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Volvo V60 Cross Country 2022 review

The Volvo V60 Cross Country has that rough and tumble look about it. Do you like it?

The Volvo V60 Cross Country is back. This lifted 2022 Volvo V60 wagon has all-wheel drive (AWD), and looks the part when it comes to the rugged estate car philosophy of the brand, which stretches back decades.

The V60 Cross Country replaces the standard V60 in Volvo’s range, and offers an alternative to the close-in-philosophy XC60 SUV, not to mention a premium-branded alternative to the Subaru Outback.

The car is only available in one spec - the B5. If you’re across Volvo nomenclature, you will realise that the brand used to have D and T prefixes, but B stands for battery, as this is a mild-hybrid version of the existing T5 powertrain.

I spent a week with the V60 Cross Country to see how it handled family life. 

The V60 Cross Country replaces the standard V60 in Volvo’s range. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The V60 Cross Country replaces the standard V60 in Volvo’s range. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

 

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What does it look like?

Up until mid 2021, Volvo had sold the V60 wagon, which wasn’t the rough-and-tumble looking thing you see here. It was sleek and svelte, while this one looks like it has been hitting the gym and prepping itself for a week-long hike in the mountains.

It has the distinguishable Thor’s Hammer LED headlights, the family face of the Volvo brand, and you’re going to know exactly what you’re looking at, be it from the front, the side or the rear.

Featuring Volvo's distinguishable Thor’s Hammer LED headlights. (image credit: Matt Campbell) Featuring Volvo's distinguishable Thor’s Hammer LED headlights. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

The brand has been a bit more subtle with its application of the Cross Country branding this time around, though - it is simply embossed into the unfinished plastic section of the rear bumper.

That black plastic runs around the lower lip of the car, adding a little bit of flair over the wheel-arches, and acting as a sort of bash-plate at the front. It sits on a higher suspension setup, too, to allow a bit better capability when it comes to off-highway adventures.

The V60 sits on a higher suspension setup. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The V60 sits on a higher suspension setup. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

You also get 19-inch alloy wheels clad in Continental tyres, and there are roof rails to fit roof racks or a cargo box to (which I would do… more on that later).

The interior of the V60 Cross Country is very similar to what you’ll see in any other Volvo product - it is classy, mostly well laid out and has a few design flairs, including the brushed aluminium look trims, and woodgrain finishes on the dashboard.

You get 19-inch alloy wheels clad in Continental tyres. (image credit: Matt Campbell) You get 19-inch alloy wheels clad in Continental tyres. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

How does it drive?

I liked some elements of the drive experience, but there were other things that really, really annoyed me.

The biggest frustration was the gear selector. You have to go into neutral and then into the next gear by two movements of your hand. If you haven’t driven this car or a car with a similar shift pattern, it’s going to annoy you – I found myself in neutral multiple times when expecting to be in reverse or drive, causing some frustration not only for me but other road users, too.

The biggest frustration was the gear selector. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The biggest frustration was the gear selector. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

I don’t know why Volvo has made the decision to have its gear selector do that, but it makes the rotary dial ones we often whinge about seem like genius-level engineering. 

The action of the eight-speed automatic transmission while driving could be better, too. I noticed a few clumsy shifts during my time with the car, especially when trying to decide what gear needs to be in at higher speeds. Hill climbs can see it swap cogs a bit more often than you’d think necessary.

At lower speeds for urban driving it seems a little bit more refined. And if you change to the Dynamic drive mode it will hold onto gears to suit that style of driving, but when you are driving enthusiastically in Normal mode the transmission can be a little bit lazy.

The engine - a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit with 183kW of power and 350Nm of torque - is a peppy little unit, more enthusiastic in its response than I was expecting it to be.

The engine is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The engine is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged unit. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

That could be to do with the 10kW electric boost that’s available from the 48-volt mild-hybrid system, which captures lost energy via regenerative braking and can add a little bit of boost from a standstill or sudden acceleration. The electric motor doesn’t drive the wheels at all, it just assists the petrol motor, and the battery capacity is just 0.4kWh.

The system doesn’t really get in the way of the drive experience, though I did note the aggression of the regenerative braking is more noticeable when you’re in Eco mode or Offroad mode. The brake pedal feel could be better, too, and that’s a common complaint with cars featuring regen braking systems.

The engine offers strong response, though, with a 0-100km/h claimed time of 6.6 seconds, and it has a nice muted raspy quality to the way that it revs, too.

However, I found that when driving the car normally - in highway driving, in particular - the adaptive cruise control could be frustrating. The set speed can increase or decrease in increments of 1km/h but you have to know to hold the button down for longer than you'd think necessary, as quick taps increase or decrease the set speed by 5km/h.

Also, the adaptive system seemed to constantly pick up on cars in the lane alongside me - braking for an exit when I was continuing straight - which wasn’t great. 

But it is a very quiet highway driver – having stepped out of a couple of cars recently that were very loud on the open road, this is a really serene experience and will please all on board.

The V60 is a very quiet highway driver. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The V60 is a very quiet highway driver. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

The steering is relatively accurate, if a little slow just off-centre, but it does have some feel through the wheel.

The Cross Country model’s higher suspension (it has 203mm ground clearance) does have an impact on the ride quality, as it is a little bit clumsy over sharp edges at times, and it’s not height adjustable or adaptive in the way that it can dampen the suspension either – what that means is that you’ve got a single tune that is basically more biased towards the SUV-ness of the experience than it is for comfort levels. That isn’t to say that it is uncomfortable, it just could be a little bit more squishy over lumps and bumps in the road. Broken surfaces certainly lead to the “rugged” factor of the drive experience.

The steering is relatively accurate. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The steering is relatively accurate. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

How spacious is it?

Perhaps not quite as spacious as you might think for a Volvo wagon that is clearly aimed at families.

It measures 4784mm long, 1893mm wide and 1504mm tall, so it’s not a small car. And on paper, you might think that the boot capacity - stated as 529 litres - is going to be plenty.

Boot capacity is 529 litres. (image credit: Matt Campbell) Boot capacity is 529 litres. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

But in actual fact, for families with young children or babies (like me, I’ve got a six-month-old), it might be a little limited in terms of cargo space. I managed to fit in our bassinet and pram, with barely any space to spare. You can fit a suitcase and folding pram in without obscuring your rearward vision, but don’t go expecting that you’ll be able to load in a week’s worth of luggage for the family and still be able to see out the rear windscreen.

The V60 might be a little limited in terms of cargo space. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The V60 might be a little limited in terms of cargo space. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

If I was looking at a V60 Cross Country for my family, I’d totally consider adding the Roof Box accessory. This luggage pod is designed by Volvo Cars, and includes an LED interior light, so it’s not just a plastic shell. Plus it adds 430 litres of extra luggage capacity, and it looks awesome, too. 

In terms of interior occupant space, the back seat is roomy enough for me (182cm/6’0”) to sit behind my own driving position with a little bit of room to spare. Amenities are good in the back, with air-vents in the pillars and at knee height, and there is a temperature and fan control for the back, too. 

The back seat is roomy enough. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The back seat is roomy enough. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

Rear occupants get map pockets, door pockets with bottle holders, a flip-down armrest with cup holders and a storage box, and a ski port as well.

There are ISOFIX points in the outboard seats, and three top tether points, too. I fitted a rearward facing capsule. A couple of things to note: the gap below the head-restraint is quite tight, so getting the straps sorted might be a bit more work than you’d expect. Also, that head restraint size means fitting a travel mirror is a bit fiddly, too.

We fitted a rearward facing capsule. (image credit: Matt Campbell) We fitted a rearward facing capsule. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

I managed to sit in front of the baby capsule with enough legroom to be comfortable for a journey of an hour or so, and the scalloped shape of the dashboard helps in that regard. Smaller front-seat passengers will be fine, but those with long legs may feel cramped.

The front seat space is mostly really good. The centre console / transmission tunnel surround is carpeted, meaning you don't bash your knees against a hard plastic. I like that.

There are hideable cup holders with a neat sliding top, a wireless phone charge pad, a covered armrest console bin, and bottle holders in the doors.

The front seat space is mostly really good. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The front seat space is mostly really good. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

How easy is it to use every day?

There is keyless entry and push-button start, proximity unlocking for all the doors, an auto tailgate with kick to open functionality, and all of those things come in handy when you’re running errands with kids.

The wireless smartphone charger means one less thing to think about, too - just chuck your phone there and you should be good to stay in touch.

And if you’re not a great parker, the V60 Cross Country has park assist tech that can do the reverse-parallel parks for you. It’ll even drive out of the space if you’re not confident in your spatial awareness!

Thinking of towing? The unbraked towing capacity is 750kg and the braked towing capacity is 1800kg.

The V60 Cross Country has park assist tech. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The V60 Cross Country has park assist tech. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

How safe is it?

It’s a Volvo, so you’d expect the safety gear to be up to spec. And for the most part it is, with a range of standard inclusions fitted.

They comprise forward auto emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, rear AEB, lane departure warning, lane keeping assistance, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a 360-degree surround view camera system, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, hill start assist and hill descent control, and the aforementioned Park Assist Pilot semi-autonomous parking system.

Safety gear is up to spec. (image credit: Matt Campbell) Safety gear is up to spec. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

What’s the tech like?

The tech is good. It isn’t segment-leading in terms of screen size, and some people might question the ease of use of the tablet-style screen, but I really like it.

The 9.0-inch multimedia touchscreen is quick to respond to commands. Like a tablet, there’s a button at the bottom to return to the homescreen, and you can swipe left or right on the screen to go to different menus.

The 9.0-inch multimedia touchscreen now runs a Google operating system. (image credit: Matt Campbell) The 9.0-inch multimedia touchscreen now runs a Google operating system. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

It does take a bit of time to get the hang of it, and to understand where the different menus for the different commands lie. 

My main complaint about the layout of the screen is that - while Apple CarPlay is supported - it looks so tiny on the screen! It is close enough to discern the icons and touch them easily enough, but leaving the home screen elements above and below does make for a less engaging experience.

And while I usually typically hate cars that have no physical controls for the air-con temperature, the ones on the Volvo are simple to use. 

How much does it cost to own?

The list price for the Volvo V60 Cross Country is $64,990 plus on-road costs (MSRP). That is pretty decent considering you get leather seat trim, electric seat adjust, LED lighting, 19-inch wheels, all the safety gear and all-wheel drive.

Volvo has taken heed of recent reviews criticizing the brand’s excessive servicing costs, with the company now offering a choice of service plans - three years/45,000km at $1500, or five years/75,000km at $2500. Those are good prices for a luxury brand. And there’s a five-year/unlimited km warranty with the same cover for roadside assist, and the B5 mild-hybrid’s battery pack covered by an eight-year warranty.

Volvo now offers a choice of service plans. (image credit: Matt Campbell) Volvo now offers a choice of service plans. (image credit: Matt Campbell)

Fuel consumption is stated as 7.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle. My test - which incorporated highway, freeway, urban and some light off-road driving - saw a real-world at the fuel pump return of 8.6L/100km. Okay, but not great. Fuel tank capacity is 60 litres, and it requires 95RON premium unleaded fuel.


The Wrap

I love the look of the Volvo V60 Cross Country and there are plenty of positive attributes for this luxury midsize crossover wagon.

It isn’t perfect - the drive experience could be better, and depending on the stage your family is at, it may well be a bit too small in terms of boot space. I’d still consider one, albeit with that cool looking roof pod added.

That said, the coin-conscious buyer ought to consider the Subaru Outback as an alternative, as it is a more spacious car with arguably similar features at a considerably lower price.

Likes

Stylish but tough looks
Perky engine
Nice interior

Dislikes

Could be bigger inside
Boot limited for families with young children
Some room for improvement driving-wise

Scores

Matt:

4

The Kids:

3.5

$64,990

Based on new car retail price

VIEW PRICING & SPECS

Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.