There is no shortage of automotive oddballs past and present. Some have become mainstream successes – especially in harsh winter climates – such as the Subaru XV Crosstrek, while others have left people scratching their heads as to how they ever became a thing, such as the Pontiac Aztek. Joining the ranks of these oddities is the Volvo S60 Cross Country. It’s an AWD sedan, it’s fast, it sits higher than a typical car, and it has one of the most comfortable interiors in the land. Indeed, these are all good things. So, will the Cross Country become a Swedish sweetheart or become a footnote in the annals of automotive blunders?
First things first, this car is a blast to drive. As expected from our previous time in the standard S60 T5, power delivery from the inline 5-cylinder was smooth and linear once the turbocharger spooled up. With 250 horsepower at 5400 rpm and 266 lb-ft of torque available from 1800 – 4200 rpm, passing at highway speeds – even going up 6 percent grades – was nary an issue. Fuel economy is EPA-rated at 20 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. However, an all-day loop through the mountains returned 29.5 mpg, according to the vehicle’s trip computer.
Inside, Volvo has continues its trend of producing some of the best interiors on the market… just check out the XC90 for an example. The 8-way power front sport seats are bolstered in such a way as to give the driver support without being intrusive. Even one of our larger staff members had no complaints. Adults over six feet tall might have a difficult time getting comfortable in the rear seats, though, as headroom is compromised.
Staying true to its Scandanavian roots, the car’s dashboard, center stack, and console are well laid out in a combination of wood and leather in a cohesive design. Everything you need, nothing you don’t, without clutter. The Harman Kardon audio system’s settings are a different story, however. There are options to boost or dial back bass and treble, along with an equalizer. One or the other would have sufficed. Once a listener gets the levels set just right, there are more options depending on the number of passengers in the vehicle. If Volvo could apply the same simplicity to the controls as it did the interior layout, it would be a great system.
Time will tell whether the S60 Cross Country will be a hit or a miss, but at an as-tested price of $48,390, there are many tempting alternatives for shoppers looking for fun-to-drive all-wheel-drive cars. We’re guessing it won’t be a huge seller, which should be fine with Volvo since it is a low-cost addition to the lineup that borrows from the V60 Cross Country’s parts bin. Beginning with sales that started last year, the company sold just 419 examples of the lifted sedan through November ’15 (December’s sales figures were not yet released as of this article’s writing).
On the TFLcar scale of:
- Buy it!
- Lease it!
- Rent it!
- … or Forget it!
Volvo’s lifted AWD sedan earns a “Lease It!” rating. The S60 CC’s strong blend of performance and comfort combined with its ability to handle adverse weather conditions make it an interesting contender in the luxury market. Points were deducted for the lack of rear seat space and the fact that the V60 Cross Country actually has a base price that’s $2,500 less than this car’s. Why not opt for the V60 Cross Country? With more interior passenger and cargo space, the V60 CC is a more utilitarian snowy mountain car. To see how Volvo’s lifted AWD setup handles deep snow, check out our video of the V60 CC below.
2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country T5 AWD
- As-tested Price: $48,390
- Engine: 2.5L Turbocharged I5
- Power / Torque: 250 hp @ 5400 rpm / 266 lb-ft @ 1800 – 4200 rpm
- Transmission: 6-Speed Shiftable Automatic
- EPA-estimated Fuel Economy: 20/28/23 mpg
- Ground Clearance: 7.9 inches
- Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Zero 235/45 R19
- Curb Weight: 3,528 lbs
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Cargo Volume: 12.0 cu-ft
- Warranty: 48-month / 50,000-mile