Volvo made an interesting addition to the 60 series model lineup for 2016 by adding Cross Country variations to both the S60 sedan and the V60 wagon. This seems like an excellent addition considering the recent popularity of crossovers.
By expanding the capabilities of these two cars, Volvo is able to give new car shoppers the best of both worlds ? notable on-road capabilities along with extensive off road capabilities. And of course both are equipped with the Volvo?s trademark safety attributes.
To increase the off-road capabilities, the ground clearance was increased by about 2.5 inches. This also gives most drivers a better view of the road and traffic ahead. Then when the route requires going off the beaten track, the eight inches of clearance can make a big difference in deep ruts and over obstacles on the trails.
To add a more rugged look and to protect the vehicles, each gets enhancements to the underside protection, side scuff plates and fender extensions. In the rear the rear skid plate is embossed with the Cross Country emblem.
The interiors of both models are filled with soft leather and real wood trims or an optional Piano Black trim. After numerous trips driving Volvos we think their seats are some of the most comfortable in the business, and the sport seats in the Cross Country models were no exception with the excellent support and side bolsters. Parents will appreciate the available child seats in the V60 which pop up from the rear seat base to provide children over three years of age with a safe ride height without having to mess with booster seats.
As the names indicate, both the T5 models are powered by 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engines. Rated at 250 horsepower both cars make a 0 to 60 mph run in 7.0 seconds and have a top speed of 130 mph. Both have a six-speed automatic transmissions with quick shift mode, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and all-wheel drive with Instant Traction.
The EPA lists fuel economy for both Cross Country models at 20 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined. We averaged 22.8 mpg and 24.1 mpg respectively in the wagon and sedan.
The Cross Country?s also have many of the latest technologies like Advanced Stability Control and improved handling through Cornering Traction Control using Torque Vectoring. They also have hill decent control systems to manage downhill speeds.
The Volvos include a full complement infotainment services with navigation, Bluetooth, HD radio, Sirius satellite radio, in-car Wi-Fi Hotspot and smart phone apps including remote start. Sensus Connect uses the center stack mounted Active Thin Film Transistor crystal display screen to connect to a series of cloud-based services that can do things like help the driver find the car in a parking lot, find places to eat or stream music. It also allows the driver to receive or send text messages verbally.
Drivers can also use the Sensus system to connect with Volvo On Call to connect with their car using a smartphone application. The driver can lock, unlock, check fuel levels, check mileage and pre-heat or pre-cool the car before he or she arrives.
As top models in the 60 series lineup, both models have a long list of standard power equipment from power seats with memory to electronic ignition with push button stop and start to rain-sensing wipers.
The base price of the 2016 Volvo V60 Cross Country T5 AWD is $41,940 including the destination charge. The S60 Cross Country T5 AWD is $40,790. Both cars we tested included the same three packages: The Platinum package ($3,650) includes Harman Kardon audio, Xenon headlights, active high beams, rear camera, Homelink?, adaptive cruise control, pedestrian/bicycle detection with auto braking, Driver Alert Control, lane departure warning, road sign information, road sign information plus a half a dozen other driver aids. The Climate Package ($1,550) adds heated seats, heated windshield, heated steering wheel and heated windshield washer nozzles and Interior Air Quality System. The sedan also has heated rear seat, while the wagon gets power child locks and dual outboard two-stage child booster seats. The BLIS package ($925) adds blind spot detection, cross traffic alert, front park assist and Lane Change Merge Aid. Our V60 had a total price of $49,775 and the sedan was $48,390 both fully loaded.
We think the two new Volvo Cross Country models offer shoppers an excellent alternative to some of the high-priced German competitors. The cars feel solid and well-built with and excellent fit and finish. There were responsive, fun to drive and extremely comfortable. Unlike some earlier AWD Volvos which required large areas to turn, these two are quite agile with relatively tight (for AWD) 37.4 foot turning radiuses. Driving through the windy mountain roads near our home in southern Washington State, we were pleased by the flat cornering and planted feel. The steering provides good feedback and the brakes stop with a solid pedal.
The only little complaint we had was the sun visors which are short and did not cover the side window, and did not slide or have extensions. It?s a little thing, but it can make a big difference on bright day.