I’m on a recent station wagon run and couldn’t be cheerier. I’ve just returned from a delightful trip to Europe where I sampled a series of new Volkswagen Golf Sportwagons including the new Alltrack and earlier this year, I spent a little more than week with the V60 Polestar.
This time around, I covered paved ground in a 2015 Volvo V60 XC, not to be confused with the XC60. This V60 is the Cross Country version of the V60 wagon, meaning it sports extra cladding, more ground clearance, and some electric wizardry that will help when the going gets a little rougher off the beaten path.
The new Volvo V60 XC is the best version of the V60 (in my opinion) as it smartly marries styling and elegance with the right dose of attitude. The supplemental ground clearance is functional in many ways including increasing the ride height and consequently, the driving position. A Volvo is always a smooth operator, quiet and with gentleman-like driving manners.
I’ve said for many years that a Volvo is a thinking person’s (one that’s not interested in what others think) luxury car that fulfills wishes of high-end amenities, classy accoutrements, and sound design.
The return of the Volvo station wagon (beyond the XC70) was very good news when the V60 was announced. Since then, a few versions have been introduced and of the lot, this V60 XC makes the most sense. At $44,100, you also get a fair amount of comfort to go with the luxury.
The V60’s outer shell is sublime. From all angles, the V60 looks taut, curvy and sensual. The real action takes place in the rear where the taillights are akin to a woman’s hips and gently flow down hugging an ample bum. The sideview is equally enthralling with the rising beltline and rear-flowing and dropping roofline. Is it getting warm in here or is it just the wagon?
The extra wheel-gap would normally work against a car’s stance but when the fenders are clad with subtle flares then all is forgiven; and the 18” Neso alloys look smart in the wheel wells.
The cabin is standard S60/V60 fare. As such, you get amazing seats, plenty of room, high-end materials and impressive fit and finish. Comfort and safety are assured within the confines of the V60 Cross Country. The boot is plenty large, however, the XC70 will better serve avid golfers with room for two bags and pull-carts.
Volvo’s in the midst of changing up their engine designations. Actually, the names won’t change, however, the powertrains will.
At the moment, the T5 features a turbocharged 2.5L inline 5-cylinder engine that develops 250 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. To it is mated a 6-speed automatic transmission and Volvo’s Instant Traction AWD system. In a nutshell, it is pre-loaded at a standstill for true AWD action if needed as up to 50% of available power can be sent to the rear wheels. Otherwise, it is highly front-wheel biased in normal driving conditions. It also features hill-decent control.
The V60 XC actually feels quite quick. All torques are available as of 1,800 rpm and hold firmly on until 4,200 rpm. The engine is seriously torque-rich as momentum builds as though the swell of twisting power builds behind the car, firmly yet gently pushing it forward. Horsepower waltzes in at 5,400 rpm and seals the V60’s acceleration deal. Fuel consumption can be a little heavy especially if torque is an addictive drug to the driver. Expect 12L/100 km on average.
The 2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country does not pretend to out-handle a BMW 3 Series Touring, and it’ll never harsh your mellow. The V60 is tuned for comfort without compromising road-holding abilities. The suspension soaks up the ugly stuff with ease, but strangely at odds with the car’s laidback demeanor is its exceptionally heavy steering. The effort required is akin to a sports car and not a family car…
Said family car features 7.9” of ground clearance or 0.1” less than the ungainly Jeep Liberty from a few years ago. This means that only the largest of snow banks will be an issue; otherwise, the V60 XC will conquer the urban jungle with ease.
The Cross Country sub-brand continues to offer some of Volvo’s best attributes, starting with the new V60, the most compact of the bunch. The XC70 might still be my favourite and will only get better in about a year from now when the full Drive-e powertrains are made available. The XC60’s in its competition’s shadow, and the new XC90 looks to be a huge winner.
The V60 XC blends in with the aforementioned 3 Series wagon as well as the Audi Allroad and the Subaru Outback. These are essentially the XC70’s targets as there are few players in this niche category. If we blur the lines, the Mercedes GLA-Class and upcoming Volkswagen Alltrack also fit.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country is certainly a classy ride with the right attributes for making your way to the cottage.