Review: 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country – a dying breed that impresses
The second-gen Volvo V60 Cross Country arrived in 2020 and has remained one of the few station wagons still available in North America. The V60 combines crossover-like utility and off-pavement capability with solid all-weather performance and the car-like drive dynamics of a wagon.
At a Glance
- V60 Cross Country is now the “base model” for the series.
- Long standard equipment list.
- More car-like than SUV-like.
- Good interior experience and comfort.
The 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country is now one of only two V60 models available – the other being the performance-oriented Polestar Engineered edition. Volvo has dropped the standard car-based wagon version of the V60, leaving only the mild hybrid Cross Country and the plug-in Polestar. The lowest-priced V60 is now US$49,000 and the plug-in hybrid model jumps to about $70,000.
This new 2023 model V60 Cross Country is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 250 hp (186 kW). That runs to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive is standard. The engine has a mild hybrid system for improving fuel economy by reducing engine drag from accessories. Unfortunately, due to weather and wind, we were unable to properly test the fuel efficiency of the V60 during our week with it.
The V60 Cross Country’s standard equipment list is pretty long and includes things like LED exterior lighting, a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel, a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen, 10-speaker audio, and keyless entry with a powered liftgate. Several other advanced safety and other creature comforts are also included.
There are no “trim levels” for the vehicle, but it does have several options packages to add things like adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, surround-view cameras, improved upholstery, four-zone climate control (dual-zone is standard), and winter climate upgrades.
The appeal of the 2023 Volvo V60 is, of course, its exterior design and promise of car-like handling. It delivers on the design, with unique wagon-shaping and simple, but classic good looks. Handling is more crossover-like, however, with a feel more like a compact crossover than a car when on the road. This is mainly due to the higher ride height and clearance height of the V60, which stands at 8.3 inches (210mm). Truth be told, however, the V60 does handle better and is more joyful to drive than most “wagons” of similar size and far better than most crossovers. It’s still a car at heart. But it is tall and there’s no getting around that.
Appearing new this year on the V60 Cross Country is a Google-based infotainment system that replaces an antiquated, but not itself terrible Volvo system. The new Google Android user interface is phone-like, with apps menus and usage groupings that are similar to what you’d see on a smartphone. Most of the basic items are included, with a link to the Google Play Store offering more options that can be added. If the car is connected to Wi-Fi or a mobile hotspot, it can add several pieces of functionality this way, including remote start via app and the like.
For those of a more “stop distracting me with screens” bent, there will be relief in knowing that the Volvo V60 keeps most of the hard buttons and dials for basic things like climate controls and audio tuning.
As a day-to-day driver, the 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a solid vehicle. Cargo space is ample for most needs, the rear seats carry two comfortably and three in a pinch, and the front seats are extremely comfortable. Though not quite as luxurious as some higher-end models from a few costlier competitors, the V60 does have a lot going for it inside.
The 2023 V60 is one of the last of the station wagon options available to US buyers. Sadly, its car-like model is gone, leaving only this taller Cross Country as an option. Which makes the “Cross Country” label seem a little excessive. But we have few complaints about this wagon as it performed well in inclement weather, a couple of road trips, and as an everyday driver.
Product Page: 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country
Please keep comments to less than 150 words. No abusive material or spam will be published.