The term “station wagon” has been relegated to history’s dust bin as the market share for crossovers and sport-utility vehicles continues to expand.
As minivans and utility vehicles began replacing station wagons as the primary family vehicle back in the 1980s, station wagons went into an irreversible slide, and carmakers, apart from a few European manufacturers, lost interest in developing fresh designs.
One of the exceptions was the Sweden’s Volvo, which has continued to build and refine the station wagon to the present day so the Volvo V60 is one of the last station wagons available for a dwindling band of diehard fans.
The V60 comes with a full array of neatly integrated driving assistance features, ample connectivity, comfortable seating spaces as well as all-wheel drive and a small but powerful engine, which gives the car impressive driving characteristics.
Stations wagons are not as tall as utility vehicles so visually they are not as tall as an SUV — V60 is 10 inches shorter than the Volvo XC 90 — but they are sleeker and sportier than a conventional SUV or crossover vehicle.
To accentuate the V60s visual appeal, Volvo’s stylists emphasize the long hood with creases in the sheet metal, a laid-back windshield, and a sloping roof, which blends into the rear liftgate to complete the exterior design. The front fascia carries the familiar Volvo trust mark insignia, and carefully designed light fixture and the appearance is amplified on the V60 Cross Country by the roof rails and bold, 20-inch wheels.
On the inside, the V60 has the familiar look Volvo has used in the cabins of its vehicles in recent years. There is the neatly stitched instrument panel, a 9-inch touch screen in the center stack framed by the piano black fitting, bright work and light wood inlays.
There also comfortable ventilated Nappa leather seats and four-zone climate controls for driver and passenger. The interior of the vehicle is very quiet, helping to enhance the music from the Bower and Wilkins multi-speaker entertainment systems. The advance safety and connectivity technology also is nicely integrated into the cabin.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country B5 AWD is built with a 2.0-liter engine with turbocharging and direct injection, coupled with an 8-speed automatic transmission with start-stop. It also comes with AWD with instant traction.
The V60 also is equipped with a mild-hybrid system with the capacity to be recharged by the regenerative braking system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has given the 2023 V60 a combined fuel economy rating of 26 mpg, including 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
Volvo has a well-guarded reputation for building safe vehicles and the V60 Cross Country comes with a full array of safety features including multiple airbags, low-and high-speed collision mitigation, mitigation braking. It also boasts a blind-spot detection system with steering assistance, cyclist and pedestrian detection and rear cross-traffic alert.
It also has rear-backup camera with a surround view feature, LED headlights and fog lights as well as adaptive cruise control. The V60 comes with built-in Google Maps, Bluetooth, satellite radio and the capacity for over-the-air updates as well as a head-up display.
The combination of a long-wheel base, more aerodynamic shape and all-wheel-drive give the V60 more stability. The driving dynamics of the V60 also benefit from double-wishbone front and integrated rear-link suspension and advanced electronic stability control amplified by the 48-volt battery.
The electric power steering is crisp and responsive, and the brakes have plenty of stopping power. The 247 horsepower is more than enough power as the V60 seems to drive like a car with a larger heavier engine than the four cylinders tucked away in the engine compartment. I thought it delivered an impressive ride during the week I drove it.
2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country B5 AWD Specifications
|Dimensions||L: 188.5 inches/W: 75.4 inches/H: 59.2 inches/Wheelbase: 113.2 inches|
|Powertrain||2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, 8-speed automatic transmission and AWD|
|Fuel Economy||23 mpg city/27 mpg highway/26 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||247 horsepower and 256 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $48,800; As tested: $63,585 including $1,095 destination charge|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
All things considered, the V60 is stylish, practical and well-equipped, offering a singular alternative to SUVs and crossover vehicles dominating the showrooms across the country. But Volvo is positioned as a luxury brand, and it is pricey and may not fit every family budget even if it capable of carrying seven passengers in a pinch. The price tag on the V60 I drove for a week was $64,000.
2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country B5 AWD – Frequently Asked Questions
What are the changes for the Volvo V60 Cross Country in 2023?
The V60 and V60 Cross Country station wagons both receive a light styling refresh for 2023 that includes new wheels and reworked front and rear bumpers.
What is the difference between a Volvo V60 and a Volvo V60 Cross Country?
The V60 Cross Country is designed to give you a little extra ability when you head off road. That comes thanks to it being 60mm higher than the standard Volvo V60 with a slightly more rugged exterior look, four-wheel drive and hill-descent control.
What is the difference between B5 and B6 Volvo?
These engines are identical, but the B6 has a little more displacement, resulting in more power. The B5 has 247 hp, and the B6 has 295 hp.