No, Volvo hasn’t been acquired by Elon Musk who plans to take you into space. It’s still sticking to making comfortable and safe cars. And Volvo has definitely been observing the kind of roads we drive on and it thinks it may have a solution. Again, it’s not getting into building roads. In this age of crossovers, compact SUVs, urban SUVs and whatnots, the Swedes applied their rational minds to the S60 and came up with what could become a new segment in India — one which doesn’t even have a name yet, but we’ll call it the Sport Utility Sedan.
As the name should explain, this is your regular sedan which could do things an SUV is expected to — go off road, have good ground clearance, have all-wheel drive and, going by the modern luxury SUV standards, do it in comfort and luxury. Volvo’s giving you all that in the S60 Cross Country. Before we congratulate it for being sensitive to Indian road conditions, here is a fun fact. Out of 580,000 km of roads in Sweden, only 30 per cent are paved. Yeah, that explains those perfectly executed Scandinavian flicks and the need for a higher sedan. Cue the Cross Country range, which started with the V70 Cross Country.
In essence, the S60 Cross Country is the regular S60 (which all of us at Motoring World really like) with an increased ground clearance. Not just a little bit but an impressive 201-mm, with the plus-sized 235/50 tyres adding to the ride height as well. Since this is the USP of the S60 Cross Country (and because you have read about the regular S60 in our previous issues), we took this one to a proper off-road track. A track which has SUVs and ATVs as regular visitors every weekend. Not the type of place you take well-mannered sedans to, right?
The S60 Cross Country answered that question with capabilities that did surprise. Narrow track, ruts, steep inclines and declines — everything the track threw at the S60 Cross Country was dealt with while being comfortably seated in a luxurious cabin. The motor in the S60 Cross Country is a 2.4-litre five-cylinder diesel but it has been robbed of a little power and makes 187 bhp and 42 kgm (as against 212 bhp and 44 kgm in the regular S60). On the road, you hardly notice the difference, but off the road the grunts from the engine are audible.
On the outside, there are subtle design cues like a model-specific grille with honeycomb inserts, black cladding over the wheel arches, scuff plates, 18-inch wheels and, of course, the Cross Country badging on the rear bumper. On the inside, it is much the same as the regular S60 except for a really cool compass integrated into the rear-view mirror.
When it comes to the S60 Cross Country, I guess the question really is — do we need a car like this when there are so many SUVs on offer, including Volvo’s own XC60 which does pretty much the same things as the S60 Cross Country? Honestly, if you are one of the 1 per cent of luxury SUV owners who actually go off-road, then I doubt you’d pick the S60 Cross Country. However, if you are one of the majority who gets their off roading thrills daily by going over potholes and speed breakers in our cities, then the S60 Cross Country is a very practical option. The S60 Cross Country has the ride height of an SUV and the driving position, comfort and luxury of a car. Best of both worlds, indeed.
Volvo S60 Cross Country
Displacement: 2400cc, 5-cylinder, turbodiesel
Max power: 187 bhp@4000 rpm
Max torque: 42 kgm@1500-3000 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto
(F/R): 316/302mm discs
L/W/H (mm): 4638/1899/1539
Ground clearance: 201mm
Kerb weight: 2230 kg
Fuel Tank: 67.5 litres
(F/R): 235/50 R18
PRICE: Rs 38.9 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)