Volvo S60 Cross Country (2015): a saloon in hiking boots

Published: 08 January 2015

Volvo’s been making jacked-up, off-road-oriented versions of its estate cars for years. But it’s never applied the big wheels ’n’ skidplates formula to a saloon before. (And nor has anyone else, for that matter.) Until now: say hello to the Volvo S60 Cross Country.

What’s the thinking behind this car?

As buyers continue to flock to high-riding crossovers and soft-roaders in droves, Volvo reasons that applying the design cues and muddy field compatibility of its Cross Country estates is a spot of market exploration that’s well worth a punt.

Volvo’s senior vice president of sales and marketing Alain Visser describes the S60 Cross Country as the ‘sole contender’ in the crossover saloon segment – surely no arguments there. He goes on to say: ‘We have identified a clear niche in the market for a more capable saloon with rugged styling cues and a higher stance. The S60 Cross Country will appeal to people that are searching for an exciting and capable saloon, whilst enjoying the clear benefits that a crossover offers.’

What does the Cross Country spec involve?

A ride height increase of 2.5 inches, some styling garnish to the sills and bumpers, and four-wheel drive. Or at least, there will be four-wheel drive on the 2.4-litre five-cylinder diesel version. The UK launch model will be front-wheel-drive, with Volvo’s 188bhp D4 engine.

Buyers can choose between 18- or 19-inch wheels with suitably tall-profile tyres. Volvo says the latter have the triple effect of improving ride quality, reducing road noise and making it easier to avoid kerbing those alloys.

When? Where?

The S60 Cross Country will be unveiled to the public at the Detroit motor show later in January 2015 and available to order early in summer.

Something different? Or just slapping the crossover formula onto a saloon it doesn’t quite fit? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Click here to read car’s review of the hatchback Volvo V40 Cross Country, which follows a similar formula to the new S60 model.

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer