The 2018 Volvo S60 Cross Country takes the regular S60 premium compact sedan and gives it some mild off-road capability. This is accomplished by installing all-wheel drive as standard, raising the ride height and then fitting some skid plates underneath. The occasional rutted dirt road and slightly daunting snowdrift can now be attacked with a greater degree of confidence, especially when the appropriate tires are fitted.
Then again, the S60 Cross Country may never venture out into the country. This car could be the future of city motoring. Urban streets are often in a woeful state of disrepair and pockmarked by huge potholes; the S60 CC is perfectly suited to tackling such tough terrain. Having a trunk instead of a hatchback or wagon rear end cuts down on practicality, but compensates somewhat with added security.
Who knows how much homework Volvo’s product-planning department did before bringing this car to market — because it’s not easy to think of a readymade audience clamoring for such a vehicle. Perhaps it was a case of "If you build it, they will come."
What’s New for 2018?
There are no changes this year. See the 2018 Volvo S60 models for sale near you
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 grey
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 22 miles per gallon in the city, 30 mpg on the highway and 25 mpg in combined driving.
Standard Features & Options
The 2018 Volvo S60 Cross Country comes in one substantially stocked trim level: T5 AWD ($45,345).
Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry/ignition, adaptive cruise control, active dual xenon headlights, a power moonroof, heated/power folding side mirrors, puddle lights, rain-sensing wipers, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, interior accent lighting, an adaptive digital driver information display, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped gearshift knob and steering wheel, 8-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory function, power folding rear headrests, a 7-in color infotainment display, 60/40-split/fold rear seats, a 12-speaker, 650-watt Harman Kardon audio system, Bluetooth, navigation, satellite radio, HD Radio, a 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, remote locking/unlocking and stolen-vehicle location.
Among the options is a Climate package that includes heated seats front and rear, a heated steering wheel, a 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, a driver-drowsiness monitor and hill-descent control.
The Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) package is an optional extra and includes blind spot monitoring (unsurprisingly) 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 remains composed even over rough pavement, and the all-wheel-drive system has a torque-vectoring function for capable cornering. This apportions 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
2018 Audi A4 allroad — There really aren’t any more sedans made for light off-roading duty. But the A4 allroad is a slightly raised wagon that’s up to the task.
2018 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. All-new for 2018.
2018 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.
Assuming you’ve decided a light off-roading premium compact sedan is a good idea, all we would add is that opting for the blind spot monitoring package is never a bad idea.