|Positives: Stunningly elegant exterior styling, beautiful cabin and materials, cheaper and better appointed than before.|
|Negatives: Google infotainment OS is frustrating, not enough physical controls, firm ride.|
|Bottom Line: The V60 Cross Country is one of our favorite wagons, even though it's advertised as a crossover. It's beautiful inside and out, easy to drive, and well-appointed. Our only niggle is with its frustrating infotainment system.|
The V60 Cross Country is better to drive than most crossovers thanks to its mild hybrid system, lower center of gravity, and the good steering and braking.
Ride Quality: The ride is a bit on the firm side, but the shock absorption still allows it to manage bumps and uneven pavement without jostling its occupants.
Acceleration: The mild hybrid system and the turbo four allow the V60 CC to sprint to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, properly quick. The turbo lag from the previous model seems all but absent thanks to the presence of the hybrid system. The 8-speed transmission isn't super-eager to downshift, but it's no sports car, so it's not a dealbreaker.
Braking: The brakes were easy to modulate and exhibited no dead spots or lack of progressiveness.
Steering: Steering is on the light side, but it exhibits good precision and on-centeredness.
Handling: Handling is more than respectable, and there's not much body roll to speak of. It can feel a little bit heavy in the turns, but it's composed as long as you don't push it too hard.
Volvo in-car tech looks great but continues to frustrate. Granted, the choice of a Google-based system was the right move due to better smartphone integration, but it's hard to navigate menus and find the things you're looking for.
Infotainment System: The screen looks great, but the main menu is too limiting. It's also a freakin' fingerprint magnet, which is why it comes with a cleaning cloth. Seems like a bit of an afterthought. The infotainment system is the Achilles' heel for most Volvo models, in our opinion.
Controls: Most controls are operated on screen, which can be frustrating at times. The audio knob and buttons just underneath the screen are large and easy to operate. We don't like the twist ignition knob and it should really just be a push button. Oddly, the drive mode selector wheel is gone, replaced by nothing at all. The steering wheel buttons are easy to depress but unfortunately so big that they are also easy to depress accidentally. We advanced the music unintentionally with our right hand on numerous occasions when just trying to execute a turn.
Volvo makes beautiful cars, more elegant than its German and Japanese competitors, and the V60 CC is no exception. The fluid lines, distinct styling, and stunning interior easily beat the looks of BMW, Audi, and even Mercedes Benz. It's too bad consumers don't notice, as evidenced by sales figures.
Front: The V60 CC has one of the better-looking front fascias in the crossover segment. The scalloped grille is elegant and distinct. The Thor's Hammer headlights with the T-shaped DRLS are handsome and cohesive.
Rear: We like the sporty back end of the V60 CC, but that big body-colored slab that prevents the taillights from looking fuller (like the V90's) needs to be slimmed down.
Profile: From the side view, the V60 CC is lean and handsome with a touch of muscularity in the fenders. Our tester's optional big 20" wheels make it look nicely aggressive.
Cabin: Volvo interiors some of the best in the business. High-end materials, a linear dash, a clean layout, a unique Orrefors crystal shift knob, and beautiful perforated leather seats make for a cabin to behold. We love the way they thought out the contoured wood trim in the dash.
Not many carmakers do interiors as well as Volvo, especially when it comes to the front seats. While the V60 might not be huge inside, it actually manages to transport five people in comfort.
Front Seats: The 10-way power adjustable front seats are excellent with good cushioning and bolstering. The optional thigh bolster extensions provide more surface area just where you need it.
Rear Seats: Rear seats are quite comfortable. While the 35.2 inches of rear legroom doesn't allow a 6+ foot person to spread out behind another 6-footer, it's manageable and on par with the Audi A4 allroad.
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): Aside from the rough engine sounds, the Volvo is quiet and well built.
Visibility: The V60 CC's seating position is excellent, and sightlines are very good. The D-pillars are on the thick side due to the brake lights, but cameras make things much easier.
Climate: The climate system and heated seats in front and back work very well. We had no problem firing things up quickly, and the large vents move huge volumes of air nicely.
The V60/V60 CC did very well in crash tests by both testing bodies, and the excellent standard safety features should give owners peace of mind. The systems work remarkably well, and Volvo makes safety a priority.
IIHS Rating: It's a Top Safety Pick+ for 2021, so it has moved up in the rankings since we drove the 2019 version.
NHTSA Rating: The V60 CC has been given five stars by the federal government.
Standard Tech: The standard safety features include a Blind Spot Information System w/ Steer Assist and Cross Traffic Alert with Autobrake, Collision Avoidance featuring: Low & High-Speed Collision Mitigation, Pilot Assist with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Oncoming Mitigation by Braking, Whiplash Protection, Rear Park Assist Camera, and a 360-degree camera.
Optional Tech: None.
Wagons are great for cargo, despite the fact that they typically don't have the largest boots in the industry. On par with compact crossovers in terms of cargo space, vehicles like the V60 CC have the advantage of a lower load height.
Storage Space: Volvo's interior design makes some minor compromises in terms of small item storage. The sliding top cupholders are great for keeping some things out of sight, while the small front tray is super small and almost pointless. The armrest and door pockets are medium-sized and good for most daily items.
Cargo Room: The V60 CC has 23.2 cubic feet behind the second row and 50.9 cubes with the seats folded flat. It's a bit smaller than the A4 allroad, but the load floor is wide and flat.
The mild hybrid system doesn't really add much efficiency to the V60 Cross Country. EPA figures show a 1 mpg city increase, a 1 mpg highway and combined drop. It's pretty typical of the segment
Observed: 20.2 mpg.
Distance Driven: 186 miles.
The $3,000 Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system is wonderful to listen to, but it's very expensive given the fact that it's not packaged with any other vehicle features to make the asking price worth it. The sound is crisp, full, and it has plenty of bass. The premium Harman Kardon system is standard on the V60 CC, so save your money and still get great sound. You may not even really notice the difference.