Say hello to the Volvo S60 Cross Country, India’s first scrape-free sedan. And unlike the normal just-for-show crossovers, this one’s actually got some go to match the show.
It’s all about the ground clearance, baby.
Ground clearance at 201 mm, greater than luxury crossovers
Ground clearance now stands at a massive 201 mm, which is higher than even the entry level premium SUVs’ (the BMW X1 has 193 mm and the Mercedes GLA has 183 mm). The best part is that it doesn’t feel all that high until you turn up at a signal and look out of the window.
Up front, what differentiates this one from the normal S60 is the honeycomb grill and the front skid plate which I find really good looking.
18” diamond cut alloys are standard. 19” alloys are an optional extra.
At the back there’s only a skid plate and a plastic cladding which has the letters ‘Cross Country’ engraved in it differentiating it from the normal S60.
How does it drive…
2.4 liter turbocharged diesel engine = 190 Bhp & 420 Nm
The engine on offer is the 2.4 liter D4 unit which has been de-tuned to make 190 Bhp and 420 Nm. Start her up and some amount of vibrations do creep into the cabin at idle. Once on the move the engine feels refined and punchy. The 6 speed automatic gearbox does a good job to keep the car in the powerband.
Shifts are quick. In sports mode or manual mode, shifts hold till 5k rpm. And you have paddle shifters to make the manual mode fun. Overall it may not be as quick as a BMW 3 Series, but it certainly doesn’t feel slow when on the move.
Ride & Handling
This one’s got AWD
The high ground clearance has added a hint of body roll to the car. The steering isn’t very direct and precise. Yes it has the weight to inspire confidence while driving at higher speeds, but the car isn’t exactly agile. At lower speeds, the steering is on the heavier side, but that helps as speeds build up.
The fact that the car has AWD makes the car more sure footed and gives confidence. The suspension is a tad bit firm but maintains its composure over the rough stuff. Low speed ride is on the harder side but as speeds increase, it adapts to give it a softer edge.
The inside story
Floating dashboard, hard plastics & comfortable seats
The center console has single air-vent and is cluttered with too many buttons. For first time users, it can be pretty confusing. The 7″ screen acts as the display for all the functions and can also double up as a screen for the DVD player.
The dashboard, being a Volvo, has a floating console with a storage space behind it.
You may ifnd the plastics a little hard, which adds to the rugged feel of the Cross Country. However this may not appeal to all
It can tell you what mileage you are getting per km, which is pretty interesting
What we liked is digital instrument cluster binnacle. It can be customized to 3 different modes
Both front seats get electrical adjustment and lumbar support; however only the driver’s side gets memory function. The seats are very comfortable and feel almost sofa like. Space at the both the front and rear is adequate
The rear gets only B pillar mounted AC vents
The spare wheel placed on top of the boot floor isn’t exactly space saving here. The saving grace though is that the rear seats are split (60:40) folding.
What we love
- The high ground clearance
- The AWD on offer
- Price- At Rs 38.90 lakhs, it is cheaper than most sedans in its class
- The best key-less go system we’ve ever seen on a luxury sedan
- Adaptive head lamps
- Steering feels very good to hold
What we don’t
- Interiors feel dated
- Overall visibility not-so-great (thick B & C pillars)
- Brakes don’t inspire confidence
Should you buy one?
In one word, yes. A car like this makes complete sense given our road conditions. It feels like a sedan, drives like one and when the going gets tough, it doesn’t make you turn around to get your SUV.