If there’s one thing car manufacturers love, it’s niches. By now it seemed likely that all of them had been filled, but Volvo has found another one, lurking at the far corner of a room that nobody ever goes into.
They have filled it with this: the Volvo S60 Cross Country. The XC range of models is what – according to Volvo, at least – launched the crossover craze that has been going strong since 1997. Until now, these high-riding, chunky looking versions of Volvo’s regular range have been based on the estates, but for the first time it has chosen a saloon as a starting point.
Based on the BMW 3-Series-rivalling S60, the Swedish marque has added 2.5 inches to the regular ride height, while the 18 (optionally 19) inch alloy wheels are wrapped in higher profile tyres. Not only do these lend the XC a more rugged look, but also promise to both improve the ride quality and reduce road noise.
Other changes to the styling are more subtle. At the front, a honeycomb grille design is a change from the horizontal bars of the standard S60, while the front bumper features a metallic finish which includes a sump guard running below the front end. The rear receives similar treatment, while sturdier-looking sills beef up the sides string everything together to form a “distinctly sporty and stylish package.”
Two engines will be offered in the UK, both fuelled by diesel. The base model will use the well-received 190hp D4 unit, and will be available as front-wheel-drive only. The top spec all-wheel-drive variant uses the slightly older 2.5-litre 5-cylinder diesel, and will prove the thirstier of the pair.
How much will it cost?
Prices are yet to be announced, though based on Volvo’s other Cross Country models expect to pay about £2,500 more than the equivalent S60, so around about £25,000. Deliveries are due to start in July.
Given its increased ride height and optional four-wheel-drive, we think it really could be one of the most sensible cars you could buy for UK driving – watch this space for more details!