4.4 out of 5 4.4
Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

SUV-aping looks for one of our favourite estates

Volvo V60 Cross Country (19 on) - rated 4.4 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £39,955 - £40,400
Lease from new From £338 p/m View lease deals
Used price £23,485 - £31,810
Used monthly cost £586 - £794
Fuel Economy 32.1 - 47.9 mpg
Road tax cost £145 - £465
Insurance group 31 - 35 How much is it to insure?
New

PROS

  • Amplifies the V60’s classy styling further
  • High levels of quality and equipment
  • Attractive finance packages available

CONS

  • Not as capable off-road as an XC60
  • No plug-in hybrid version available
  • Absence of cheaper front-wheel drive option

Volvo V60 Cross Country rivals

Written by Keith WR Jones on

It’s virtually impossible not to have noticed the continued rise in popularity of SUVs, but not everyone wants – and even fewer need – a fully-fledged high-rise car. Between them and more conventional estates is a niche where cars such as the second-generation Volvo V60 Cross Country exist.

While almost every car manufacturer offers at least one SUV in its range, few provide the V60 Cross Country with direct competition, despite it being a seemingly easy win.

What exactly is the V60 Cross Country?

Take an estate from your line-up, elevate the ride height (by 60mm in the Volvo’s case) and gussy it up with a suite of crossover design cues, and voila – you have something that’s a bit more than an estate, but not quite an SUV. Within Volvo’s own range it nestles in the slender gap between the V60 Estate and XC60 SUV, plus there’s a larger V90 Cross Country if you require a tad more space and luxury.

Grey 2019 Volvo V60 Cross Country side elevation driving

Nevertheless, it’s a peculiar segment in which not every brand thrives, regardless of how competent the vehicle is. SEAT’s tried it with the Leon X-Perience, while Vauxhall’s had a couple of attempts with different generations of Insignia Country Tourer – neither lasted long.

Even Skoda, which does enjoy buoyant sales of its Octavia Scout has chosen not to being the rugged version of the Superb Estate to the UK, while Mercedes-Benz has opted not to produce an All-Terrain variant of its C-Class Estate.

If you’re looking for alternatives, you’re rather limited to the Audi A4 Allroad, Volkswagen’s Golf Alltrack and Passat Alltrack or, somewhat cheaper, the front-wheel drive-only Ford Focus Active Estate.

Narrow range of engines

Compared with the broad line-up of powerplants in the regular V60 range, the options for the Cross Country are extremely narrow, with just one petrol and one diesel to pick between, both in their punchiest forms.

That means you’re limited to the T5 250hp petrol or the D4 diesel with 190hp. Both are solely available with automatic transmissions and all-wheel drive. While the latter point reinforces some of its off-road potential, it also means that more economical front-wheel drive versions, such as the D3 and T4 available in other V60s are missing from the Cross Country range.

Also missing is the availability of a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version employing the T8 badge. Given Volvo’s pricing structure, it would cost over £50,000 – more than £10,000 more than a D4, so it’s perhaps more a situation caused by a perceived lack of demand. Either way, there’s no escaping the lack of cheaper-to-run Cross Countrys.

Single, well-equipped trim level

That lack of choice is reinforced by the Cross Country only being available in a solitary specification, named Plus – compare that with Momentum Plus, Inscription Plus, R-Design Plus and sportiest Polestar Engineered for the regular V60 range.

Kit-wise, Cross Country Plus is relatively closely aligned with Inscription Plus, but with a number of differences, primarily relating to its appearance. These include charcoal-coloured plastic mouldings for the bumpers and wheelarches, a model-specific matte black grille finish and 18-inch alloy wheels, plus Hill-Descent Control for tackling off-road manoeuvres with even more control.

2019 Volvo V60 Cross Country dashboard from driver's door

Otherwise, you get the same virtues – and drawbacks – of the V60’s touchscreen-dominated infotainment system that also facilitates the climate control settings and dozens of other secondary functions such as the interior ambient light colour and folding over the rear-seat head restraints. It sounds complex, but is largely easy to use – providing you’re on a smooth road.

On that note, we’ve long-admired Volvo’s adaptive Active Four-C suspension system for dialling-out road imperfections on models fitted with larger wheels. Unfortunately, it’s not available with the Cross Country package, so be wary of specifying the optional 19- and 20-inch alloy wheels.

Synonymous with safety

While safety has become a watchword for all manufacturers since the advent of Euro NCAP in the mid-1990s, Volvo – among a handful of other manufacturers – pursued it with vigour, even before it became deservedly important as a car-buying factor.

Consequently, the V60 Cross Country is one of the safest cars on sale, essentially sharing the same five-star rating awarded to the regular V60 in 2018, with the traction benefits of standard all-wheel drive.

Note that along with every other Volvo, in 2020 the maximum top speed of the Cross Country will be electronically governed at 112mph in a bid to reduce the severity of very high speed impacts.

Does the Volvo V60 Cross Country make sense as a semi-SUV or are you better off sticking with a regular V60? Read on to find out.

Grey 2019 Volvo V60 Cross Country grille detail

Volvo V60 Cross Country rivals

Other Volvo V60 models: