For the 2020 model year, the Volvo V60 Cross Country gets a boost that pushes this wagon’s off-road capabilities to new heights. A taller ride height and other added features have elevated the V60 Cross Country, meaning the “Cross Country” part of the name denotes some actual off-road prowess. But even on pavement, the V60 Cross Country beats out the standard V60 wagon in terms of ride quality — and, as you would expect with a Volvo, it also brings some modern luxury to the table.
Related: 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country Review: You Raise Me Up
Looking for a luxury SUV alternative? Read our full review of the car via the related link above. For the short list of hits and misses, here’s what we like (and don’t) about the 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country:
Things We Like
1. Off-Road Aptitude
We took our first spin in the V60 Cross Country up an unpaved, rocky mountain, proving this wagon has the ability to do some mild off-roading. Ground clearance is 8.3 inches — 2.5 inches higher than the standard V60 and perfect for gravel roads. Cabin isolation is great over rocky terrain, and the softened suspension absorbs a lot of the bumps to keep you from jostling around.
The Cross Country also gets an Off-Road drive mode. Meant to be used at low speeds, it changes the throttle mapping and transmission shift points. It also changes the traction control and automatically engages hill descent control.
2. The Resulting Ride Is Smooth
Back on the pavement, the softer suspension also provides a comfortable ride. It smoothes out bumps in the road as it does in off-road environs, which makes the Cross Country a livable on-road vehicle, as well.
3. Responsive Powertrain
Volvo’s T5 engine — a 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder — is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which feels perfectly suited to the Cross Country. You can get the more powerful T6 or T8 engines in the standard V60, but you won’t really miss it here. Acceleration is quick, the transmission is responsive and the throttle is nimble enough to easily maintain your speed while driving over obstacles.
4. Familiar Minimalist Interior
The interior is quintessentially Volvo, with an uncluttered dashboard and streamlined design all around. In the top trim level, you get luxe materials like leather upholstery and genuine wood inlays. The front seats have a thin profile but provide a comfortable measure of support. A Bowers & Wilkins sound system is also available as an add-on.
5. Cargo Area Utility
The Cross Country has a rather square back end, which makes for a rectangular cargo area where more space is usable than in a vehicle with sloped rear windows. The rear seats fold down and more than double your cubic footage. The cargo space is configurable to what you’re carrying, with a divider that folds up from the floor, and a host of hooks and straps around the sides that can secure your items.
6. More Features Than Its Stablemate
Yes, you’ll have to shell out over $5,000 more for the Cross Country than a standard V60 with the same engine, but you’re also getting some added equipment — like blind spot monitors, front and rear park assist, standard all-wheel drive and a hill descent control system.
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Things We Don’t
1. Not a True Off-Roader
The V60 Cross Country is still a wagon when it comes down to it. Even though it has some ground clearance, it’s not going to take you rock crawling or over difficult trails and terrains — especially not with the standard all-season tires. In other words: Its name really only holds up if you’re crossing the right country.
2. Gas Mileage Penalty
Compared with the standard V60 (which has the same powertrain, but more efficient front-wheel drive), fuel economy does suffer a bit in the V60 Cross Country. It’s EPA-rated 22/31/25 mpg city/highway/combined, 2 mpg less than the standard V60’s figures.
3. Slow Turn-In
You might notice how light the handling feels in the Cross Country, and you’ll probably find yourself wanting some more substantial steering feedback. On curvy roads, it has too slow of a turn-in to allow for much steering excitement.
4. Multimedia Quirks
The multimedia system in the V60 Cross Country is not without a few issues. The vertically oriented touchscreen works well with the native multimedia functionality, but if you try to use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, they’ll only take up about half of the screen. (Whether a recent CarPlay update fixing this issue for Subaru vehicles migrates to Volvo and other brands remains to be seen.) The digital display also lacks the customization options of other luxury automakers, like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.
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