Since then the XC90 has been joined by the family-friendly XC60 and practical XC70, but for buyers not wanting to go whole-hog, Volvo has come up with a trim level which turns its regular estate cars into vehicles that can handle a bit of off-roading. It’s worth noting that the majority of the Cross Country range is two-wheel drive – you’ll have to go for the top-spec versions of each to get a proper 4×4 system.
Let’s take a look.
Cross Country exterior changes
The Cross Country trim beefs up the regular versions of its cars with some off-road-inspired details.
Standard features on all Cross Country models include front and rear scuff-plates (designed to protect the bumpers as you go up and down steep hills), roof rails (for attaching roof boxes), plastic body cladding (to prevent scratched bodywork) and honeycomb front grilles to give a bit more aggression.
Combined with a slightly raised ride height, the effect is surprisingly effective and certainly gives the impression that any Cross Country model could tackle a muddy field or at least a steep verge.
The only minor hiccup here comes with the Volvo S60 Cross Country saloon – off-roading saloons are few and far between and the S60 Cross Country’s looks are definitely either something you’re going to love or hate. Most buyers will probably end up choosing one of the more practical Cross Country models, but if you like the looks then you will be driving one of the most distinctive vehicles on the road.
Cross Country interior
All Cross Country models are available in either SE or Lux specifications, but whichever you pick there aren’t many interior differences from the standard versions of the V40/S60/V60. That’s no bad thing though, because SE models are well equipped as standard and comes with cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and automatic lights/wipers, plus Volvo’s usual array of safety kit. Lux models however really up the ante and – for an additional £2,000-£3,000 – have leather upholstery, an electrically adjusted driver’s seat and, in the S60/V60, an eight-inch digital display for the driver.
A mere £800 will also get you the option of Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, which also comes with internet connectivity. Perhaps second guessing a lower demand for the saloon bodystyle, Volvo have chosen to offer the S60 Cross Country solely in this top trim in the UK, but the Lux Nav means there isn’t much to raid on the options list.
The biggest difference in terms of driving a Cross Country trim Volvo as opposed to one of its cheaper siblings is the ride height – Cross Country models sit between 40 and 65mm higher than normal models.
As well as giving you a slightly better view out, the higher ride height also means that the Cross Country models give a more comfortable ride over potholes and rough tarmac than non-Cross-Country versions. The the trade-off that the Cross-Country models will lean over more when cornering fast. Interestingly all-wheel drive is only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox and even then only with the most powerful engines.
Cross Country engines
The Cross Country range is – with one exception – a diesel-only affair. The V40 Cross Country can be bought in D2, D3 and D4 guises, all based on the same four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engine and all available with the option of a eight-speed automatic gearbox. Top of the tree though is the T5, a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with hot-hatch rivalling pace, only available with a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.
The V60 Cross Country is diesel only and has the same options of D3 and D4 engines in either manual or automatic – a D4 automatic with all-wheel drive is also available but it’s worth noting that this is based on a different engine, a less fuel efficient five-cylinder 2.4-litre engine only available with a six-speed automatic gearbox.
The S60 Cross Country is only available with the D4 engines, with either a manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. You can also have it as an all-wheel-drive car with the six-speed automatic and five-cylinder engine.
Prices for the Cross Country trim vary from model to model and engine to engine, but in the V40 the price difference ranges between £2,700 and £1,100 with the differences between the cheaper models being greater.
The opposite seems to be true with the V60’s pricing, with the premium for Cross Country trim ranging between £6,200 and £7,000, although it’s worth noting that there is no all-wheel drive trim available for the non-Cross-Country V60. The price premium for the S60 Cross Country is even more extreme, with prices of nearly £10,000 over equivalent S60 models being the order of the day.
Whether or not the increase is worth it is up to you. For some buyers the subtle styling enhancements and raised ride height are huge draws, and the Cross Country models mean you don’t have to resort to a more traditional crossover or SUV if you occasionally go off-roading.
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