Long-term test (Introduction): Volvo V60 Cross Country D4 AWD Inscription

I’ve always had a soft spot for station wagons. When I was young, my mother had a VW 412 Variant and, when I became a dad, I was tasked with two important family-mobility purchases – a pram and a bigger car. Only marginally more expensive than the former was a used Volvo V40.

The V60 is two generations on in the same lineage and, with this Cross Country version, Volvo again targets a small slice of the SUV-dominated market. The standard V60 body gets roof rails, front, side and rear scuff plates, increased ride height
(by 65 mm) and an all-wheel-drive system.

There are two derivatives: this 140 kW/420 N.m D4 turbodiesel and a 187 kW/360 N.m turbopetrol in two spec levels: Momentum and the pricier Inscription. My Osmium Grey example is a D4 Inscription, which isn’t quite as quick as the T5 but is still potent enough and offers more torque a little earlier in the rev range. It should be more economical, too, and although my current average of 9,5 L/100 km is nowhere near the claimed 5,7 L/100 km, I have seen it steadily drop from the 11,0 L/100 km it was displaying on delivery.

The ride is somewhere between an SUV and a wagon, which means you notice the increased ride height both in your elevated view of the road and in the V60 CC’s handling. It’s supple and comfortable, but there’s just a little more body roll in the corners. The Cross Country range is offered only with one transmission option, a six-speed Geartronic torque converter that is proving smooth, if a little slow on kick-down.

My D4 is fitted with the Sport Pack (R17 500) that, among other things, includes bi- xenon headlamps, heated seats, speed-sensitive power-steering, front park assist and gearshift paddles, which do help speed up the changes. It’s also been specced with the R25 000 Advanced Pack that has auto-dimming mirrors, blind-spot aid, lane- departure warning and adaptive cruise control with pedestrian and cyclist detection.

So far, the V60 CC has behaved impeccably and promises to be an ideal complement to my lifestyle. There are a few reservations, however: despite the multimedia infotainment system with a seven-inch colour display screen and an eight-inch TFT crystal driver’s display, the interior looks dated compared with those offered by other premium brands. And, at R573 000, it is up against very decent German compact SUVs.

That said, the V60 CC is an interesting alternative to the swarms of SUVs we see every day. It’s a handsome vehicle, too; the V60 may have been with us for some five years now but, in my view, remains one of the best-looking pieces of automotive design on our roads.

After 1 month
Current mileage:
Average fuel consumption: 9,55 L/100 km
We like: looks, raised ride height, AWD ability
We don’t like: dated interior, gruff engine