Americans are sadly averse to buying wagons, even ones as tasty as the new Volvo V60, which baffles wagon fans (of which I'm one). But they'll line up to spend more if you give it a lift kit, standard all-wheel drive and a big helping of body cladding. The latest with that formula comes from Volvo in the form of the 2020 V60 Cross Country mid-size wagon, a smaller, sassier sibling to the bigger and more elegant V90 Cross Country.
Volvo arguably helped popularize this formula with the 1998 V70 XC (signifying "Cross Country"), following Subaru's Outback treatment of the Legacy wagon a few years earlier. Others have followed, including Volkswagen's current Golf Alltrack.
The idea, says Volvo, is to build a V60 wagon capable of taking you "from the suburb to the skogen [Swedish for forest]." To accomplish that, the V60 Cross Country sits 75 mm (about 3 inches) higher on a tweaked suspension. It also gets standard all-wheel-drive, hill descent control, corner traction control and a specific-to-Cross Country off-road setting added to the available driving modes. And there is the requisite body cladding all around the lower edges of the wagon, as well as the wheel arches.
Standard equipment for the well-equipped Cross Country model also includes the City Safety package of safety and driver assistance tech. The package includes automatic emergency braking, which Volvo notes is the only system available now that's able to recognize large animals in the skogen as well as pedestrians and bicycles. It also has Volvo's Pilot Assist system that can help with steering, acceleration and braking on marked roads up to 80 mph. A cross-traffic alert is optional. Additionally, Volvo's familiar tablet-style Sensus touchscreen multimedia and control system is standard.
Powering the V60 Cross Country at launch will be Volvo's T5 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline powertrain, but no more details were offered. It puts out 250 horsepower in the new V60 and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The company says light-hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Cross Country will come later.
A sale date for the 2020 Cross Country was not specified; Volvo said that when it arrives, it will join the models offered by the Care by Volvo 24-month subscription service that wraps the vehicle, insurance and maintenance into one payment.
The Cross Country completes the redone mid-size 60 Series lineup on Volvo's new global platform, which already includes the S60 sedan, V60 wagon and XC60 SUV.
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