Ian Lamming goes all rugged in the new Volvo V60 Cross Country.
I’VE just stumbled across a great way to gain respect. I’m out on my bicycle but then there’s the need to jump into the test car to give a man a lift to the station.
Bikes are cumbersome affairs but the Volvo V60 Cross Country swallows it nicely without even having to take the wheels out, once I’ve lowered the back seats.
Still wearing my green fluorescent jacket (don’t worry there’s no Lycra in sight), I find myself sitting in a very large estate car, which just happens to be white. Guess what? Everyone thinks I’m the traffic constabulary. Wow, who says no one respects the law any more? If the way people defer, doff and delay is anything to go by we are still a very law-abiding nation.
New V60 has grown a whole heap of extra road presence, even without the police pretensions. It’s a veritable shrunken V90 except it hasn’t shrunk that much. It’s a big old estate car and is all the better for it. Cross Country ups the game further still.
It takes the V60 2.0 diesel engine and estate shell but jacks up the suspension by 60mm, gives it more travel, introduces all wheel drive and hill descent and claggs on some charcoal protective bodywork. That’s the colour, it’s not really charcoal, that would be silly – though handy for the BBQ – it is in fact durable plastic with bash-plates to protect it from the rocks and look cool and off-roady in town.
There’s also an ‘off-road’ setting which works under the speed of 25mph calibrating engine, auto gearbox, accelerator, and AWD system to maximise traction and performance in slippery conditions. Useful for towing the horsebox off wet grass and the trailer or caravan out of the mud, I’d say.
Most of the time it sits in ‘comfort’ and guess what? Yep, that’s right, it’s comfortable, very comfortable in fact, so much so that it makes unwarranted long journeys fine and dandy. On occasions, special occasions, there are visits to be made, there are people to be endured and there are miles to be driven. On a sunny day, when you are at home – that’s the place you have chosen to be and love very much – it isn’t always easy to leave, especially when it is late in the day.
V60 XC proves to be the perfect companion and the journey there is over in the blink of an eye and a dab of the throttle. XC is a supreme mile-eater being quiet, powerful, comfortable and a doddle to drive swiftly and safely.
Climb inside the quality cabin and it is recognisably new Volvo. There’s the now familiar large tablet-esque touchy, swipey screen in the centre of the dash with which to operate multiple functions and view the sat/nav.
Like the rest of the stable it feels solid and safe, prestigious and, did I mention, comfortable.
So coming back is more impressive still as I’m even more tired but once the Spotify is plumbed into the excellent sound system I’m happy to snuggle into the glorious leather seats and let the Volvo take the strain, which it does, admirably. Quicker than I imagine my exalted home comes into view again and it’s almost like I never left – well done V60. Pop the standard-fit powered tailgate, scoop out the luggage and there’s still time to grab Corrie on +1.
I’ve stumbled across a great way of keeping the family happy and getting back for my favourite soap – get a Volvo V60 XC, a car that deserves everyone’s respect.
Volvo V60 Cross Country
Engine: 2.0 diesel
0-60mph: 7.6 secs
Top speed: 130mph
Combined MPG: 42.8
CO2 g/km: 143
Price: from £38,270.00 (£46,365.00 with options)