V60
V60

Volvo V60 Cross Country: On the off chance

Riley Riley

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What is it?

I have fond memories of Volvo’s XC70.

Designed along the same lines as the Subaru Outback, Passat Alltrack and Audi Allroad, the XC70 went missing in 2016, a victim of the SUV revolution.

But small practical wagons still enjoy a loyal, if modest following and the spirit of XC lives on in the V60 and V90 Cross Country.

And we’re glad to say the V60 Cross Country is offered here.

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What’s it cost?

There’s just the one model, priced from $64,990.

It’s powered by a 2.0 Litre mild hybrid four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, with an eight-speed auto and all-wheel drive.

Our test vehicle was optioned with Lifestyle Pack: Panoramic Sunroof, Tinted Rear Windows, Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound ($5700), Perforated Nappa Leather Accented Charcoal/Charcoal Interior ($3000); Advanced Air Cleaner ($500) and Metallic Paint (no cost option).

They take the price to $74,190 plus on-road costs.

Standard kit includes 19-inch alloys, four-zone climate air, with humidity sensor and CleanZone air quality system, plus Driftwood decor inlays and leather accent upholstery, heated front seats, power adjust driver and passenger seat with memory, four-way lumbar support and power cushion extension and power foldable rear backrest.

There’s also keyless entry and start, auto lights and wipers, auto dimming mirror, 360 degree camera, auto parking, head-up display, front and rear park sensors, active bending LED headlights with high pressure cleaning; and hands free tailgate opening.

Infotainment consists of 10-speaker ‘High Performance’ audio, 9.0-inch vertical touchscreen, Bluetooth (including audio streaming), DAB digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Android, wireless device charging and and 2 x USB ports — plus satellite navigation with road sign recognition.

There’s a large, physical volume control knob, but most features are adjusted with a prod or swipe.

Safety extends to dual front, side and curtain airbags, along with Autonomous emergency braking (City, Interurban & Vulnerable Road User) as well as lane keep assist (LKA) with lane departure warning (LDW).

Adaptive cruise control including Pilot Assist, Driver Alert; Lane Keeping Aid; Adjustable Speed Limiter function; Oncoming Lane Mitigation; Blind Spot Information (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Front and Rear Collision Warning with mitigation support; Run-off road Mitigation; Hill start assist; Hill Descent Control.

Pilot Assist system supports the driver with steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130km/h.

It’s available in a choice of 10 colours, with Denim blue and Pine grey available at no extra cost.

Cross Country is covered by a 5-year/unlimited kilometre (8 years battery).

Servicing is every 15,000km or 12 months and two pre-paid service plans are available: three years/45,000km for $1500 or five years/75,000km for $2500.

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What’s it go like?

Diesel Volvos are extinct and petrol only models are an endangered species.

If it’s got a B5 on the back that means it’s a mild hybrid, a B6 means it’s also a hybrid (but a more powerful one) and Recharge means it’s either fully electric or a plug-in hybrid).

Our Cross Country B5 is powered by a 2.0-litre mild hybrid that consists of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine and small 10kW electric motor.

The combination kicks out a handy 183kW of power and 350Nm of torque, with power to all-four wheels via an eight-speed traditional style automatic.

Dynamic, Eco, Comfort and Off road modes are accessed via the touchscreen.

The dash to 100km/h takes 6.9 seconds and it has a top speed of 180km/h (local figures differ to head office).

Fuel consumption is a claimed 7.4L/100km (we were getting 8.0L/100km after close to 600km).

The Cross Country makeover adds a different radiator grille, arbitrary grey plastic cladding, aluminium roof rails and a differently designed wheel, along with a wider track and more ground clearance.

At 1499mm the wagon sits 67mm higher than a standard V60 and at 197mm has 55mm more clearance between the lowest point and the ground (again local figures differ to head office).

It can drive safely through water to a depth of 300mm.

To put these figures in perspective, Subaru Outback has 213mm of ground clearance, while a fair dinkum 4×4 such as the Toyota Prado boasts 220mm.

The more ground clearance you have, the better it will be off-road — or so the thinking goes which is why so many ute owners spend so much time and money jacking up their vehicles.

Hill descent control and an ‘Off Road’ drive mode have also been added.

In Off Road mode, steering is light and all-wheel drive and hill descent control (HDC) are activated.

But it can only be activated at low speeds and the speedometer shows the range available.

Start-stop is deactivated.

In Off Road mode the driver info display changes to a compass between the speedometer and tachometer.

It’s all very impressive, but a bit meaningless because no one in their right mind is going to take a car like this off road.

To the beach yes, down to the snow probably and up to the farm maybe — but off road?

I mean, who wants to scratch the paint or bugger the wheels of their nice new car.

Cross Country looks terrific though and that’s the important thing.

The styling is attractive and bang on for the times, with an inside that matches, finished in Nappa charcoal leather and shades of grey, with grey coloured wood inlays and some stainless steel trim pieces.

Interestingly (at least I find it interesting), the tailgate does not boast that it’s a hybrid and one gets the feeling the wheel has turned, and it is more about performance than economy.

V60 Cross Country goes pretty too, with punchy acceleration, reassuring braking and the ability to thread corners flat and at a reasonable rate of knots.

There’s no gear change paddles but you can use the shifter to change gears — left to change down, right to change up.

Punt it hard and the engine develops a dry, audible rasp, but not an unwelcome one.

Leave the transmission to its own devices and it has a habit of changing down unexpectedly, on hills particularly.

Ride quality is firm, but not what we’d describe as crash bang uncomfortable and it’s nice and quiet inside (music to the ears of this deaf head).

The brakes are excellent too, but have a tendency to pull the car up with a jerk — a lot.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but even Eco mode proved impressive.

Although it dulls the throttle, with 90km left to go on the computer we switched to Eco mode and it pushed this figure as high as 180km on the motorway before it finally turned south.

The infotainment system in this model is a step behind the Google transformation that has taken place with the release of XC40 and XC60.

On the plus side, however, it sees the return of iPhone support and speed camera warnings — yay!

The Lifestyle pack is worth considering because it brings a huge sunroof and the fantastic Bowers & Wilkins audio system.

Most people spend most of their listening time in the car, so it’s worth the investment — trust me you can tell the difference.

With 15 speakers and 1100 watts of power it includes metal speaker grilles as well as a cute dash top tweeter.

Four room modes including ‘Concert hall’ and ‘Jazz club’ allow you to recreate the acoustics of a specific room inside the car.

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What we like?

  • Rugged
  • Fit and finish
  • Great sound
  • Punchy performance
  • Compact and practical
  • Doesn’t use much fuel

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What we don’t like?

  • Small entry opening makes access difficult
  • High lip around doorways tangles heels and older feet
  • Space saver spare at odds with off road cred

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The bottom line?

I like the idea of this car. It looks cool and is a punchy performer. It mightn’t meet off-road expectations, but it certainly won’t disappoint the rest of the time.

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CHECKOUT: Volvo XC60: Goldilocks is back

CHECKOUT: Volvo could get the Hot Wheels treatment

Volvo V60 Cross Country, priced from $64,990
  • Looks - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Performance - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Safety - 8/10
    8/10
  • Thirst - 8/10
    8/10
  • Practicality - 8/10
    8/10
  • Comfort - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Tech - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
Overall
7.8/10
7.8/10
Riley

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