Volvo V60 Cross Country comes with all-wheel drive and six-speed auto boxes. Diesel and petrol options are offered. Picture: Jesse Adams
Volvo V60 Cross Country comes with all-wheel drive and six-speed auto boxes. Diesel and petrol options are offered. Picture: Jesse Adams
Cross Country is quite comfortable traipsing over unkempt access roads en route to dust and dirty destinations. Picture: Jesse Adams
Cross Country is quite comfortable traipsing over unkempt access roads en route to dust and dirty destinations. Picture: Jesse Adams
Momentum base model comes with an eight inch colour display screen for navigation and multimedia systems, leather upholstery, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and a huge array of safety systems. Picture: Jesse Adams
Momentum base model comes with an eight inch colour display screen for navigation and multimedia systems, leather upholstery, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control and a huge array of safety systems. Picture: Jesse Adams

ROAD TEST

Volvo V60 Cross Country D4

By: Jesse Adams

Marakele, Limpopo - Volvo has further crowded the niche segment it specialises in with another new model to add to its already extensive list of high-riding station wagons. Pay attention, because things might get a little confusing from here on…

Launched this month in South Africa, the new V60 Cross Country, as its numerical badge implies, sits above the V40 Cross Country in both price and size; while directly above it, buyers have a choice of an XC60 soft-roading crossover, or the slightly bigger XC70 – another station wagon with extra ground clearance. And that’s not counting normal V40 and V60 wagons, or the recently released XC90 flagship SUV.

The V60 Cross Country is basically a rough-and-tumble version of its normal wagon counterpart, with some burly body addenda and a beefier set of springs that add 65mm of ride height.

But, unlike some other more urban oriented high-riders, Volvo has gone to the trouble of equipping the new model with all-wheel-drive where the normal V60 wagon is pulled along by its front wheels only.

ADVENTURE WAGON

I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say it’s a “go anywhere” drivetrain (Volvo ambitiously does), but it was quite nice to know I had four-wheel traction when I encountered some loose and rather deep sand on my way to a Limpopo game reserve this past weekend. Where a normal V60’s undercarriage might’ve also scraped over Marakele’s middlemannetjies, the Cross Country cleared them without hassle.

It’s this sort of environment where an adventure wagon like this shines, and while I’d still want the proper differential locks and ground clearance offered by true off-road SUVs on serious deep bush treks, the Cross Country is quite comfortable traipsing over unkempt access roads en route to dust and dirty destinations.

Even with a lower-profile 19 inch rim and tyre option (standard is 18 inch) our car’s ride was notably plush out on the open road too. Its well sorted suspension combined with Volvo’s seats, which are well-known as some of the most comfortable in the business, make this an excellent long-distance cruiser.

TWO OF EVERYTHING

The V60 Cross Country comes with a simple model lineup comprising two trim packages and two engines.

The lower but still well specced Momentum comes with an eight inch colour display screen for navigation and multimedia systems, leather upholstery (in a wide range of colours), rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, and a huge array of safety systems including Volvo’s City Safety automatic braking.

The higher Inscription model adds sport seats with electric adjustment for passenger, bi-xenon lights, and some slightly fancier interior trimmings.

Engine choices include a 2.4-litre D4 turbodiesel with 140kW and 420Nm, and a 2.5-litre T5 turbopetrol with 187kW and 360Nm, each with five cylinders and paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

I drove the D4 for my bush holiday and was impressed with its lowdown pulling power and relative efficiency. Over the entire trip, which included some city traffic, high-speed freeways and 35km/h game viewing, the trip computer showed an average of 7.5 litres per 100km. At idle this D4 is perhaps a little clattery, but it settles into a surprisingly sporty grumble with revs.

A fellow journalist driving the T5 version on the same trip was pleased with the turbopetrol’s power, but noted a relatively high fuel consumption, averaging in the double digits.

VERDICT

In the same way as its most direct rival, Audi’s A4 Allroad, the V60 Cross Country is a spacious urban/outback allrounder not afraid of getting its boots wet and underside dirty. But then, neither are the V40 Cross Country, XC60, XC70 or XC90.

V60 Cross County pricing:

D4 Momentum R499 900

D4 Inscription R519 900

T5 Momentum R533 500

T5 Inscription R553 000

FACTS

Volvo V60 Cross Country D4

Engine: 2.4-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel

Gearbox: Six-speed automatic

Power: 140kW @ 4000rpm

Torque: 420Nm @ 1500-3000rpm

0-100km/h (claimed): 8.9 seconds

Top speed (claimed): 205km/h

Consumption (claimed): 5.7 litres per 100km

Price: R499 900

Warranty: 5-year/100 000km

Maintenance plan: 5-year/100 000km

V60 CROSS-COUNTRY VS ITS RIVAL

Audi A4 Allroad 2.0TDI - 130kW/380Nm – R530 500

Star Motoring

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