New Car Review
2017 Volvo S60 Cross Country: New Car Review
The 2017 Volvo S60 Cross Country lives comfortably in its own little niche as a mildly off-road-capable sedan. Having a trunk instead of a hatchback or wagon rear end cuts down on practicality, but compensates somewhat with added security.
And maybe it will never go out into the country at all. With so many urban roads in a woeful state of disrepair and pock-marked by huge pot holes, the S60 Cross Country is perfectly suited to tackling such tough terrain. What we're looking at here might be the future of city motoring.
It's based on the excellent S60 premium compact sedan, but comes with all-wheel drive and greater ground clearance, along with some body protection plates here and there. Who knows how much homework the product planning department did before bringing this car to the market, because it's not easy to think of a ready-made audience clamoring for such a vehicle. Perhaps it was a case of: "If you build it, they will come."
What's New for 2017?
What We Like
The fresh combination of automotive elements; S60-derived comfort, safety and quality
What We Don't
Not as practical as the V60 Cross Country wagon; limited passenger space in the rear; only available in gray
A new turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine generates 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. A similarly fresh 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, along with all-wheel drive.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg combined.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 Volvo S60 Cross Country comes in one substantially stocked trim level: T5 AWD ($45,195).
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, adaptive cruise control, active dual xenon headlights, power moonroof, heated/power-folding side mirrors, puddle lights, rain-sensing wipers, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, interior accent lighting, adaptive digital driver information display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, leather seating surfaces, leather-wrapped gearshift knob and steering wheel, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with driver's-side memory function, power-folding rear headrests, 7-in infotainment color display, 60/40 split/fold rear seats, 12-speaker/650-watt Harman Kardon audio system, Bluetooth, navigation, satellite/HD radio, USB port and an auxiliary audio input. Volvo On Call brings an emergency services call button, automatic collision alert and a smartphone app that offers remote start, locking/unlocking and stolen vehicle location.
Among the options is a Climate package that includes heated seats front and rear, heated steering wheel, heated windshield with heated washer nozzles and a cabin air quality system. Buyers can also choose 19-in alloy wheels, wood trim and a speed-sensitive steering system.
Trunk space is 12 cu ft., which should be able to hold three sets of golf clubs.
As well as a full complement of airbags, side impact protection and whiplash protection systems, the S60 Cross Country has City Safety, technology that can minimize or prevent collisions at 31 mph or below by automatically priming or applying the brakes if necessary. It also comes with pedestrian/cyclist detection with full braking, lane departure alert, driver drowsiness monitor and hill descent control.
The Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) package is an optional extra and includes blind spot monitoring (obviously) with rear cross traffic alert, front parking sensors and lane change merge assistance.
Although this particular variant has not been crash-tested, the regular S60 earned perfect 5-star ratings in all federal crash test categories. It was also named a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
Behind the Wheel
The S60 Cross Country has 7.9 inches of ground clearance, two inches above the regular S60's level. So it has a higher center of gravity. But then again, the driving position is also more elevated, which many people like.
The center of gravity aspect is not really a problem. The car doesn't lurch from bend to bend. The ride is remains composed even over rough pavement and the all-wheel drive system has a torque vectoring function for capable cornering. This apportions to drive to individual wheels, depending on which ones have the best grip at the time.
The cabin is typical Volvo, meaning well-appointed and with lots of soft-touch materials and tasteful metallic trim, plus comfortable and supportive front seats. Buttons for the infotainment system and climate control are housed in a stylish "floating" center stack, just one example of this well-thought-out interior.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Audi Allroad -- There really aren't any more sedans made for light off-roading duty. But the Allroad is a slightly raised wagon that's up to the task.
2017 BMW X3 -- Again, an apple as an alternative to an orange. But the X3 is also capable of undemanding off-roading, comes with premium equipment and drives on the road with a rare ability.
2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country -- The S60 Cross Country's wagon-based sibling.
Used Volvo XC70 -- Another wagon, but with some mild off-road capability and loads more space.
If you're on board with the whole notion of a "cross-country sedan" then go for it. It's still a Volvo and still based on a superb platform.