The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is an all-new model from the ground up. It is based on the standard V60 wagon which was completely redesigned last year on a new global platform. But in a world of crossovers and SUVs, can a wagon still cut it?
Engine – When it comes to engines, you unfortunately only have one choice; a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder. It produces 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. It’s odd that Volvo wouldn’t give the V60 CC the same options as the standard V60 which include a more powerful turbocharged & supercharged 2.0L engine and a Hybrid powertrain. However, this 2.0L turbocharged engine produces an adequate amount of power for most driving situations. The V60 CC was not meant to be a canyon carver like the V60 Polestar. It was meant to go through the canyon and 250 hp is enough for that.
The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country also has something that the regular V60 doesn’t have. An Off-Road mode along with hill descent control. This mode is only available at slow speeds and it makes the steering very light, the throttle response a bit more “lazy”, and activates hill descent control.
The V60 CC tips the scales at just over 1,800 kg which is a bit on the hefty side but fuel economy ratings from EnerGuide are surprisingly good. It is rated for 7.7 L/100km (30.5 mpg) on a highway and 10.8 L/100km (21.8 mpg) in a city. However, ratings are sometimes not quite on par with what the car can do in the real world. I drove the V60 CC in a city environment for most of my time with it and only a few km on a highway. As a result, my best fuel economy rating was 11.2 L/100km (21 mpg). Not bad but not the rated 10.8 L/100km for city driving.
Transmission – All Volvo vehicles are equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission whether it’s this T5 engine or the more powerful T6 or hybrid T8 engines. This transmission is Ok if I were writing this in 2015. But in 2020, this transmission doesn’t really cut it when compared against the 8-speed from BMW or the 9-speed from Mercedes-Benz. It’s slow to change gears on its own and even slower if you take over control and use the shifter to change gears. The shifts are at least smooth but just not very quick by modern standards.
Braking – The brake pedal is easy to modulate for smooth stopping. The only time it feels a bit “grabby” is during cold mornings. But after a few applications, the brakes provide strong,smooth and confident inspiring braking force. Automatic emergency braking is standard.
Handling – The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country can only be equipped with all-wheel-drive. There is no front-wheel-drive option to save yourself some money if you don’t need it. However, having AWD gives you the security of being able to go through less than ideal road or off-road situations without needing to call AAA.
Pushed to its limits, the V60 CC will understeer. As mentioned before, it’s not meant to drive as fast as possible around corners. But steering response is direct with a moderate amount of heft in the Comfort & Dynamic drive modes.
Ride Comfort – The 2020 V60 Cross Country makes due with just regular suspension. It doesn’t have any fancy adaptive dampers or air ride. Nevertheless, the ride comfort is very good. Bumps on city streets are very well absorbed and if you go off the beaten path on a gravel road, the shock absorbers do a great job of isolating the roughness of the road from the cabin.
This particular V60 Cross Country came equipped with the “plaid” seats option. Ok, so it’s actually called “City Weave Textile” but apart from the Golf GTi, what other car has plaid-like seats? I think it’s an odd but unique touch and, most importantly, these seats are fabulously comfortable. They offer great support but are also soft for long journeys. If you want something more normal, leather upholstery is optional.
Interior Space – The new platform is slightly longer than the outgoing V60 and it shows in the back seats. There is more legroom for rear occupants and the clever sculpted back rest of the front seats adds just those extra few inches of knee room. Up front, the seats go quite a ways down which allows for a substantial amount of head room for taller adults like myself at 6’4”. Legroom is also plentiful without intruding too much into rear legroom. Trunk space is generous at 658 L (23.2 cu-ft) with the rear seats up and 1,441 L (50.8 cu-ft) with the rear seats folded.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – For the most part, the 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a quiet wagon in most situations. Highway drives, city runabouts, even when it’s on a gravel road, the cabin is very well insulated from outside wind and road noises. The only time it gets a bit more noisy is when the engine has to rev beyond 3,000ish rpms. This is probably the worst sounding 4-cylinder engine on the market right now. It has no character, it’s just some droning noise.
Odds and Ends
Gadgets – The Volvo V60 CC is only available as one trim but it can be equipped with two packages and a few optional features. In a sense this can keep the price down as you can equip it with the gadgets that you want and not have to pay for those that you don’t. This particular demo vehicle came equipped with both Premier and Premier Plus packages as well as the optional Harmon/Kardon sound system. In my opinion, all that the V60 CC needs when you equip yours is the Premier package which adds 4-zone climate control, heated rear seats, navigation, blind spot sensors, heated wiper blades, heated steering wheel, and hands free tailgate. Basically the features that one would use the most.
In terms of how all of the features work; they work great with no issues. The infotainment system is a bit faster to load upon starting than previous model years. It is a bit annoying that simple functions like changing the climate temperature requires you to go through the infotainment rather than physical buttons, but you can also change it with voice commands which work well.
The Pilot Assist adaptive cruise system is one of the best of any manufacturer. It can keep you centered in a lane, even at speeds below 60 km/h where most lane keep systems don’t work, and it doesn’t feel as though it’s bouncing the car from one edge of the lane to the other. It’s not a hands-free system like Cadillac’s SuperCruise but if you’re constantly making long journeys on highways, it’s worth considering when optioning your V60 CC.
Interior Design – Apart from the aforementioned “plaid” seats, the interior of the V60 CC looks identical to every other Volvo since 2016. A very minimalist design with very few physical buttons. Esthetically, it’s a very nice design but as mentioned, it can be a bit annoying having to dig through the infotainment system just to change one small option when it could have been a simple button instead.
Exterior Design – Just like the interior, the exterior looks almost identical to other Volvo models in the lineup. The Cross Country, however, does stand out a bit. It has black plastic arches around the wheels and lower portion of the doors & bumpers. The ride height is increased which gives it about 8.3-inches of ground clearance. That’s actually more clearance than some smaller SUVs. But other than those changes, it looks just like the latest generation of the Volvo V60 wagon. A very modern and contemporary Swedish design that stands out in the crowds of crossovers and SUVs.
The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country starts at $48,900 CAD ($45,100 USD) and can be fully equipped for just over $57,000 CAD ($53,790 USD). That is quite a lump of money for a station wagon. But it is just as capable as any modern SUV or crossover. It is a luxury station wagon so it’s within the same ballpark price and equipment level as other luxury SUVs. And best of all, it stands out in a crowded crossover and SUV market. For that reason alone, I would personally put this on the top of my list if I was looking for a comfortable, spacious, off-road capable family vehicle.
Thank you to Volvo Canada for providing the vehicle. www.VolvoCars.com/ca