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2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country Larry Nutson Chicagoland Review

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Handsome and Versatile

By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

One might think that every driver wants an SUV. Well, not everyone. Yes, SUVs offer versatility, good cargo carrying ability, and a raised ride height for both a more prominent seating position as well as some unpaved road driving ability.

A vehicle choice that provides a good dose of these vehicle attributes is the station wagon. Yes, once quite popular especially with large families or folks who ventured in more rural endeavors, the station wagon has almost vanished from the U.S. car market.

A few car brands still offer a station wagon or, if you prefer, an estate car or, even, a shooting brake. Volvo is one of those brands.

Volvo’s mid-carline model is the 60 series with the S60 sedan, V60 Estate and V60 Cross Country. I recently drove the later, which was a good follow-up to my drive of the S60 sedan last summer.

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The V60 T5 AWD Cross Country is Volvo’s 5-door, 5-seat mid-size all-road wagon. It is built on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), Volvo’s advanced modular product platform that underpins all Volvos in the 90 and 60 Series. The S60 and V60 were redesigned for 2019, on a new four inch longer wheelbase, and the V60 Cross Country is an addition to the model range for 2020.

The V60 Cross Country carries the characteristic Volvo design language, along with classic Volvo styling cues. Key features include the iconic “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlight design and a new grille and Volvo Iron Mark. Exterior cladding adds to its off-road character.

The V60 Cross Country has 60 mm (2.4 inch) increased ride height compared to the V60 wagon, for 8.3 inches of ground clearance, and a chassis optimized for comfort and control in all weather and road conditions. All-wheel drive is standard. The power plant is a 250-horsepower 2.0-L turbo 4-cylinder engine mated to an 8-speed automatic with adjustable drive mode settings.

Fitting in the premium midsize car segment the 2020 Volvo V60 T5 AWD Cross Country is priced at $45,100 plus a destination change of $995.

Also equipped on my loaner/tester was the Advanced Package ($2500), Cross Country Pro Package ($2,800), heated rear seats and steering wheel ($750), Birch Light metallic paint ($645), Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system ($4,000), and Park Assist Pilot ($200). The full price ramps up quite a bit to $56,990.

Zero to 60 mph is knocked off in 6.4 seconds and it’ll top out at 130 mph. The 8-speed automatic is quick shifting and adjustable drive mode settings allow you to pick your level of fun with all-wheel drive helping to keep things in balance.

One note here on top speed. Back in May 2019, Volvo Cars sent a strong signal about the dangers of speeding and will limit the top speed on all its cars to 112 mph (180 kph) from 2020, beginning with model year 2021.

Overall the V60 Cross Country has a nicely compliant ride with good handling characteristics allowing you to feel confident in some rapid freeway off-ramp drives or on some twisty-windy country road. The AWD system adds to improved driving dynamics on slippery road surfaces.

There’s a full complement of advanced driver assistance safety systems (ADAS) on the V60, including automatic braking and collision avoidance. If these features just once prevent a crash they are worth their weight in gold. I made good use of the Pilot Assist adaptive cruise control and lane keeping on some highway drives.

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In the cabin, all things are pretty comfortable with a premium and clean look and feel. The large vertically-oriented 9-inch touchscreen uses swipe motions to access all the interfaces. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get set with your preferences its not too big of a hassle. However, when driving its use does take your eyes off the road. I always enjoy Volvo’s Gothenburg Concert Hall setting for the audio system.

Volvo’s connectivity and infotainment system called Sensus provides connected services and in-car entertainment applications such as Spotify, Pandora, Baidu or TuneIn and smartphone integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

I found the front seats, with their lower cushion leg extension, quite comfortable and supportive for my 5ft 10 inch frame. A quick jump into the rear seats provided decent room. The added ride height of the V60 Cross Country makes it very easy to enter and exit, especially for those who are less-limber.

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For urban use the Volvo V60 Cross Country works our pretty well with the combination of seating for five and a modest 188.3 inch inch overall length. Rear cargo volume is 18.7 cu.ft behind the rear seat. That expands to 31.7 cu.ft. with the seat folded. If you load the cargo up to the headliner you can get from 23.2 cu.ft. up to 50.9 cu.ft. of stuff in the back.

As a plus, the V60 Cross Country is rated to tow a 2,000 lb. braked trailer.

EPA test cycle ratings are 25 mph combined with 22 city mph and 31 highway mpg. More information and specification on the Volvo V60 Cross Country can be found at Volvo’s accessory program offers a wide variety of roof carriers for bicycles, kayaks, cargo and such. There’s also a child booster seat, pet guard and dog harness.

In addition to traditional purchase or lease Volvo also offers a subscription program. Subscribers to Care by Volvo receive access to a new vehicle with insurance and all maintenance costs covered in a flat monthly payment.

The V60 Cross Country is a well-designed and elegant station wagon with all-weather and road safety, practicality and comfort. For those seeking a premium driving experience, no matter your age generation, there is lots of satisfaction to be had from this car.

© 2020 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy