Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

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.