To classify: Premium mid-size car
Color: Onyx Black Metallic
Mileage traveled: 419
|Room and comfort||B|
|Power and performance||B+|
|Fit and finish||A|
|Report card ratings are derived from a consensus of test rider ratings. All qualities are compared to other vehicles of the same class. The value rating is for a specific trim level rated and may not reflect the Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model range.|
|Great and great comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for the front seats only. “Large” rating based on a male tester weighing approximately 350 lbs., “Large” rating based on a 6’6″ tall male tester.|
|Engine specifications||247 hp 2.0L|
|Type of engine||4-cylinder turbocharged mild hybrid|
|Drive wheels||All-wheel drive|
Fuel economy observed: 23.0 mpg
Engine mixture: 75% city, 25% highway
EPA Estimated Fuel Economy: 23/30/26 (mpg city/highway/combined)
Fuel type: super gas
Base price: $54,100 (excluding destination fee of $1,095)
Options on test vehicle: Climate package ($750), cargo cover ($345), special paint ($695), power tailgate ($200), 20-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires ($3,200), premium audio system Bowers and Wilkins ($3,200),
Price as tested: $63,585
Great: Tidy package, practical and fun to drive, nice interior
Good: Good power, snow belt ready, comfortable for long rides
The worst : Expensive, slightly quirky options
I don’t own a tweed jacket, I don’t smoke a pipe, and I don’t have a dog with a middle name. I haven’t seen either Mummenschanz play live or write a fan letter to Spalding Gray, may he rest in peace.
However, I collect jazz CDs and often wonder what I could drive if I were at least a little rich and had the time and energy to spend being eccentric. I think I would like to be eccentric. I could spend my days attending bookbinding history lectures at the library in between visits to the teahouse to check on the status of my da hong pao order.
And if I was eccentric, I would seriously consider driving a Volvo V60 Cross Country. In a nation of consumers deeply committed to owning way more vehicles than they need, the V60 Cross Country comes across as a cheeky, derisive sniffle aimed at those who accept large crossovers and SUVs as reasonable daily drivers.
In truth, any station wagon purchase is at least a bit quirky, because there are so few left available to American consumers. It’s also worth noting that the available wagons mostly come with raised ride heights and SUV salt trim. Consider the Audi A4 allroad and Mercedes-Benz E450 All-Terrain. Starting at around $48,000 and $90,000 respectively, the Audi and Mercedes frame the price of the V60 Cross Country, which starts around $52,000. This positioning works well, as eccentrics are willing to spend money on whatever they want, no matter how obscure, but draw the line at conspicuous consumption.
Now there is the excellent Subaru Outbackbut it’s just a little too affordable and mainstream to work for the real oddballs, at least those who haven’t been hit too hard by the investment in start-up hemp dispensaries.
For 2023, Volvo’s lineup includes three wagons: the compact V60 and V60 Cross Country, and the larger midsize V90 Cross Country. All three Volvo wagons come with all-wheel drive only, and the V60 is offered only as a plug-in hybrid.
The V60 Cross Country is offered in Plus and Ultimate trim levels. The base Plus starts at $51,190 and is well-equipped enough to satisfy most eccentrics. The better-equipped Ultimate bumps the bottom line by $5,300 and adds niceties like ventilated front seats, a head-up display, various cabin appointment upgrades, and a premium Hardon Kardon audio system. . True audiophiles, those who perhaps collect imported Japanese jazz CDs, might want to upgrade the sound system to the optional Bowers and Wilkins unit ($3200). Although this author is not fully qualified to review car stereos, I can say that this is the best in-car system I have ever enjoyed.
Upgrading to the larger V90 Cross Country costs just under $10,000 and brings about 8 cubic feet of extra cargo space and an inch more rear legroom. Subjectively, the V90’s longer silhouette is easier on the eyes, which, one might say, is contrary to the quirky experience. Although in our testing the V90’s longer wheelbase (116 inches versus 113) also gives it a more comfortable and tuned highway ride, more on that in a moment.
Where the V60 falls into eccentricity is the cabin. While the controls are somewhat unconventional, the interior decor leans more avant-garde than eccentric. For years Audi has seemed to lead the interior design industry, but recently Volvo has seriously upped its game. interior of the V60, and the effect is both bold and simple.
When it comes to controls, we at Consumer Guide continue our love/hate relationship with the elegantly simple, but often frustratingly simple, vertical stack touchscreen interface that Volvo now uses in all of its vehicles. For simple and obvious functions, the system works quite well and presents itself well on the central screen of the dashboard. But for more complicated functions, like sound/tone control, finding your way takes both luck and prayer. Additionally, while the main functions are handled and manipulated via large, clear graphics, the lower functions are found on ugly, menu-driven black-and-white displays that look a bit like something out of a junior college computer from the 80s. classify.
Interestingly, Volvo’s infotainment systems are now driven by Google, an arrangement that sounds odd, but works quite well in practice. We found programming the navigation systems simple and straightforward. That said, we think some drivers will find it confusing to say “Hey Google” instead of “Hey Siri” at first.
Both Cross Country models are powered by Volvo’s new B5 engine. The new 2.0-liter engine is turbocharged and mated to a mild hybrid system. The B5 engine produces 247 horsepower and is only offered with an 8-speed automatic transmission. With the B5 engine, the V6 Cross Country is rated at around 26 MPG combined, a 1 mpg improvement over the non-hybrid 2022 V60 Cross Country.
On the road, the V60 Cross Country impresses above all. The small turbo/hybrid engine runs smoothly and delivers plenty of useful and above all transparent power. That said, the engine is a little loud and coarse at this price point, something that can be called quirky, or maybe just a demerit.
The 60 settles down well on the highway, though the ride is never luxurious enough. The long-travel V60 Cross Country experience is best described as engaging than silky smooth and refined in the more road-focused, old-school European tradition. There’s a generally sophisticated feel to the V60 Cross Country that we expect most eccentrics would appreciate, although like most current-vintage Volvos the car could use a lot more steering feel.
This rather large editor could also use slightly larger front door openings, but that’s just me. Once inside, I found plenty of space and drove two hours from Palatine, Illinois to Janesville, Wisconsin without complaining. Rear space is a little more limited, and a full-sized adult would find space behind me with the driver’s seat adjusted fully rearward. If you are looking for a smoother ride and more 2n/a-row people space, consider switching to V90, even if it is a little less offbeat.
In Consumer Guide testing, we averaged 23 mpg, decent considering the power, but a little disappointing given our time on the highway.
The 2023 V60 Cross Country doesn’t come cheap, especially when it’s as well-equipped as our test car. But it’s a sporty, functional, well-appointed wagon with real bad-weather capability and plenty of cargo space. Perhaps more importantly, it’s not a crossover, something that should please any well-heeled quiet eccentric in need of a new car. Oh, and if my dog had a middle name, it would be Spalding.
2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country Ultimate Gallery
(Click below for larger images)
2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country