cross Country is identical to the standard V60. In this guise, we had blond leather (probably not the best in a mud plugger), silver trim and quality materials. All adding to the premium feel that Volvo has headed into. It is a class-leading layout that feels a bit like home.
Living With It
As with the standard V60’s, there is very little to dislike about it in Cross Country guise. It does all that you would expect a Volvo V60 to do. The boot is the largest in its class and the cabin is nicely made. It just happens to be able to do something else.
However, it does have its limitations. You need to be aware of the surrounding environment. Doing something stupid, and we mean REALLY STUPID in the V60 Cross Country, will get you stuck in the mud. Read that as: pilot it straight into a muddy bog and it comes to a stop!
That said, my co-pilot and I almost did get it stuck fast. In typical ‘Gun-Ho’ style we floored it out of what caught out the car in front.
Get it stuck and it will result in a long possible overnight stay in the car while you wait for a man in a Land Rover to come and get you. Be sensible and realistic and you’ll be surprised at where this car can take you off the beaten track. Thankfully the cabin on the V60 is spacious and comfortable and the rear load area long enough to accommodate two sleeping bodies.
This won’t be the big seller of the V60 range. Volvo even predicts it won’t be especially when there are the 3 popular XC ranges within the Volvo family.
So has this been worthy of all the development hassle? Yes, it has. It uses XC60 architecture so development has already been carried out and proven. What this is then is a car that still shows Volvo have the ability to make an elegant estate design for those who don’t want a large SUV but need to get away from it all.
It just seems a shame, that such a beautifully designed estate car will be used to get muddy. Then again, you can’t have your cake and eat it.
Ride and handling
Infotainment can be fiddly
Starting and drive mode buttons look gaudy
Predicted depreciation highest in the range
Car – Volvo V60 Cross Country
Price – £38,300 (starting from)
MPG – 45mpg (combined)
Power – 190bhp D4 diesel
0-62mph – 7. 6 seconds
Top Speed – 130 mph
Co2 – 143 (g/km)