Despite the availability of petrol and hybrid versions elsewhere in the range, Volvo V60 Cross Country performance is delivered by a trio of diesels.
Efficient Drive-E diesel versions
Choose a front-wheel drive V60 Cross Country and you’ll be propelled by a 2-litre, four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, available in two power outputs – 148bhp and 187bhp.
Badged D3, the lower-powered edition musters 350Nm of torque from an impressively low 1,500rpm ensuring safe overtaking is possible from relatively low speeds.
Whether you stick with the standard six-speed manual transmission or opt for the eight-speed Geartronic automatic, performance figures are identical, with a quoted 127mph top speed and a required 9.1 seconds to complete the 0-62mph sprint.
There are some minor differences between the efficiency figures, though: the manual claims 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 111g/km, compared to the Geartronic’s 61.4mpg and 120g/km figures.
Progress up to the 187bhp D4 editions and despite the power increase – torque’s raised to 400Nm at 1,750rpm too – the official fuel consumption and emission figures are exactly the same as the D3’s.
Top speed nudges up to 130mph while the 0-62mph time tumbles to 7.8 seconds – once again, those figures are identical for the manual and Geartronic versions.
Larger engine for all-wheel drive model
Although it’s still badged D4, choosing the superior traction of AWD means the older five-cylinder 2.4-litre turbo diesel is installed instead, with the sole transmission being the six-speed Geartronic automatic.
As with the 2-litre D4, this one peaks at 187bhp, while torque is marginally increased to 420Nm at 1,500rpm.
Despite the extra traction, performance is inferior to the front-wheel drive D4 V60s, with a 127mph top speed and 8.9 seconds needed to complete the 0-62mph test.
Efficiency takes a hit too, average diesel consumption rated at 49.6mpg, with CO2 emissions rising to 149g/km.
Tuned more for comfort than exhilarating agility, the Volvo V60 Cross Country follows the same mantra as its standard V60 sibling.
Its ability to cover distances quickly, with undulations and poorly surfaced roads causing it little difficulty is appreciated, leaving both driver and passengers feeling unruffled.
Not as nimble as its rivals
Even in Cross Country guise, there’s a greater degree of nimbleness than found in the larger Volvo V70, but compared to its slightly smaller rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and Skoda Octavia Scout, it feels less responsive through a series of sweeping bends.
In part this is caused by the relative lightness of the steering and the vagaries of its communication telling you how much grip the front wheels have. Push too strongly into a corner and the V60 Cross Country will push wide into a gentle understeer, although the effect of this can be mitigated with the more expensive AWD versions.
Despite the 65mm increase in ride height, there’s a negligible impact on body roll compared to the standard V60, nor does it dive or wallow more significantly under heavy braking or rapid direction changes.
Where the Volvo V60 Cross Country feels most at home is on long stretches of dual carriageway and motorway – it cruises effortlessly, deals with minor asphalt ripples superbly and is reinforced by excellent and easy to modulate brakes as and when you need to slow down in a hurry.
Take your place at the helm of the Volvo V60 Cross Country and you’ll struggle to tell the difference between it and a regular V60.
Blink and you’ll miss it brown stitching for the seats is about the only giveaway if you don’t go for the optional Cross Country-specific sports seats.
There’s a sleekness about the Cross Country’s dashboard design, but it is beginning to age now, particularly the centre console which is a button fetishest’s delight. That said all the switchgear is satisfying to operate – many controls have raised lips on the so your fingers can press them more easily.
Excellent comfortable seats
Similarly looking past their prime are the graphics for the sat-nav and infotainment screen, the standard five-inch version looks a bit downmarket for a car of this price too. That’s in stark contrast to the digital instrument display, which is standard on the Lux. They’re clear, classy and can be displayed in three different themes.
While the large steering wheel might take some getting used to you’ll feel immediately comfortable thanks to the excellent seats and a wide range of adjustment, electrically-operated on the Lux trim level.
At the heart of Volvo V60 Cross Country comfort are those superb seats. At first glance – and when settling in – they seem a little firm and unyielding, but you soon appreciate how supportive and comfortable they are. Long drives feel effortless and you emerge at your destination feeling fresh.
Front seat passengers do well for head and legroom but things are a little tighter in the back – the V60’s compact dimensions and sloping roofline impinging on rear seat comfort.
All V60 Cross Country models have climate control as standard, with convenient air vents in the pillars just ahead of the back doors to vent rear-seat passengers.
Solidly built and well-insulated from external elements, the Volvo’s a quiet car in which to travel although at higher revs the diesel engines become significantly more audible but not unpleasantly so.
One further advantage of the Cross Country’s 65mm ride height increase is that it’s also easier to get in and out of, something to consider if you regularly ferry someone around who’s less mobile.