|Positives: Supportive and comfortable seats, plenty of power, spacious cargo area, relatively high ride height.|
|Negatives: Infotainment system is dated and has way too many buttons, higher center of gravity hurts handling capabilities, could use an exterior refresh.|
|Bottom Line: Volvo's tall-ish wagon is a bit of a conundrum, but an enjoyable one at that. It's a wagon with a ride height closer to that of a crossover. Basically, it's a Swedish, upscale Subaru Outback, which is something that just sounds awesome to us. It's got a good turbocharged four-pot under the hood, some seriously comfy seats and a fit and finish that ensure quality. Volvo has been doing things right recently. While the V60 Cross Country is probably due for some modernization in the tech and styling departments, overall, the car is nothing short of wonderful.|
Recently, we got to spend a whole week with this car. While we didnâ€™t get to test it on dirt roads, we were able to see how it manages as city and highways vehicle. Here are our impressions after seven days.
Driving around in a Volvo station wagon doesnâ€™t sound like the most exciting thing and it isnâ€™t. It is, however, a very enjoyable time. Thereâ€™s a lot of power, the vehicle feels well-planted in most situations and you can cruise for hours without stopping. It manages rough pavement with ease and has plenty of get up and go when needed. This is by no means a performance wagon, but itâ€™s no slouch. Itâ€™s been designed to make life easy.
Ride Quality: The suspension does a good job of handling potholes and cracks in the road. The ride isnâ€™t pillowy soft but it not harsh either. Volvo errors on the side of comfort while still let you know whatâ€™s going on with the wheels.
Acceleration: The V60 feels fast, but when you really pay attention to how quickly youâ€™re moving you realize that it isnâ€™t. The throaty sound probably has something to do with its perceived quickness.
Braking: The brakes provide excellent pedal feel and are progressive and powerful.
Steering: We found the electronically-assisted steering to be heavier than we expected. Otherwise, it was nice and reasonably sharp.
Handling: You can feel the heft of the car in the turns and center of gravity is a little high, but for the most part, the V60 Cross Country inspires confidence.
The infotainment system in the V60 Cross Country made us long for the sleek system in the XC90. The V60 has way too many buttons (still less than a Buick Encore). While these buttons actually work very well, they take a long time to get used to and hunting for the right one can drive you insane. Beyond that, there isnâ€™t much to complain about with the V60â€™s infotainment system. Thereâ€™s plenty of features and the system functions smoothly.
Infotainment System: It feels a bit outdated. For the most part, the system functions smoothly and is feature packed with both new (phone connectivity and Sirius XM) and old (CD player) technology.
Controls: Thereâ€™s a ton of buttons on the dash and five knobs. Some of the knobs are for climate controls, but we kept confusing the knobs when trying to make adjustments on the fly. We turned the heat up often when we were going for the volume.
Bluetooth Pairing: Pairing a phone is quick and simple. Reconnecting upon reentry was easy as well.
Voice Call Quality: Calls were clear on both sides.
The exterior of the car is handsome. It features attractive yet conservative styling that makes the car easily recognizable as a Volvo. Despite this, the V60 is still behind the S90 and the XC90. The car hasnâ€™t been fully redesigned for a while now and it kind of shows. This is more apparent on the inside of the vehicle but even the exterior looks dated when you compare it to the Volvo models that are completely new. That being said, there isnâ€™t actually anything wrong with how the V60â€™s styling is done. Itâ€™s hard to point out something thatâ€™s ugly or sticks out. The car is just really nice looking.
Front: The nose of the V60 curves up from the grill and that curve continues right up into the A-pillars. The LED headlights add a nice touch. Altogether the vehicle has a sleek-looking front end.
Rear: The rear is as sleek as the front with some long vertical taillights and dual exhausts that are integrated into the rear bumper well.
Profile: In profile, you can really see how much higher the Cross Country stands than the regular V60. It makes for an attractive and confident stance.
Cabin: The interior of the vehicle is clad in high-quality materials and looks good for the most part. Still, the mass of buttons in the center of the dash looks a little dated.
The seats in the V60 are fantastic. We wish more automakers would do seats like this. Lexus has some really good seats as well, but the rest of the automotive industry needs to take notes. Beyond the seats, the rest of the interior is almost as comfortable. The materials almost all feel good (thereâ€™s still some hard plastics) and the ergonomics are wonderful. Everything is where it should be.
Front Seats: Supportive, leather-wrapped and comfortable for both long and short trips.
Rear Seats: The rear seats are honestly very similar to the front. However, thereâ€™s less adjustment.
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The V60 is a very quiet vehicle. You do get some engine noise, but itâ€™s not too much and what comes through sounds good.
Visibility: Seeing out the rear of the vehicle is a little tough, but beyond that taking in your surroundings is easy.
Climate: The climate control system worked well and the heated seats make it even better.
Volvo is known for safety and the V60 has all the makings of a safe vehicle judging from the standard safety equipment list. The NHTSA has not yet rated the vehicle, but the IIHS rated the non-Cross Country version of the V60 and gave it high marks.
IIHS Rating: The IIHS has not yet rated the V60 Cross Country, but the regular version of the V60 received Top Safety Pick+. Thanks to its crash test ratings and active crash avoidance and mitigation tech.
Standard Tech: Low-speed collision avoidance system, several airbags, side impact protection system, whiplash protection system in front seats, security system with a backup battery, LATCH child safety locks, tire pressure monitoring system, daytime running lights, rear park assist.
Optional Tech: Blind spot information system, front and rear park assist, lane keeping assist, collision warning with full auto brakes, adaptive cruise control with queue assist, rear park assist camera.
Storage and cargo space is in a station wagon is something youâ€™d expect Volvo to hit out of the park. Oddly enough, we were annoyed it wasnâ€™t better. This is a family car and the storage cubbies and spaces on the inside are on the smaller side. Our biggest gripe is that there isnâ€™t a good place to put your phone. If we could change anything about the carâ€™s interior that would be it. Give us a tray or something, we want to be able to use the cup holder for cups and water bottles.
Storage Space: The storage spaces that are there are a little small. Door pockets, under armrest cubby and glovebox are all too small.
Cargo Room: The cargo area is large and easy to access. Still, there are other vehicles out there with more cargo room, so keep that in mind when shopping around.
Fuel economy with a tall-standing wagon isnâ€™t going to be great. However, the V60 didnâ€™t perform poorly. The EPA estimates 22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. While there are certainly other five-seat vehicles that can achieve these numbers, theyâ€™re not too shabby considering the V60â€™s heft.
Observed: Over the course of a week we saw an average of 24 miles per gallon.
Driving Factors: We tried to spend equal amounts of time driving on the highway and in the city.
The Harman Kardon premium audio system is impressive. It easily broadcasts both treble and bass and has plenty of adjustment as to how it should put out sound. Itâ€™s plenty loud enough for the V60 as well. Our only gripe with the system was the same one we had with the infotainment controls. There were too many buttons. While the buttons are easy to use, it takes some getting used to and we wish the V60 had a setup more like the S90 or the Volvo XC90.
If a friend told us they were thinking about buying the Volvo V60, we wouldnâ€™t try and convince them not to. It drives wonderfully and if the tall-standing wagon suits their lifestyle, then itâ€™s a great choice. However, weâ€™d make sure to mention the vehicle isnâ€™t perfect. The vehicleâ€™s shortcomings shouldnâ€™t disqualify it from your list of possibilities, but they definitely shouldnâ€™t go unnoticed.