Volvo V60 Cross Country Review
The Volvo V60 is a comfortable and practical 4×4 estate car that has a cool interior and a big boot, but the infotainment system is fiddly to use when driving.
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The Volvo V60 Cross Country is a stylish estate car that comes with four-wheel drive and sits higher up than your average estate car giving it a fair degree of off-road capability.
If you don’t want a clichéd SUV but actually need a 4×4, this could be the posh estate car for you.
It is based on the very smart-looking V60 estate – the car which picked up the carwow Practicality Award in the 2018 Car of the Year Awards – but has added cladding around the wheel arches and bumpers to give it some countryside appeal. Think sharp Saville row suit – but made out of Tweed.
As such the Volvo V60 Cross Country is an alternative to the cheaper Skoda Octavia Scout. You might also consider the new Audi A4 Allroad when it goes on sale towards the end of 2019.
What sets the V60 Cross Country apart is the cool interior you come to expect from Volvo, dominated by its large portrait-layout infotainment system.
It controls most of the car’s systems so you don’t have to navigate your way around a sea of conventional buttons. That said, the Volvo’s touchscreen can be trickier to use when driving than the set-up you get in the latest Audis.
Still, the big screen makes the V60’s cabin feel modern and minimalistic. And that’s complemented by a driver’s display behind the steering wheel that replaces traditional dials.
Comfortable and stylish, this is the car that can making towing look cool.
There are plenty of expensive materials on show that make it feel every bit as classy and so looks more attractive than the interior in an Audi A4, even if it doesn’t feel quite as well built.
You won’t want for space or comfort in the Volvo V60 Cross Country. The front seats are some of the most comfortable around. And your rear seat passengers will have plenty of room too.
You’d buy an estate car for its large, practical boot and you won’t be disappointed with the Volvo V60 Cross Country. It’s big and square and there’s no lip to lift things over, so heavy loads can slide straight in and the huge boot opening means even large items are easy to pack away. You have buttons in the boot that lower the rear seats electrically, which is handy.
There are no hard decisions when it comes to engine choices – for now there’s just Volvo’s 190hp D4 diesel engine to pick and it comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The 2.0-litre T5 petrol will join the range soon.
As with the standard V60, you can change the driving modes to suit your mood – from Comfort to Eco, to Dynamic. The Volvo V60 Cross Country adds an Off Road setting that maximises the 4×4 functions, such as Hill Descent Control. So, it’s not the car to cross the Outback in but pulling a caravan across a muddy campsite won’t be a problem.
If you are looking for a cool car with a degree of off-road ability, but don’t want to go down the well-trodden SUV route, then the Volvo V60 Cross Country could be right up your country lane. Interested? Take a look at our latest Volvo V60 Cross Country deals.
You’ll struggle to find more comfortable seats than those in a Volvo. They support your back in all the right places and feel more thickly padded than you get in a Mercedes or BMW.
There aren’t many seats as comfortable as those you’d find in a Volvo, but it does seem a bit stingy that you have to pay extra to get them in leather
Standard electric height adjustment means you’ll find it easy to raise and lower the seat, while the steering wheel can be adjusted up and down and in and out.
Electric lumbar adjustment is another standard feature and it doesn’t feel as weedy as you’ll get in other cars and you’ll find the added support it offers very welcome on long journeys.
The V60’s back seats are roomy and comfortable too. Even if you’re a tall driver, six-footers sitting behind will have plenty knee room and more than enough headroom.
The only thing you might hear complaints about is the lack of foot room. With your seat in its lowest position, any passenger sitting behind you might have trouble sliding their feet underneath your seat.
That’s more of a problem if you have three people in the back because the huge hump in the floor means a third person will have to share the other passengers’ footwells. Other than that, though, the middle seat isn’t as hard as you find in some alternatives and headroom isn’t an issue, even with the panoramic sunroof fitted.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country’s rear doors open wide for good access, so fitting a child seat is an easy job. The gap’s still big enough to manoeuvre a seat into place and the clearly marked Isofix points – which are hidden under plastic covers – make it easy to lock the seat into place.
You won’t want for storage space in the Volvo V60 Cross Country. There are so many cubby spaces hidden inside the cabin that keeping the interior tidy is easy.
The glovebox is large enough for a couple of big bottles and the door bins are also a decent size, although their contents jiggle about over bumps because there’s no lining. In between the two front seats, you get a couple of cupholders and a tray for your phone and there’s a deep storage space hidden under the front centre armrest.
In the back, there’s only space for a small bottle of water in the rear door cubbies, but the central armrest has two cupholders and a shallow lidded tray that’ll be big enough to hide a couple of smartphones.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country boot is slightly larger than the boots you’ll find in the Mercedes C-Class Estate or Audi A4 Avant.
It’s easy to load because there’s no load lip to lift things over and the boot floor is completely flat. It also comes with a power-operated boot lid and there’s a storage area under the boot floor, too. There are some cargo load hooks but for added practicality, an option worth considering is the Convenience Pack.
With it fitted, you can fold down the rear seats from the front of the boot, you get a net for holding your luggage in place and a couple of storage nets on the sides of the centre console between the two front seats. You also get a 12V socket in the boot.
Without the Convenience Pack, you’ll have to lean in and yank a toggle next to the rear headrests to drop the seats. Do that and you get a total load capacity of 1,441 litres, which means the Volvo V60 will easily swallow a bike without you having to bother taking its wheels off.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country is more comfortable to drive than the standard estate but engine choice is limited… for now
The Volvo V60 Cross Country is fun to drive – provided you take it off-road where it’s surprisingly capable. On road, you’ll be comfortable but probably not filled with excitement
The engine and gearbox choice for the Volvo V60 Cross Country is pretty limited for the moment. It only comes with a 190hp, 2.0-litre D4 diesel engine, four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. A petrol T5 model should be on sale later in 2019.
For now, the Cross Country fitted with the D4 can go from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and has fuel economy of around 55mpg on paper, but probably nearer the low 40s in the real world.
That means it’s powerful enough to pull a caravan yet still prove to be a pretty quiet cruiser on the motorway.
The standard eight-speed auto makes for a relaxing drive around town but it’s slow to respond when you want a quick burst of acceleration, which can be frustrating when you want to pull out at a busy roundabout.
The V60 Cross Country had 60mm extra ground clearance over the standard estate and its suspension has been tweaked to be more comfortable too. It also gets Hill Descent Control, which, well, helps you drive (slowly) down slippery surfaces.
Like every other V60, you can choose between different drive modes to suit your preferences and road conditions. However, as well as the Comfort, Eco, Dynamic and Individual modes, the V60 Cross Country also has an Off-Road mode. This works when you’re driving under 25mph, and the engine, gearbox, accelerator and all-wheel-drive system are optimised for slippery surfaces
This all means the car is a pretty capable 4×4 estate. Sure, journeys across the Kalahari might not be possible but trips across muddy fields and down green lanes should prove well within the Cross Country’s capabilities.
So that’s off road covered. On road? Well, on the motorway the Cross Country should be as quiet as the standard estate. In town the large pillars at the front and rear of the car give you a couple of blinds spots to contend with, but you do get a clearer view out than in the V60 because you sit slightly higher up.
Squeezing into tight spaces isn’t too hard, though, because the V60 Cross Country comes with front and rear parking sensors. But if you want to make low-speed manoeuvring a bit easier, it’s worth considering the optional 360-degree camera.
The V60 Cross Country oozes Scandinavian minimalist design. Overall, it’s very cool, but you don’t have to look too hard to find lower-quality materials