First Drive

First Drive: Volvo V60 Cross Country

The story:
Volvo has added a new Cross Country model to its impressive V60 line-up, offering four-wheel drive and raised ground clearance
Category:Compact Executive
Key rival:Audi A4 Quattro
Volvo V60 Cross Country D4 190 Auto8
Price:£37,700
MPG:47.9 mpg
Emissions:135g/km
On sale:Now

Volvo has something of a clear run at what is an admittedly fairly small segment at the moment. That’s because there’s presently no Audi A4 Allroad, and neither do BMW nor Mercedes offer raised and rugged versions of the compact executive 3-Series and C-Class respectively. Simply put, there’s almost nothing that has the same appeal and ability as the new V60 Cross Country.

First Drive-July 2019-Volvo V60-Image 8The Cross Country joins the V60 range that was launched last year, and it adheres to Volvo’s familiar formula of a ride height increase, in this case by 60mm, specially developed suspension and four-wheel drive; the last of these will only otherwise be available on the forthcoming plug-in hybrid V60 that’s due later this year.

The Cross Country range is a simple one, with just one trim level and 250hp T5 petrol or 190hp D4 diesel engines; the more logical latter emits 31g/km less at 135g/km, but costs £500 more.

The charcoal wheel extensions and lower grille make the Cross Country stand out significantly against the regular estate, while the extra ride height gives it a more noticeable and imposing stance. Given the car is £3250 more than a Momentum Plus trim, and gains four-wheel drive and a decent array of equipment, it’s a tempting step if 4×4 is going to be useful. Hill Descent Control, keyless entry, hands-free tailgate opening, silver roof rails, elegant diamond-cut black alloys and various small cosmetic improvements are also included.

First Drive-July 2019-Volvo V60-Image 11Admittedly the front-drive Momentum model with the same D4 engine emits 13g/km less, thanks mainly to the absence of four-wheel drive, but the Cross Country is certainly priced to tempt.

The raised ground clearance and extra weight of the four-wheel-drive system don’t have any obvious impact on the driving experience, which is still smooth, relaxed and comfortable.

The interior, a strength of Volvo’s current line-up, is high-quality and dominated by the 9.0-inch vertical central screen, and the seats are big and comfortable. The 529-litre boot is the same as that in the regular V60.

The compromises are fairly small financially for the extra visual appeal, four-wheel drive security and additional kit, which makes the Cross Country a most appealing addition.

Paul Barker

The verdict

A great halfway house for those not wanting a full SUV, but who need a practical car that offers the ability and looks of more off-road models.