There’s no denying the fact that car buyers around the world are currently madly in love with crossovers, SUVs, or anything that rides an inch or two higher than the rest of traffic. However, when Volvo announced the arrival of the S60 Cross Country, it raised a great many eyebrows. That’s because it’s not a crossover, neither is it a SUV, but a luxury sedan on stilts.
If you think about it, it won’t take you long to realize that it’s a very clever and quite cool looking car. In a country like ours, where roads range from being silky smooth to bone-jarringly rough, the Volvo S60 Cross Country makes even more sense. In comparison to the regular sedan, the Cross Country gets a beefed-up suspension setup, plastic cladding all around the bodywork, blacked-out mirror casings, and grey wheel arches that house those tasty looking 18-inch alloy wheels. The end result is a 65mm increase in ride-height, which translates to an SUV shamming ground clearance of 201mm.
For the Indian market, Volvo has been generous enough to offer the car with a 2.4-litre, in-line 5-cylinder diesel engine that churns 187bhp and 420Nm of peak torque, paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox. Best of all, it comes with AWD. So, if you fancy, you can even go mild off-roading with your sedan!
On tarmac, the S60 Cross Country really moves – acceleration is brisk and, despite being a diesel motor, the engine revs surprisingly smoothly and sounds quite throaty when you give it the beans. In normal driving, the ride feels a bit harsh owing to its low profile tyres. Handling? From inside, it’s very hard to tell if this is a high-riding car – the driving experience is almost identical to the sedan. Even at the track, we were impressed by the dynamic abilities of the S60 Cross Country. The only real grouse was the gearbox, which struggles to keep up and doesn’t allow quick downshifts in manual mode.
Another complaint that we have with the S60 Cross Country is its cabin. While the interior oozes quality and the seats are supremely comfortable, overall, the design and layout feels a bit dated. Having said that, the S60 Cross Country is really well equipped. So, if you think about it, it’s actually perfect for our conditions. Our advice would be this, forget the allure of that high-riding SUV and get the best of both worlds with the S60 Cross Country – the ability to cover any terrain with the ride-and-handling of a sedan.