The Volvo V60 Cross Country is a station wagon for people who want to be able to drive places where SUVs go, but don’t want the extra body height. [credit:
Jonathan Gitlin ]
The station wagon was once the most on-trend form factor for family vehicles, yet by the middle of the 1980s the venerable wagon had become an embarrassing mom-mobile. Instead, everyone wanted the new hotness called a minivan, which not only looked a bit like that new hand-held vacuum cleaner that everyone just bought, but also offered greater utility for the parent-driver. Eventually the minivan was also painted with the uncool mom aura, and the market moved to SUVs.
Now, some 40 years after its zenith, time has almost run out on the station wagon. A handful of OEMs still pander to the wagoncurious, though, notably those stylish Swedes at Volvo. The company’s two most handsome products right now are arguably the V90 and V60 wagons, which both somehow fuse a hint of muscle car to traditional two-box shape. But those aren’t the only station wagons on the brand’s roster, because there are the Cross Country models. The idea takes the station wagon, then adds a couple of inches of ride height, giving it the ability to better traverse unpaved roads—cross country, you see?
I tested the V90 Cross Country three years ago, and today it’s the turn of the V60 Cross Country. Specifically, the $45,450 V60 Cross Country T5 AWD. You can distinguish it from the regular V60 by the fact that the Cross Country rides a couple of inches higher up, and it is adorned with raw plastic bumpers around its bottom edges, the better to cope with spending time on gravel. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but this eye beholds that those two little tweaks do the looks of this midsize wagon no favors.