01.17.16 - 2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country

Turning Wagons into Sedans

The norm for a wagon is to start with a great sedan and then add the wagon part to the back of the car. A few times in history this has been done in reverse. AMC started with the Concord station wagon and added four-wheel drive to it and cut it down to have a trunk instead of being a wagon to make the Eagle. Subaru has also accomplished this feat in the past by taking the Legacy Outback wagon and creating the sedan version from it. Now it seems Volvo is attempting the same thing only a year after the V60 Cross Country was put on the market.

This new sedan made from a wagon is the S60 T5 Cross Country which will give us a trunk and show up as a dynamic vehicle to drive for those who want the capabilities of the V60 wagon but don’t want the wagon. Because Volvo isn’t quite sure how this car will play out they aren’t sending many of them to the US, the estimate is around 500 will make it to our shores for us to determine if this is a car we want to drive or if the wagon is the one we need. This limited number indicates we will see this vehicle offered in only one trim, the highest of the group, the Platinum trim level.

This new S60 Cross Country will have all-wheel drive, hill descent control, black fender extensions, front and rear skid plates and a raised suspension that provides nearly eight inches of ground clearance. This ground clearance is one of the most impressive parts of the vehicle even though it is less than the Renegade, Trailhawk and Forester. One vehicle this ground clearance wins over is the Audi A4 Allroad which sets up at nearly an inch lower. This group of features certainly allows the new S60 to be one you can take out on the lighter trails when desired to have a bit of outdoor fun.

Under the hood we will get to see the 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine connected to a six-speed automatic transmission for the AWD models. The FWD versions will receive an upgraded engine which is the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that receives an eight-speed automatic transmission. Because the FWD model would not make sense for this vehicle we won’t see them in the US, just the AWD with the soon to be outdated engine that will hopefully be improved if this vehicle carries forward.

As for the power output, the engine will give you 250 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. This new model is close to the same weight as the last S60 that was on the market and a full 69 pounds less than the S60 Polestar that had AWD and a 345 horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder engine. Certainly this makes for a good balance in the new S60 Cross Country to be a little bit lighter even if it has less power, allowing it to be nimble and capable.

Why make this vehicle? The preference many owners have for vehicles that sit a little taller is simply a comfort one. Many say they prefer to be able to step in a vehicle that sits up a little higher, which is also why the Subaru Outback and Audi A4 Allroad are popular models; they just feel more comfortable to enter and exit than the low slung sports cars or your typical sedan entry point.

A couple statistics to point out include the twelve cubic foot trunk that you will find, and the fact this car can reach sixty mph in only 6.1 seconds, which is powerful enough to handle any kind of traffic with ease. The handling of this vehicle is more typical of a small SUV than a sedan as it it’s made more for exploring the roads rather than trying to carve them up. The S60 Cross Country offers you a well-mannered ride that makes taking a cruise easy to do and enjoy from a cabin that is meant for comfort and for quiet, which this one certainly is. Of course at this trim level you can disperse the quiet by using the amazing Harman/Kardon sound system that is part of the Platinum package.

This new S60 Cross Country comes with everything you would expect from Volvo including the BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) which gets added for $925 but brings in blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alerts, front and rear parking assistance and lane departure mitigation. If you choose not to include BLIS you still receive the benefits of adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings, automatic braking, a driver drowsiness monitor, lane departure warnings and automatic high beam headlights.

Other additional items you can include are the Climate Package with adds heated front and rear seats along with heating for the steering wheel, windshield wipers and washer nozzles. You can also add speed sensitive steering, Urbane Wood Inlays and 19-inch wheels. The whole package will cost you a full $48,390, but you will be in an extremely safe vehicle that offers several great features while standing taller than the V60 T6. Not only is this a taller vehicle than its wagon brother, it’s about $1,000 less in overall price, making it a great choice for your luxury driving.

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