► Off-road version of V60
► Increased ride height and softer suspension
► On-sale now
The Volvo V60 Cross Country is what you buy if you want a car that’s more capable off-road than the regular V60, but isn’t an SUV – as, unlike 99% of car buyers, you aren’t actually that fussed on 4x4s.
Fair statement? Maybe. See, for the uninitiated, the V60 Cross Country is a raised up V60 with a more rugged all-round look. Same engines, same gearboxes, same interior. There’s really very little in it.
The big question, then, is whether should you opt for a Cross Country over the regular V60, especially since the former starts at around £3,000 more than the closest equivalent version of the latter. To answer this, we’ll start by going into a little more detail on what you get for your money.
What exactly are the differences between a V60 and V60 Cross Country?
If we’re going to get technical, there are a number of tweaks to speak of. Firstly – and perhaps most importantly – the ride height has been increased by 60mm over the V60, while all-wheel drive, an automatic gearbox and Hill Descent Control are fitted as standard.
Front parking sensors also make the kit list, as does comfort-orientated suspension (the regular V60 is hardly a Lotus Evora in the first place) and, crucially, that extra body cladding that just seems to ooze effortless, Wallander-esque cool. The wheel extensions, lower front grille and sill mouldings all benefit from a dash of charcoal coloured hard-wearing plastic. Rugged.
Do the changes actually make any differences?
Ah, see this is where it gets a little tricky. So far, we’ve only driven the V60 Cross Country on the international launch in Sweden, and, if you’ve glanced at the pictures in this article you’ll note that it was rather snowy.
Fine for testing a car’s drifting potential, not so great for judging how it’ll perform on UK roads with regular tyres. And since we haven’t driven a regular V60 in these wintery conditions, it’s a little hard to ascertain whether the Cross Country is any better suited. But we’ll give it go.
That extra ride height is undoubtedly useful, as, it doesn’t matter how good the tyres are if you keep scraping the car’s nose during off-road manoeuvres. Granted, this combined with the comfort-orientated suspension means that there is an agility penalty (and an increase in bodyroll), but in all honesty it really doesn’t matter.
The regular has never been able to rival the 3 Series Touring or C-Class Estate for ‘sporty’ driving dynamics and it’s never been a problem – we rate it all the same.
What the extra ride height and squishier suspension does do, is push the V60 Cross Country further towards the comfort end of the spectrum, making it even better at what it was already good at and offering a genuinely different alternative to its German rivals.
And in a world of faux-sporty trim levels – that, whisper it, are really just firmer (and more uncomfortable) versions of the standard car – the V60 Cross Country’s take on things makes a nice change,
Is it better than the Audi A4 Allroad – it’s closest like-for-like rival? We’d have to wait until we drove the V60 Cross Country on UK roads to make the final judgement – the V60’s studded winter tyres add firmness and increase tyre roar – but we see no reason why it can’t push it every step of the way.
Anything else that’s worth mentioning?
Yes. The V60 Cross Country will initially be available with just the 187bhp D4 2.0-litre diesel engine, capable of 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds and plenty of in-gear shove thanks to a chunky 295lb ft of torque. A 247bhp T5 2.0-litre petrol is due later in 2019 (and should shave around £1,200 off the starting price), offering punchier outright performance (0-62mph in 6.8 seconds) but less overall torque (266lb ft).
Volvo V60 Cross Country: verdict
From these admittedly limited first impressions, the V60 Cross Country could be the pick of the range, so long as you can stomach the premium over regular versions. It appears to do away with any sporting pretensions and delivers what should be a better all-round experience for it, amplifying the easy-going, luxury experience that the standard V60 can do so well.
Check back in a couple of months when we get to drive the V60 Cross Country on – hopefully – snow-free UK roads.