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MotorBar - New Car Reviews
Volvo V60 D4 AWD Cross Country

Click to view picture gallery“The relentless rise of the SUV is
  being tempered by the comeback of
  the equally space-efficient estate car.
  Can
t decide which? No problem
  Volvo
s brilliant all-wheel drive V60
  Cross Country serves up the best
  of both...”


ASK SOMEONE TO NAME A VOLVO and the odds are they'll mention the XC40 or XC90 — respectively the smallest and largest of the Swedish brand's SUVs. While these hi-profile premium sports utility vehicles are big-hitters for the Swedish carmaker, it's easy to overlook the fact that long before it made SUVs Volvo was celebrated for its estate cars.

After decades producing über-versatile wagons, today it is the large V90 estate that carries the baton for the archetypal Volvo estate… but now there's a new kid on the block the totally-new V60 that hit the streets last year and which has already proved to be highly popular. And it's just become available in the desirable higher-riding, all-wheel drive Cross Country spec. Welcome to wagon wonderland!

This is a Volvo
so naturally you’ll be
expecting a fab cab.
Open the door and you
won’t be disappointed —
in actual fact you’ll be
delighted. Soft blond
leather upholstery that’s
great to touch and,
thanks to beautifully
shapely seats, even
better to sit in.
Along with the tasteful
top-quality materials
and first-rate fit-and-
finish, the V60’s
interior is not just one
of the biggest in its
class, but also one of
the coolest...”
There's no doubt the £38K V60 Cross Country is flamboyant enough to seduce drivers who otherwise would probably have bought an Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz estate with their £40K.

With its increased 60mm ride height and striking design cues T-shaped daytime running lights, piano black front grille, distinctive zigzag high-level taillights the Cross Country is coolly elegant with a frisson of Scandi sex-appeal; its long, lithe body is accentuated by muscular haunches and the defining seam that flows back along its sculptured flanks. Throw in a well-planted stance and bodykit enhancements and you're looking at some quality kerb appeal.

Initially powered by Volvo's 190hp D4 Drive-E turbodiesel (with an eight-speed autobox), the Cross Country is about to be joined by a markedly more potent petrol-drinking stablemate the 142mph T5 capable of a sub-seven-second 0-62mph sprint. Seriously now, who doesn't like a bit more poke?

This is a Volvo so naturally you'll be expecting a fab cab. Open the door and you won't be disappointed in actual fact you'll be delighted. Soft blond leather upholstery that's great to touch and, thanks to beautifully shapely seats, even better to sit in.

With the tasteful top-quality materials and first-rate fit-and-finish, the V60's interior is not just one of the biggest in its class but undeniably one of the coolest. And with pastel trim and panoramic glass roof (that tilts and slides and has a powered opaque sunblind blind that very effectively neutralises the sun's sting), it's also one of the lightest and brightest.

The driving position, seating and ergonomics are all first-rate and the driver enjoys A1 visibility and a confidence-inspiring view down the bonnet. While it's a big car, it's a no-brainer to place accurately plus, thanks to multi camera coverage including an accurate and crystal clear bird's-eye view showing kerbs and road markings in fine detail, it's also easy to park. Should you prefer, the optional Park Assist Pilot will manage both parallel and 90-degree parking for you.

The leather-wrapped front seats are exceptionally comfortable, hugely snug and every-which-way supportive (if only there was some way of taking them indoors with you!). Also good are the big footwells no need to change out of your trekking boots every time you return from a walk on the wild side. Although it's only just over a couple of inches, the extra 60mm ride height does provide a more commanding view from behind the great-to-grip, two-tone leather-wrapped steering wheel that together with all the other superbly-considered in-cockpit features make the Cross Country deeply satisfying to drive. Generous headroom, plenty of elbow room, powered lumbar adjustment, three-stage heated seats and a three-stage heated wheel rim are all equally welcome!

All the screen graphics
are pin-sharp and easy
on the eyes and the 3D
mapping is idiot-proof
plus there’s Volvo’s
OnCall connected
services that, among
other things, lets you
remotely operate vehicle
functions —
for instance; pre-heating
the cabin or checking
how much fuel is in the
tank — via a smartphone
app (or smartwatch or tablet)...”
The V60's dash uses Volvo's trademark portrait-format, nine-inch infotainment display that seamlessly blends function with elegance. Happily this central touchscreen is as slick to use as it looks if you haven't encountered one of these before you might be worried that so many of the functions once reliant on buttons, switches, and knobs are controlled by your fingertip. Don't be, because you can also give your orders vocally using the comprehensive voice-activated control system that works with the navigation, the dual-zone climate, media, and phone.

All the screen graphics are pin-sharp and easy on the eyes and the 3D mapping is idiot-proof plus there's Volvo's OnCall connected services that, among other things, lets you remotely operate vehicle functions for instance; preheating the cabin or checking how much fuel is in the tank via a smartphone app (or smartwatch or tablet).

OnCall also functions as an emergency and tracking service. And, crucial for just about all users, connecting up and using Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is as foolproof as it is quick. Naturally you can access a range of web apps and browse the Internet to your heart's content, plus there's the expected DAB radio, handsfree Bluetooth, and a decent 10-speaker sound system.

Replacing conventional dials is another screen equally driver-customisable installed in the instrument panel. It measures a full 12.3 inches and the driver can choose to view the mapping here (in addition to or as a stand-alone alternative to the central touchscreen) framed by digitised dials. Essentials, such as a large digital readout of the road speed with the posted speed limit immediately below it, can be taken for granted. Scrolling through the comprehensive driving data is quick and easy on the move using the buttons on the steering wheel.

Kit is as comprehensive as you'd expect of a premium estate and while there's plenty more that can be added, once you're sitting behind the steering wheel you won't feel under any pressure to tick more boxes because everything you need is already provided. Standard equipment, in addition to the numerous items mentioned throughout the review, include two-zone climate control with pollen filter and 'CleanZone' air quality system, power operated tailgate, and Cruise Control with Speed Limiter, Hill-start Assist, LED headlights with automatic levelling and active main/dip switching (very quick so no worries about dazzling other road users), parking sensors, tyre pressure monitoring, powerfold heated door mirror (on demand and automatically on locking and leaving), frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror, electric parking brake with auto hold, keyless start, and one-shot windows.

The 2.0-litre D4
turbodiesel generates
a punchy 187bhp
backed up by a meaty
295lb ft of torque and it’s
mated to a smooth-
shifting eight-speed
automatic transmission.
It’s a good partnership;
the autobox’s ratios are
nicely attuned to the
gutsy four-pot that revs
willingly and serves up
plenty of low-down,
fuss-free pulling power —
not that you’ll often need
to use more than half
throttle and, unless
you’re unnecessarily
brutal with your right
foot, you’ll rarely hear

the diesel...”
Safety and driver 'assists' include City Safety with Steering Support which includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and Front Collision Warning with fully autonomous emergency braking, Oncoming Lane Mitigation (a world-first safety technology introduced on the V60, this automatically provides steering assistance should you unwittingly drift out of your lane, guiding you back in and out of the path of any oncoming vehicle), and Run-Off Road Mitigation and Protection (preps the car for a possible crash should you inadvertently leave the road).

Space in the back is generous for legs, knees and feet. The wide cabin also provides good room for elbows and shoulders and ensures that seating three side-by-side won't trigger any turf wars. The glass roof stretches back to the rear headrests so the entire cabin is wonderfully light and airy and there's a fist of headroom.

Deep windows provide fine views out while the shapely backrests are set at restful angles and will keep your passengers relaxed however many miles long the journey. A large centre armrest features a useful storage tray beneath its padded armrest and the pop-out cupholders will hold drinks without any spills while dedicated air vents keep occupants supplied with all the hot or cold air they want.

Under the broad bonnet the 2.0-litre D4 turbodiesel generates a punchy 187bhp backed up by a meaty 295lb ft of torque, and it's mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission. It's a good partnership; the autobox's ratios are nicely attuned to the gutsy four-pot that revs willingly and serves up plenty of low-down, fuss-free pulling power not that you'll often need to use more than half throttle and, unless you're unnecessarily brutal with your right foot, you'll rarely hear the diesel.

A very tactile 'bark'-finish milled roller selector wheel offers a choice of five Drive Mode settings: Eco (which includes a fuel-saving 'coasting' function at speeds above 40mph), Comfort, Dynamic, Individual, and Off Road. But if you really must press on, then Dynamic is the mode for you and can be supplemented by the autobox's manual mode with driver-controlled gearchanges made by nudging the selector lever. That said, Comfort mode lets you sink pleasantly into the embracing seat and indulge in the laid-back driving experience.

The D4 under will run to 130mph; more pertinently, it accelerates from zero to 62mph in a clean 8.2 seconds. Officially it returns between 42.8 and 47.9mpg on the Combined Cycle. A week of pretty hard driving over mixed roads from snail's pace progress in town to press-on country roads and quick motorway cruising saw an average 40.9mpg logged. We would expect most drivers to match Volvo's figures which, given the automatic transmission and all-wheel drivetrain, few would complain about. And with a 13.2-gallon tank you won't have to stop too often for fuel, with 500 miles possible between fill-ups.

Increasing the ride
height and adding all-
wheel drive might
suggest that comfort
would suffer.
With the Cross Country
the reality, thankfully,
is the opposite —
this most rugged
V60 version actually rides
more softly courtesy of
a comfort-oriented
suspension setup that
deals efficiently with
the potholes and
bigger bumps...”
Under the skin, V60 models, including the Cross Country, are in good company they're all underpinned by the same proven platform as used by the S90 saloon, V90 estate and the XC60 and XC90 SUVs. And with the addition of all-wheel drive, getting you through in dicey or extreme conditions is something the Cross Country has been designed to do.

Grip, as expected, is tenacious and, combined with well-balanced handling, keeps the Cross Country safely focussed on flooded green lanes and around corners even in truly treacherous conditions. Off-road it's as competent and reassuring as you'd hope courtesy of the extra ground clearance the additional 60mm pumps it up to 210mm.

Selecting the Off Road mode instantly preps the V60 for tackling muddy trails by deactivating the engine's stop/start system, lightening up the steering, re-calibrating the accelerator, engine, and autobox, and activating the Hill Descent Control all to maximise the 4x4 traction and performance over a variety of surfaces. Usefully it also changes the driver's information display to show a compass and a reminder of the 25mph off-road speed limitation. In the real-world, owners will be pleasantly surprised at just how far off the beaten track their Cross Country will take them.

Increasing the ride height and adding all-wheel drive might suggest that comfort would suffer. With the Cross Country the reality, thankfully, is the opposite this most rugged V60 version actually rides more softly courtesy of a comfort-oriented suspension setup that deals efficiently with the potholes and bigger bumps. And that's rolling on larger than standard alloy wheels and tyres: 19-inchers wrapped in surprisingly forgiving but all-weather grippy 255x50 rubber. That's not saying that the mainstream V60 models are not comfortable; only that the Cross Country feels more supple and comfy to travel in.

And before you ask, No, the handling hasn't been compromised body lean is well-managed, keeping your passengers reassuringly 'upright' even when cutting through the twisties. All of which makes it even better off-road as well as cementing the V60's reputation as a soothing, family-favouring mile-eater.

Boot space is a very practical 529 litres with all seats occupied that's generous enough to swallow four adults' luggage or a decent pile of lifestyle 'gear'. Fold down the 60:40-split rear seatbacks and you'll free-up a versatile 1,441-litre loadbay with a long, wide, seamless and perfectly flat floor.

Boot space is a very
practical 529 litres with
all seats occupied —
that
s generous enough
to swallow four adults’
luggage or a decent pile
of lifestyle ‘gear’.
Fold down the 60:40-split
rear seatbacks and you
ll
free-up a versatile
1,441-litre loadbay with a
long, wide, seamless and
perfectly flat floor...”
Boosting convenience, the tailgate is powered and can be opened or closed and quickly, too by the key fob, the driver's in-cabin switch or, if your arms are full of shopping, handsfree by simply placing your foot under the back bumper.

Additional nice touches include a flip-up boot divider with an elasticated retaining strap and bag hooks, plus there are luggage nets, sturdy lashing points, a handy netted side pocket with a first aid kit, a load-through hatch and a stout dog-guard that can be deployed whenever needed.

Also useful is the rollerblind luggage cover it rises with the tailgate or, if you'd rather, just unclip it and let it retract horizontally. The D4's braked 2,000kg towing ability (a retractable towbar is just a box-tick away) also makes it a fit-for-purpose towcar whether it's a horsebox, boat or caravan you intend to pull behind your Cross Country.

While 'off-road warrior' SUVs will continue to appeal, as more and more drivers realise that a wagon can be both classier and more satisfying to drive than many Sports Utes, all-wheel drive estate cars are catching up fast. That said, there are very few on/off-road estates in the mould of Volvo's safe and roomy V60 so if you need one that will comfortably combine family, leisure, load-lugging and towing duties and which is also capable of cutting a path off-road as well as getting you safely through a whiteout winter then the Cross Country is the one for you. ~ MotorBar
.
Volvo V60 D4 AWD Cross Country | £38,270
Maximum speed: 130mph | 0-62mph: 8.2 seconds | Test Average: 40.9mpg
Power: 187bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2: 143g/km

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