With classy Swedish styling, a refined interior, extra ground clearance and standard all-wheel drive, the 2017 Volvo Cross Country represents an interesting alternative for shoppers who value utility but don't want a wider, bulkier crossover or SUV. The V60 Cross Country is essentially a more rugged take on the regular V60 wagon, and for 2017 it brings along some of the regular wagon's improvements.
Gone is the Cross Country's previous five-cylinder engine, which returned subpar fuel economy and acceleration performance. In its place is a new turbocharged four-cylinder that's smoother and quieter in operation, quicker to accelerate than its predecessor, and more fuel-efficient. EPA estimates rate it at 2 mpg better in city, highway and combined driving.
You have to have some fairly specific needs for the V60 Cross Country to make sense, though. The regular V60 wagon also offers all-wheel drive, so for the Cross Country it comes down to an elevated ride height and light off-road ability. If you're an active outdoors type, you'll appreciate the Cross Country's 7.9 inches of ground clearance, enough to get you across many dirt roads leading to camping areas, trailheads, oceans and rivers. The downside, though, is a rougher ride quality and less handling precision when going around turns.
As you have likely noticed, the market isn't exactly flooded with small luxury wagons with raised suspensions. But there are a couple other options to consider. The Audi A4 Allroad is the V60's closest rival. It's redesigned this year and boasts a premium interior that's roomier and more comprehensively equipped than the Volvo. If you're not terribly concerned about a luxury badge, an upper trim level of the Subaru Outback delivers even greater space and capability. There are also a number of desirable luxury crossovers such as the similarly priced Volvo XC60.
Pitted against these vehicles, the V60 Cross Country doesn't offer any major advantages and has more potential drawbacks. Still, there are so few choices that it's likely worth your time to check out this Swedish take on off-road adventure.
The 2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country safety features include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints. Also standard is Volvo's On Call system that includes emergency assistance, automatic crash notification and stolen vehicle assistance, and Volvo's City Safety system (part of Volvo's IntelliSafe technologies), which can detect imminent collisions with other cars or objects and automatically apply the brakes (at speeds up to 19 mph).
The Technology package, standard on the Platinum trim, features an enhanced version of this system that can detect pedestrians and cyclists. Also included in that package are a driver inattention warning system and a lane-departure warning system. The BLIS package adds a blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. A rearview camera is optional on the Premier trim and standard on the Platinum.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the regular V60 its top rating of Good in the moderate-overlap and small-overlap front-impact tests. It also earned a Good score for side-impact, roof strength and whiplash protection (seats and head restraints) tests. Finally, the IIHS gave a Superior rating to the V60's optional forward collision warning and mitigation system.
In Edmunds testing, a V60 Cross Country came to a stop from 60 mph in 127 feet, a longer distance than average.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a four-door, five-passenger wagon available in Premier and Platinum trim levels. It differs from the standard V60, reviewed separately, with extra ground clearance, standard all-wheel drive and unique styling elements.
Standard equipment on the Premier includes 18-inch wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, hill descent control, rear parking sensors, a sunroof, power-folding heated mirrors, roof rails, rear privacy glass, front and rear skid plates, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, driver memory settings, leather upholstery, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 40/20/40-split rear seat with power-folding headrests and a built-in cargo cover/dog safety divider.
Tech features include Bluetooth connectivity, a 3G Wi-Fi hot spot, Volvo On Call emergency services (detailed in the Safety section), the Volvo Sensus infotainment interface with a 7-inch display, Sensus Connect smartphone apps, a navigation system and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB audio interface and satellite radio.
The Convenience package adds a rearview camera and keyless ignition and entry (available as a stand-alone option). The Technology package adds adaptive cruise control and a variety of accident avoidance and driver alert technologies (see Safety section for details).
The Platinum trim includes the Convenience and Technology packages and adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights with washers, auto-dimming mirrors and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system (available as a stand-alone option on the Premier).
The BLIS package adds a blind-spot monitoring system, rear-cross traffic alert, and front and rear parking sensors. The Climate package available on both trims adds an interior air-quality system and a multitude of heated items: front and rear seats, steering wheel, windshield and windshield washer nozzles. Integrated child booster seats and a rear-seat entertainment system can be added as stand-alone options.
The 2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel-drive system. A standard automatic engine stop-start system shuts off the engine when the car is stopped to conserve fuel.
EPA fuel economy estimates are 25 mpg combined (22 city/30 highway), and Volvo says the V60 Cross Country can now accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.6 seconds, nearly 1 second quicker than its predecessor with the five-cylinder engine.
Like the regular V60, the 2017 Cross Country is a pretty pleasant small wagon to drive. Smaller and more maneuverable than a compact SUV, the Cross Country offers a more SUV-like elevated driver's view and nearly 8 inches of vertical ground clearance. That's not enough for serious off-roading but means the Cross Country can tackle light challenges such as rutted dirt roads or grassy fields. The extra clearance might also be useful for those who live in places where snow plows are slow to clear the roads.
The steering feel is nicely heavy and builds up gradually as you turn, but the Cross Country lacks some tire grip and tends to lean going around turns. The regular V60 is much sharper to drive. Oddly, the Cross Country also has a surprisingly firm ride along with a higher degree of vibration that transmits to the cabin over bumps.
We haven't yet tested the Cross Country with its new engine-and-transmission combination, but it should be miles better than the former five-cylinder/six-speed automatic, which was slow, noisy and lazy to shift.
The 2017 Volvo V60 Cross Country features a stylish interior fitted with premium materials. The look is subtly classy and as appealing as that of any of its direct competitors. The cabin is quiet, serene, and the overall ambience is one of understated luxury.
On the center stack is the V60 Cross Country's infotainment interface. The phone-style number pad and surrounding buttons might look a bit antiquated relative to what you find in other luxury cars, but they offer easy control of basic stereo functions. For more complicated tasks such as selecting a media player playlist or programming the optional navigation system, the V60 relies on the standard Sensus system. It's fairly easy to use, though the multipurpose knob's location on the dash (rather than the center console) is not ideal and lacks a touchpad input like some rival controller systems.
The V60 Cross Country's front seats are some of the most comfortable and supportive in any car, although bigger folks might find themselves a little squished between the ample bolsters. Adults in the rear seats might also wish for more legroom, though kids should fare well enough. The available built-in booster seats are remarkably handy for anyone who needs to transport little ones.
Fold down those rear seatbacks, and the V60 Cross Country yields 43.8 cubic feet of cargo room. That's less space than in some competitors, but the 40/20/20-split design helps maximize the space available. The cargo area's two-position, roll-out dog security net and available grocery bag holder are clever features that go beyond simply providing a big space in which your stuff (and four-legged friends) can roll around.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.