SEATTLE — Even though consumers are gravitating towards SUVs in ever-increasing numbers, there are some great reasons to consider a wagon. They drive more like a sedan and offer much of the same cargo area as their larger counterparts. Models like the Subaru Outback stepped up the ante with more ground clearance. Thanks to Volvo’s 2020 V60 T5 Cross Country, you can own a great station wagon with a lot of refinement.
Volvo powers the V60 with a turbocharged 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine. It develops a healthy 250 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque that kicks in at only 1,500 rpm. Power delivery to all four wheels comes by way of an 8-speed “Geartronic” transmission.
In terms of economy, the EPA rates this car at 22 miles per gallon around down and up to 31 miles per gallon on the highway. Not record-breaking but competitive in its segment. Even though its towing capacity isn’t as great as larger vehicles, it still comes in at a respectable 1,650 pounds and has a curb weight of 4,202 pounds.
On the outside:
We really love the current design language of the latest from Volvo and this great-looking V60 is no exception. It does a brilliant job of bringing together some masculine lines and refinement in a very modern approach. Cargo area is 23.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 50.9 with the seats down. More than ample for those family excursion trips to Costco.
On the inside:
There’s something absolutely great about Volvo’s interiors. They make you feel comfortable yet have a great deal of refinement as well. While the starting knob of the car is a tad funky, the overall elegance of everything is on-point. Not many vehicles use vertical vents but Volvo’s current design team pulled it off and they blend in very well. Additionally, it matches the large touch screen that is also taller than it is wide.
Very few cars we’ve been in have more comfortable seats than what we find in the V60. They provide the driver and front passenger full lumbar support. Additionally, it is one of the few cars out there to offer a pull-out section that supports the underside of your legs, closer to one’s knees. The front seats also provide heated surfaces or vented.
The Bowers and Wilkens audio system easily provides some of the better audio reproduction in any new vehicle. A bit more bass response would be welcomed, however, the silky-smooth mids, highs, and soundstage are phenomenal. You’ll find that using the infotainment system is rather intuitive as it uses menus you swipe around with, similar to a cell phone.
Driver assists include parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot indicators, lane-keeping assist, and front-collision avoidance braking system.
On the road, the V60 performs as if it doesn’t know it only has four cylinders. In a rather convincing way, the V60 puts down the power very well. Its full-time all-wheel-drive system continually monitors road conditions and sends power to the appropriate wheels.
As you start to take the V60 around corners, you’ll see why there are so many folks who still prefer a wagon over an SUV. It has a flatter cornering response in that there’s less body roll. It’s very sedan-like.
It’d be hard to fault the V60 T5 Cross Country as it does nearly everything it sets out to do, very well. With a starting price of $45,100, it’s very competitive to many of the mid-sized SUVs in the market place.
Kudos to Volvo for a stellar execution of a wagon that still evokes excitement to drive, has excellent creature comforts with a very civilized aesthetic.