Somewhere in America there are people saying to themselves, "Boy, I sure wish I could get the attributes of a high-riding SUV, but in a four-door sedan." Probably not many, but wherever they are, the Volvo S60 Cross Country is the car for them. Here's a sedan that offers all-wheel drive, extra ground clearance and aggressive looks without the styling of a crossover or wagon.
Volvo already makes a Cross Country-ized version of the V60, the S60's wagon stablemate, so creating the S60 Cross Country was a simple cut-and-paste job. The Cross Country's 7.9-inch ground clearance is 2 inches more than the standard car; not only does it lift the chassis higher above the terrain, it also elevates the driving position, providing the higher viewpoint and easier ingress and egress that SUVs provide.
Once inside, you'll experience the simple and elegant design for which Volvo is known, though the cabin design, dating back to 2010, is starting to show its age. The front seats are astoundingly comfortable and supportive, another longtime trait of this Swedish brand, but some might find the side bolsters restricting. The backseat is very tight and the 12-cubic-foot trunk is downright small, which is the reason we prefer the V60 Cross Country over the sedan version.
For the most part the control layout makes sense. Take the climate controls, which show a silhouette of a seated figure: If you want air at your legs, you press the figure's little chrome legs. The S60 has not yet adopted the tablet-like touchscreen infotainment system on the newer 90-series models, instead relying on the old Sensus system, which uses an input knob mounted on the dash rather than the traditional center console location. Scrolling through the menu takes more attention from the road than a touchscreen and distracts from driving, which is surprising given Volvo's obsession with safety. That said, the S60 comes with a raft of active and passive safety features, most as standard equipment.
The S60 Cross Country gets a new engine for 2017: A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that replaces last year's inline five. It produces 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The EPA rates the S60 Cross Country's fuel economy at 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway). Volvo offers a 302-hp version of this engine in the regular S60; unfortunately, it can't be had in the Cross Country. Still, acceleration should satisfy most folks. The high-clearance suspension trades off some of the cornering agility of the standard S60, though the ride quality is smoother. Foul-weather traction is excellent, and while the S60 Cross Country is hardly a hard-core off-roader, it will tackle light-duty trails with reduced risk of underbody damage.
Volvo sells the S60 Cross Country in a single trim level that comes loaded with standard equipment; there are only a few options, most bundled in packages. Edmunds can help find the perfect 2017 Volvo S60 Cross Country for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.