by Ian Wright
Unlike most manufacturers, the Volvo V60 Cross Country shows the Swedish brand's commitment to keeping the wagon alive. With its raised ride height, the Cross Country adds more capability to the regular V60 but retains that car's gorgeous and deceptively simple interior. Factor in its tidy handling, and the Volvo V60 should be the envy of many a crossover. Only one powertrain is on offer, but it's a strong 250-horsepower turbo-four that provides enough power to zip around town, cruise comfortably on the highway, or tackle some rougher terrain. Rivals include the popular Subaru Outback and Audi A4 Allroad, but the V60 Cross Country does more than enough to stand alongside these excellent competitors. Although it's not cheap, Volvo's wagon is a refreshingly unique alternative to dime-a-dozen crossovers.
For the 2021 model year, the Volvo V60 Cross Country wagon receives additional equipment like blind-spot monitoring, LED headlights, added USB-C charging ports, and power-folding exterior mirrors which are also auto-dimming. Linear Lime wood inlays have been added to the already beautifully trimmed cabin.
See trim levels and configurations:
|T5 Cross Country||
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
Just because the V60 Cross Country is more capable over dirt roads than the regular V60 doesn't mean that it has become a wallowy and uncomfortable boat on the road. Not only does it resist body roll better than a typical crossover, but it smoothes over most bumps and ruts effortlessly. The pleasingly weighted steering is neither too light nor too heavy, so there is no need to shy away from a twisty road. Under normal driving conditions, almost all the engine's power is directed to the front wheels, but when the need arises - such as on more slippery surfaces - up to 50 percent of the available torque goes to the rear axle. Although it is no Jeep Wrangler, the Off-Road driving mode can be used at speeds below 12 mph, and both the engine and transmission are optimized to improve traction. In this mode, the Cross Country sets itself apart from the regular V60 wagon. Without Off-Road mode, the Cross Country got us around the outskirts of the Glamis desert in California comfortably, dealing with gravel and dirt tracks and stretches of packed sand with little drama.
When back on the highway, Comfort mode can be engaged and when doing so, the Cross Country proves itself to be an effortless and quiet cruiser.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country could be all the car you'll ever need. It drives and handles like a well-sorted luxury sedan yet has most of the practicality that comes with a crossover. It doesn't hurt that this is one of the most stylish wagons on the market, while the all-road capability of the Cross Country only adds to its appeal. The interior is a sublime place to be with its original Scandanavian design and solid build quality. We also love the V60's refined road manners. That said, if you want a tough and spacious wagon, the Subaru Outback will do the job at a much lower price, although it isn't as luxuriously appointed as the V60 Cross Country. The Audi A4 allroad is perhaps a better match for the V60, as it offers a solidly built cabin and that premium four-ringed badge. But in an era where wagons have fallen out of favor and direct competition is few and far between, the V60 Cross Country is a reminder of why the body style deserves your attention.
Audi knows how to build a desirable station wagon and the A4 allroad makes that clear. Like the V60 CC, the Audi employs a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and, although outputs are quite similar, the A4 is significantly quicker off the mark and boasts a slick-shifting dual-clutch automatic transmission. Not only is it quicker, but the Audi will return one mpg more in a mix of city and highway driving. Despite the fact that the Volvo is marginally longer, it's the A4 allroad that manages to offer more trunk space and slightly more legroom for rear-seat passengers. As is typical, the A4 boasts a rock-solid cabin with top-notch materials, but the V60 exudes more charm from a design perspective. On paper, then, the Audi A4 allroad wins this battle. But if your decisions aren't based purely on numbers, we think that the Volvo is the more alluring wagon between these two.
High-riding wagon or bonafide SUV? That's the question worth asking when pitting these two excellent vehicles up against one another. The XC60 is a superb SUV and offers far more choice within its lineup, including everything from the base Momentum at $41,700 to the T8 eAWD Polestar engineered variant at nearly $70,000. Sticking with the base XC60 - since it is closest in price to the V60 Cross Country - gets you the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 250 hp. However, this XC60 can tow 1,500 lbs more than the V60 CC. There is also more rear legroom in the XC60. While the V60 CC has a marginally larger trunk, the XC60 wins on total utility space when the rear seats are folded. Both Swedes have similarly opulent interiors. With powertrains producing up to 400 hp, the XC60 is the one to get if you need more power. But there's something so cool and unique about the V60 CC that it tugs at our heartstrings a bit more.