Hardly a week goes by when CAR magazine isn’t writing about a new soft-roader. Today it’s the turn of Volvo, which unveils the new V60 Cross Country in time for UK sales next summer.
The firm has form with Cross Country models, having launched the V70 CC all the way back in 1997. It was another prescient product launch by the Swedes who along with Subaru foresaw the trend towards mudification.
But we’re less impressed by the current naming convention. Volvo started calling its chunked-up estates Cross Countrys – so far, so Ronseal – but then switched to XC prefaces, which lasts to this day on the XC70, despite that tag now normally referring to the full-fat SUVs such as the XC60 and XC90… Confused? We certainly are.
The V60 Cross Country will sit alongside the V40 Cross Country when UK sales start in June 2015. Expect it to be popular with Brits; Volvo has sold nearly as many XC70s as V70s so far in 2014.
Volvo V60 Cross Country: what’s new?
There are few surprises in store here. Volvo has jacked up the ride height by 65mm and fitted some extra body cladding to give the estate-in-waders look beloved of rural types.
Notice the skid plates and thin black cladding around the wheelarches and across the rear bumper, where it’s embossed with Cross Country.
An alloy-effect finisher houses twin oblong exhaust pipes, finishing the rear look. Oh, and don’t forget the dog guard fitted to the example pictured here. That speaks volumes about this car’s intended customer base.
Engines, specs for V60 Cross Country
The UK is taking the D3 and D4 in front-wheel drive, but will also offer the D4 with AWD. No prices have been announced yet, but expect a modest hike over the £23,395 a regular V60 D3 starts at today.
The D3 badge is Volvo speak for a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel, developing 134bhp; the more powerful D4 brings a 179bhp version of the company’s new Drive-E engine. AWD models stick with the characterful five-pot warbler.
A petrol T5 model is available for the US, but won’t be offered in the UK.
Torque vectoring is offered, tugging the car back into line and controlling traction when soft-roading across the local gymkhana field, while a choice of 18in and 19in wheels should be offered in the UK.