By Nauman Farooq
Wagons are a rare breed these days! Once a popular segment of the automotive market, the “station wagon” trend was overtaken by the minivan, than by the SUV, and than again by the CUV.
It is remarkable than that we have any wagons on offer at all in the market currently, but there are a few brave automakers who haven’t given up on the wagon idea.
The company that is the greatest champion of the wagon body style is Volvo. This Swedish manufacturer (which is owned by the Chinese nowadays), has always made great wagons. The V60 Cross Country (CC) is their latest – but is it their greatest?
Let’s find out!
Styling: Volvo’s style in recent years has been clean and elegant, but not flashy. So, while those who like cars, and appreciate intelligent designs like pretty much everything Volvo currently makes, the general public pretty much ignores them!
I really like the look of this new V60 CC – it truly is a junior version of their V90 CC model. Thanks to its 20-inch wheels, the V60 CC has a very aggressive stance, one that says it can tackle just about any terrain you care to throw its way!
Interior: If you have been in a new Volvo over the last three years or so, than stepping into the V60 CC will feel very familiar.
It is, in fact, just a slightly smaller version of the cabin you’ll find in the V90 CC – the dashboard, the steering wheel, the infotainment screen; they’ve all been lifted out of its big brother. While it still retains the twist-knob to turn the car on and off, I’m glad the V60 CC has a conventional gear selector lever, and not the ‘double-tap’ electronic shifter found in the V90 series.
Interior space is fairly adequate, with the front driver and passenger getting ample legroom, headroom, and elbowroom. Those seated in the back seats of the V60 CC would be generally fine, although there is not as much legroom as in the V90 models.
Cargo area is also quite roomy – it’ll easily swallow your groceries, hockey gear, and golf clubs, all in one go!
Powertrain: The only engine offered on the V60 CC in Canada is what Volvo refers to as the T5. This means, it has a turbocharged 2.0L inline-four cylinder motor that produced 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to all wheels via an excellent eight-speed automatic transmission.
Performance & Driving Dynamics: To see how quick it is, I did some 0 to 100 km/h testing with the V60 CC, and the best number I achieved was 8.2 seconds – so it’s performance is adequate, just not mind blowing!
Keep the right pedal buried long enough, and it’ll hit its electronic speed limiter at 230 km/h – so this is not a slow wagon; in fact, it’s faster than most SUVs and CUVs in its segment, and certainly faster than any minivan.
Numbers are one thing, but what impressed me the most was how quick and eager it always felt, especially in ‘Dynamic’ mode. It also rides very well (something the previous generation V60 CC wasn’t good at), and the handling is sharp and predictable. On a twisty country road, the 2019 Volvo V60 CC is a real joy – it grips and goes well, and glides over uneven surfaces like it’s a hovercraft, love it!
Fuel Economy: Perhaps, I was having too much fun with the V60 CC, because my fuel economy figures were not as good as I was hoping!
In my test cycle (170 km of highway driving + 130 km of city driving), I averaged 9.8 L/100 km, which isn’t bad, but not great either. Plus, since all Volvo’s prefer to drink only premium fuel, running costs are on the high side.
So, there is a price to pay for all the excellent-ness the V60 CC provides.
Pricing: Base price for the 2019 Volvo V60 CC is $48,900 (the normal ride-height V60 model is $5,000 less). If you go crazy with options, you can easily add $20,000 in optional extras.
Verdict: The 2019 Volvo V60 Cross Country T5 is a wonderful vehicle, which does pretty much everything you want it to. Like all Volvo models it’ll be very safe, reliable, and not only does it look good and have a practical interior, it also rides and handles well. It is the perfect daily driver.
It’s pricing does put it in very stiff competition, where you can get bigger, more powerful alternatives, but trust me, spend some time with this Volvo, and you really wouldn’t want much else!