Let’s start with some great news. Despite setting new standards of luxury and technology for SUVs, Volvo hasn’t abandoned one of their core vehicles… the all-wheel-drive wagon. They’ve been a brand mainstay since 1996. Now with the arrival of the 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country we can hear cheers from at least a few people out there. So, let’s find out if we should further spread the word.
If you’re one of that small group of American buyers that actually day dreams of buying a smart-looking all-wheel-drive luxury wagon, instead of a bulkier SUV, the arrival of the 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is just for you…and those with similar discriminating taste all around the globe. That’s why Volvo has kept this tradition burning bright.
No surprise, the V60 Cross Country is based on Volvo’s SPA architecture that debuted with the XC90 for 2016.
Its slick and modern mid-size shape checks off all the essentials of being gorgeous, classy, rugged, you name it. Surely, Volvo two-box-buyers of yore never saw this one coming.
Like other Volvos based on this front-drive architecture, power comes from a 2.0-liter turbo I4; but here, you can’t the supercharged T6 version or the plug-in T8; just the base T5 with 250-horsepower and 258 lb-ft. of torque.
Standard is the same fine 8-speed automatic transmission, and capable all-wheel-drive system as Volvo’s utilities, with a 50/50 split of power when needed.
There’s an equally gorgeous interior, though the vibe is a little more “family” than the all-out luxury of Volvo crossovers.
Still a lack of basic manual controls, with just about everything going through the large Sensus touch panel; but improvements have been made in both response time and overall usability.
Being a ruggedized version of the standard front-drive V60 wagon, the Cross Country comes very well equipped; with panoramic moonroof, heated leather seating, and 12-inch digital gauge cluster.
The Advanced Package adds a head-up display, 360 Surround View Camera, and Pilot Assist semi-self-driving system while the Pro Package spices up the interior with unique trim, and the exterior with 19-inch alloys.
There’s good room in all seating positions, similar to what you’d find in a midsize SUV, but with a lower step in height. However, the lower stance means luggage capacity is closer to a compact ute at 23.2 cubic-ft. of space; expanding to 50.9 with seatbacks folded.
Through our handling course, the Cross Country was fairly entertaining, but not overly sporty. Same suspension design as the standard V60, and mostly the same parts; but they’ve changed things enough to provide over 2-additional inches of ground clearance. Still, this platform’s stable balance and responsive steering were evident.
The 2.0-liter turbo continues to impress us despite how many Volvo’s we’ve driven with it over the last 4-years. Power comes on readily, with a quick jaunt to 60 in 6.4 seconds.
The 8-speed automatic does prioritize smoothness over quickness, but a 14.9-second ¼-mile at 91 miles-per-hour, is more than enough to get the groceries home before the ice cream melts.
Volvo continues to ratchet up safety systems and active driving aids, and this V60 will pretty much take over driving when it feels an impending incident is unavoidable; and that includes with pedestrians, cyclists, and animals.
With all systems on, you can sometimes feel like you’re fighting with the car, as it not only ensures you stay on the road, but it constantly attempts to center you in the lane as well.
The Cross Country is very much the Outback of Swedish wagons, if you will. So even with standard all-wheel drive you won’t be rock crawling with it. Yet, the quick responding AWD system can apply handle some pretty dicey all-road conditions.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 31-Highway, and 25-Combined. We averaged a slightly disappointing 22.3 miles-per-gallon on Premium. Ratings make for an average Energy Impact Score. 13.2-barrels of petroleum annually with 5.9 tons of CO2 emitted.
Prices starts at $46,095. It’s hard to say that’s a bargain with so many crossover competitors; not to mention the Outback as well. But it is still a lot of Swedish engineering for the money.
Recently, a few luxury brands such as Buick and Jaguar have attempted to jump back into wagons, offering all-wheel-drive even. But none can hold a candle to this Volvo. There are few automotive shapes that are more iconic than the Volvo wagon. So, for those wagon lovers, including that small red-white-and-blue crowd, the 2020 V60 Cross Country is your day dream come true.
Engine: 2.0 liter
Torque: 258 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 6.4 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.9 seconds @ 91 mph
EPA: 22 mpg city / 31 mpg highway
Energy Impact: 13.2 barrels of oil/yr
CO2 Emission: 5.9 tons/yr