2016 Volvo V60 Cross Country T5 AWD Review
The tall-ish wagon makes a strong case for itselfNo Comments
It's a car we didn't expect to like, but in spite of all its weirdness, we really loved it.
Volvo's non-CUV crossover
Wagons aren't hot sellers, and the standard Volvo V60 station wagon is no exception. The Cross Country version is a bit of an odd duck, then, providing a wagon profile and space with the added height of a crossover. We suppose the mentality behind it is meant to appeal to a wider base of customers, considering that crossovers are the fastest growing segment in the auto industry.
The formula, however, doesn't appear to be working since sales of the V60 Cross Country actually lag behind the V60 station wagon, whose sales are pretty lousy anyway. But we're big fans of Volvos regardless of the statistics, so we were pretty excited about getting behind the wheel of the V60 Cross Country to see what it was all about.
If you ever chose to do more than navigate parking lot speed bumps and the occasional pothole, the V60 Cross Country is up to the task thanks to the added wheel travel and the Haldex all-wheel-drive system, which can send up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear axle before the front wheels have slipped even a fraction of a full rotation. Its on-road and off-road manners are very composed thanks to a stiff structure and great suspension. Ride Quality: One of the V60 Cross Country's best qualities. It was composed and solid on just about every surface. Steering: The steering is decent but not as sharp as we'd like. Not surprising, given the nature of the vehicle. It lacks real precision and feel but still manages to do the job without being vague. Acceleration: The sound and feel are more vigorous than reality. We're estimating a 7+ second 0-60 time, which isn't terrible but not as quick as say a Kia Sorento SXL Turbo. Braking: Brakes are excellent with good feel and progression. No issues here. Handling: No one will accuse it of being a good autocross car, but for something this heavy and tall, it manages turns pretty well.
The 2015 Volvo V60 Cross Country gets a host of expected safety features like front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Also standard is Volvo's City Safety forward collision mitigation system, which detects imminent collisions with other cars and can automatically apply the brakes. The Tech package gets an enhanced version that detect pedestrians and cyclists. Other safety options are lane departure warning, blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert, a seemingly unnecessary lane change/merge assist and a driver drowsiness monitor that we didn't test. Infotainment Screen Size/Quality: Easy to read with no major visibility issues. We can't wait, however, for an upgrade in size that will likely follow the XC90's version sometime soon when the car is redesigned. Bluetooth Phone Pairing: Some minor re-pairing issues when re-entering the car. Manually selecting the phone again is a bit frustrating. At times, it wouldn't recognize our iPhone. Grrr. Voice/Sound Quality: Clear voice calls on both sides. The audio system's upgraded Harmon Kardon speakers were clear and voluminous. Controls: The interior's weakest point due to the keypad and confusing buttons on the perimeter of that pad. This needs a serious update with bigger buttons and a better layout. The four multi-function knobs that flank the keypad are also confusing. Safety: As expected, there are plenty of robust safety features, especially as you climb the options ladder. The V60 Cross Country received the top score of 'Good' in IIHS crash safety testing. Thanks to frontal crash prevention technology, it also received a rating of 'Superior.'
The rest of the car is solidly put together with nice brushed aluminum trim and wood trim (though we'd prefer matte finish here instead of the glossy sheen). The car's center stack has an antiquated keypad we could do without, but its waterfall design still looks great. Though the V60 Cross Country isn't huge in the rear seat space department, 6-footers can sit without too much discomfort. The optional child booster seats are a huge convenience. Front Seats: Simply fantastic. Big, supportive and very, very comfortable. They look pretty damned good, too. Rear Seats: A bit cramped for leg and headroom, but manageable for most short-medium drives. Only kids will be truly at home here on road trips. Visibility: Good visibility out the front and sides. The thick C-pillars and high ride height make rear viewing a bit compromised but not terrible.
Storage: This area needs work since we expect better utility from Volvo. Our old 240 wagon had better storage options, frankly. Trunk/Cargo Room:The 43.8 cubic feet of cargo space isn't massive, but it'll hold a weekend's worth of gear.
The V60 Cross Country is more of a unique flavor for a CUV. It's not a Swiss Army Knife of a car, nor is it a rapier. It is, however, a truly attractive vehicle that owners will appreciate for its mild utility, its great safety ratings, and its distinctly Swedish style.
Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged 5-cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with Quick Shift
Drivetrain/Layout: all-wheel drive, front-engined
Power Output: 250 hp, 266 lb-ft of torque
Fuel Economy (mpg): 20 city / 28 highway
Base Price: $41,000
As Tested: $49,775 (incl. $940 destination fee)
Standard Features: electronic stability control, hill descent control, touring chassis with advanced stability control, corner traction control through torque vectoring, electronic brake distribution and assistance, 18' alloy wheels, Sensus Navigation with 7-inch color LCD monitor, 160W high performance audio system with 8 speakers, in-dash single CD with WMA & MP3 capability, HD Radio/USB & AUX inputs, Bluetooth hands free with audio streaming, SIRIUS Radio with 6-month complimentary subscription, Sensus Connect with 6-month complimentary subscription with unlimited data and in-car Wi-Fi hotspot, Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscription, 10-year emergency crash notification, smart phone apps including engine remote start, City Safety - low speed collision avoidance system, unibody high strength steel safety cage, inflatable curtain head impact protection, front safety belts with height adjustment and force limiters, Whiplash Protection System with driver and front passenger dual stage supplemental airbags, security system with backup battery for siren, rear cargo cover, tire pressure monitoring system, LED daytime running lights, rear park assist, 8-way power driver seat with 3-position memory, power passenger seat, front sport seats with power lumbar support, Shimmer Graphite aluminum inlay, push-button start, leather and Silk Metal steeriing wheel, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, electronic parking brake, dual zone electronic climate control, heated power outside rearview mirrors with memory, 40/20/40 flat folding seats with center armrest, power foldable rear seat headrests, rain-sensing windshield wipers, power retractable exterior mirrors.
Options on our test vehicle: Platinum: Harman Kardon Premium Sound System, active dual Xenon headlights with washers, accent lighting, auto-dimming rear view mirror, keyless drive, convenience package, rear park assist camera, HomeLink integrated garage door opener, adaptive crusie control with Queue Assist, collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian/cyclist detection with auto brake, distance alert, lane departure warning, road sign information, active high beam; Climate package with Child Booster Seats: heated front seats, heated windshield, heated windshield washer nozzles, interior air quality system, power child locks, dual outboard TwoStage ChildBooster Seats; BLIS Package: blind spot information system, cross traffic alert, front park assist, lane change merge aid, metallic paint, Urbane Wood Inlays, 19' OBR Matte Black Wheels.