Class: Premium Midsize Car
Miles driven: 395
Fuel used: 16.4 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||B-|
|Power and Performance||B-|
|Fit and Finish||A|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||250-hp 2.0L|
|Engine Type||Turbo 4-cylinder|
Real-world fuel economy: 24.1 mpg
Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/31/25 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Premium gas required
Base price: $45,100 (not including $995 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Advanced Package ($2500), Cross Country Pro Package ($2800), heated rear seats and steering wheel ($750), metallic paint ($645), Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system ($4000), Park Assist Pilot ($200)
Price as tested: $56,990
The great: Beautifully finished cabin, ride/handling balance
The good: Distinctive styling; compelling mix of car-based-wagon and SUV virtues
The not so good: Complicated touchscreen interface; powertrain sounds a bit coarse at low speeds; occupant space is a bit stingy, especially when compared to crossover SUVs
Volvo sells two lines of passenger cars and three crossovers in the U.S. The cars, the S60/V60 and S90/V90 sedans (“S”) and wagons (“V”), curiously are both big enough to fit in the premium midsize category, though the 60 line is the physically smaller of the two. The V90 has had an SUV-ish all-wheel-drive version—called Cross Country—since 2017. A Cross Country version of the previous-generation V60 was offered from 2015-2018, but took a model year off when the V60 was redesigned for 2019. For 2020, however, the V60 Cross Country is back.
Standing still, the Cross Country stands out from front-wheel-drive V60s by dint of its 2.5-inch-loftier ride height (7.9 inches total) and black body cladding around the wheel openings and along the rocker panels. Its starting price of $46,740 (with delivery) makes it the cheapest AWD V60 by a country mile—the Polestar performance model that’s also new for 2020 costs almost $22,000 more. Pricewise, the Cross Country actually falls in between the two least-expensive front-drive V60s.
For 2020, the V60 drops the 316-horsepower T6 engine that’s turbocharged and supercharged, leaving just the 250-horsepower T5 turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine for most models. (The exception is the Polestar with T8 power—a turbocharged, supercharged, plug-in-hybrid version of the 2.0 that makes 415 horsepower.) The transmission is an 8-speed automatic.
Contrary to the V60’s polish in many other areas, the T5 powerplant is a little grumbly at low speeds. Once it clears its throat, though, the car behaves responsively. It is a calm highway cruiser, and the transmission kicks down alertly when passing power is required. “Dynamic” driving mode enlivens power delivery somewhat. Going the standard-AWD route pushes the Cross Country’s weight above 4000 pounds, so fuel economy (22 mpg city/31 mpg highway/25 mpg combined per the EPA) isn’t quite as good as with the front-drivers. This reviewer charted 22.31 mpg from a run of 64.6 miles that included 46 percent city-type driving.
The AWD driveline doesn’t prevent the Cross Country from delivering a pleasing balance of good ride and handling. “Station wagon” and “cumbersome” are not synonymous here. The Dynamic setting tweaks steering and braking responses. Standard hill-descent control gives the Cross Country an additional element for the “almost-an-SUV” image it hopes to foster.
The Cross Country is as much a trim level as it is a mechanical package. Unlike the front-drive V60s available with Momentum, R-Design, or Inscription equipment, the Cross Country comes one way—though it can be dressed up with options. Standard equipment includes things like leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual integrated tailpipes, body-color exterior-mirror caps, panoramic sunroof, forward-collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian/cyclist/large-animal detection, lane-departure warning and mitigation, oncoming-traffic mitigation, and road-sign identification.
The quiet cabin is coolly chic, with plush and attractive surfaces just about everywhere. We just have to wonder if the striking off-white Blond interior that was in the test car is the best choice for this pseudo-SUV V60. “Iron Ore” metallic accents are standard, but the tester sported Linear Limewood inlays on the instrument panel and console. (The wood is only available in a $2800 Pro Package option that also includes passenger-seat memory; heated power cushion extensions and 4-way power lumbar support for the front seats; a tailored Charcoal dashboard covering with contrast stitching; interior high-level illumination; 4-zone automatic climate control; cargo-area grocery-bag holder; 19-inch 5-double-spoke diamond-cut alloy wheels; and an exterior-styling kit that adds brushed stainless steel to the rockers, front and rear bumper “skid plates,” and tailpipe finishers.)
Front passengers will find the V60 comfortable and reasonably roomy. Rear legroom will accommodate folks up to about 6 feet tall, but the driveline hump is just wide enough to rule out effective 3-across seating, even perhaps for teenagers. Also, the inward “tumblehome” of the roof brings it close to outboard passengers’ heads. Curiously, per the manufacturer, there is 0.7 inch more second-row headroom even though that sense doesn’t come through when actually seated. Driver sightlines around the cabin are pretty decent overall.
Driving instruments display well, but infotainment is controlled by Volvo’s signature big, vertical, tablet-like screen that has been a consistent target of CG complaints for its complexity. In the Cross Country, it didn’t always respond well to this driver’s swipes, which started to get him more concerned with making the system work than with the road. On the climate system, handy dials set temperatures, while buttons control other functions. Climate settings can be done on the screen, too, if you prefer. Rear passengers are presented with their own climate controls built into the back of the console.
Personal-item storage options in front come down to a big glove box, small padded-top console box, covered cup holders in the console, and door pockets. Second-row facilities are net pouches on the backs of the front seats; a pull-down armrest with pop-out cup holders, an exposed tray (about big enough to rest a phone), and a shallow covered bin; and door pockets.
The cargo area has useful flat-floored space that loads at bumper height, but no underfloor capacity. Rear seats fold flat in a 60/40 split for up to 60.5 cubic feet of load space, and there is a long-object pass-through available when the rear armrest is down. A net pouch on the left side of the cargo bay and elastic strap on the right side can hold incidentals in place. The top of the power liftgate extends into the roof to help it open high out of the way for easier loading.
If your needs don’t require maximum passenger space, but your desires are for comfort and sophistication at a not-bank-busting price, the Volvo V60 Cross Country could be for you.
2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country Gallery
2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country
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