Verdict: The 2020 V60 Cross Nation’s added trip top not solely expands its off-road functionality, it improves its on-road manners to make the wagon really feel extra luxurious.
Versus the competitors: Outdoors the Audi A4 Allroad, there aren’t any direct rivals. Of the 2, I want the Volvo’s in-cabin expertise, supplies and responsive powertrain.
Associated: Has the 2020 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Fastened What Plagued Different Polestars?
For many who don’t need an SUV however would nonetheless like some off-road functionality and cargo room, choices are restricted to the handful of raised wagons within the U.S. market. However the excellent news is that the newest of them, the redesigned 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Nation, is kind of good and an enchancment upon the common V60 wagon on which it’s based mostly.
The V60 Cross Nation’s supposed function is to imbue the V60 with extra off-road functionality. That’s why in case you see the Cross Nation in an commercial, it’ll in all probability be out within the woods or snow, cavorting in nature. That’s additionally why our first drive of the V60 Cross Nation didn’t embrace any on-road driving: I drove it up a mountain as an alternative.
My expertise driving the V60 Cross Nation in that setting left me anxious to learn how it performs in a extra standard setting. One among our chief complaints in regards to the V60 (and S60 sedan) has been trip high quality; in his overview of the V60, editor Kelsey Mays wrote, “The chassis feels busy over all however the smoothest roads, with noticeable reverberation.” I had a sense the V60 Cross Nation may need solved these issues — in a roundabout manner.
The Cross Nation’s large differentiators from the usual V60 are added floor clearance and a softer suspension. It sits 2.5 inches increased, bumping floor clearance as much as 8.Three inches — loads for a gravel highway. Don’t confuse this raised wagon with a real off-road car; it received’t do a lot rock crawling or conquer tougher trails, however for gravel or different gentle off-roading, it’s fairly competent. (And a extra aggressive set of tires than the usual all-seasons would do wonders in that division.)
What you’ll discover extra on the highway and in day-to-day use is the Cross Nation’s softer suspension. This echoes the impact we’ve seen in different off-road-oriented autos, just like the Toyota 4Runner TRD Professional and Ford F-150 Raptor. These autos have extra strong suspension setups than the V60 Cross Nation, however the finish result’s related: The byproduct of a softened, secure off-road setup is a composed trip on the road.
That’s how the Cross Nation remedy transforms the wagon’s on-road character. As a substitute of jostling you round, the suspension smooths out the imperfections you’ll meet on the pavement, leading to a comfortably using car that’s extra appropriate for day-to-day driving. Truthfully, it’s what the common V60 trip ought to have been like within the first place, as that automotive’s tautness doesn’t actually repay dynamically. The Cross Nation’s steering really feel is a bit gentle and the automotive doesn’t flip in rapidly sufficient to be a lot enjoyable on curvy roads, however it’s competent.
The V60 Cross Nation has just one powertrain, with normal all-wheel drive and Volvo’s T5 engine (a 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 258 pounds-feet of torque) mated to an eight-speed automated transmission. The common V60 is obtainable with extra highly effective T6 and T8 powertrains, however after testing the V60 Cross Nation, I didn’t really feel that extra energy was wanted, both on-road or off (see, as soon as extra, the half the place I drove it up a mountain). The engine and transmission are responsive and well-suited to the dimensions of the automotive, with loads of acceleration for day-to-day driving, they usually’re controllable sufficient to supply some dexterity off-road.
Gasoline financial system does drop off a bit in contrast with the usual V60, which comes with the identical powertrain however is front-wheel drive, making it a bit extra environment friendly. (Solely the V60 T8 Polestar Engineered plug-in hybrid gives all-wheel drive and a distinct powertrain.) The V60 Cross Nation is rated 22/31/25 mpg metropolis/freeway/mixed — 2 mpg lower than the V60’s mixed mpg determine.
The inside will probably be acquainted to anybody who’s been in a redesigned Volvo over the previous few years, however on this case, familiarity doesn’t breed the slightest little bit of contempt. The minimalist design and excellent supplies nonetheless look fashionable and opulent — and for the lifetime of me, I can’t work out how these entrance seats are so skinny but really feel so substantial while you sit in them.
The usual 9-inch touchscreen show is oriented vertically, and after Volvo up to date the processing energy for the system for 2019 fashions, it’s a lot snappier and boots up quicker when the automotive is turned on. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay each come normal, although each make the most of solely about half the display screen when in use (a standard drawback with these vertical screens). It feels a bit small while you’re utilizing it and I’d want it take up the highest half of the display screen as an alternative of the underside, as that might make it simpler to make use of whereas driving. When the system debuted, it felt futuristic; now it feels much like what you get in different luxurious makes. Volvo’s new Android-based multimedia system received’t arrive for a short time longer. A 12.3-inch instrument panel show is newly normal for 2020 (because it now could be on all 2020 Volvos), however for a digital show, it lacks the customization choices of many different automakers (Audi’s Digital Cockpit being the prime instance).
Cargo quantity behind the rear seats is 23.2 cubic toes, increasing to 50.9 cubic toes with the seats folded. The squared-off form of the V60 Cross Nation’s rear makes the cargo space extra of a rectangle, which makes the area extra helpful than autos with sloped rear home windows. Volvo additionally does a terrific job of incorporating small options to make the cargo area extra helpful: A divider can fold up from the ground, and there are numerous hooks and straps across the sides which are glorious for protecting grocery luggage from sliding round and falling over.
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Worth and Conclusion
The V60 Cross Nation begins at $46,095 (together with a $995 vacation spot cost), a markup of $5,450 over a V60 with the identical engine. That looks like an enormous distinction at first look, however as I dug in, my emotions began to shift. The Cross Nation has extra gear than the V60’s base Momentum trim, together with blind spot screens, entrance and rear park help, and a hill descent management system. Don’t overlook in regards to the all-wheel drive and added trip top, both.
It’s onerous to talk on the worth proposition of a luxurious car in a vacuum, however the Cross Nation very a lot holds its personal towards the usual V60. My take a look at car got here with a superb quantity of choices, pushing the value tag as much as $56,990. A equally outfitted V60 Momentum involves $51,980. The Cross Nation I examined got here with a $4,000 stereo that isn’t out there on the Momentum, accounting for a lot of the distinction.
The 2020 V60 Cross Nation made me swoon — onerous. The modifications made within the identify of off-road capacity additionally mounted the V60’s greatest drawback. It’s a neatly designed, fashionable and succesful wagon that matches each cargo and passengers with out being too large to drive round in a metropolis. You’ll be able to maintain your SUVs — I don’t want them anymore.
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