2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country Review and Test Drive

Sweden's take on the Subaru Outback.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country in silverChristian Wardlaw


Subaru successfully transforms the Legacy station wagon into the Outback crossover by installing standard all-wheel drive (AWD), lifting the suspension, adding body cladding, and bolting on a big roof rack. Since 1996, this recipe has proven popular. For Subaru.

Other automakers have attempted to follow the Outback template. No other has matched the Subie's success. But Volvo has kept at it for nearly as long, starting with the 1998 V70 XC, or Cross Country. Today, the 2024 V60 Cross Country and larger V90 Cross Country models are its descendants, each based on a Volvo station wagon and cooked up using something similar to Subaru's tried and true recipe.

Volvo redesigned the V60 Cross Country in 2020. Last year, it got an electrified powertrain with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and a new infotainment system equipped with Google built-in and over-the-air software update capability. To celebrate, Volvo also freshened up the wagon's styling. As of publication, the 2024 V60 Cross Country has received no announced changes.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country in silverChristian Wardlaw

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country Prices Are Reasonable

The 2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country comes in Plus and Ultimate trim levels. Base prices range from the low $50,000s to the mid-$50,000s, including the destination charge to ship the car from the Torslanda, Sweden, factory that builds it to your local dealership.

For this V60 Cross Country review, I test-drove the Ultimate trim in Southern California. Highlights from the optional equipment list included the Climate package, a Bowers & Wilkins high-end audio system, and a luggage cover, and the manufacturer's suggested retail price of the test vehicle came to $60,425, including the $1,095 destination charge. Volvo provided the vehicle for this V60 Cross Country review.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country front interior and steering wheelChristian Wardlaw

Simple, Tasteful, Timeless Scandinavian Design

With 19-inch alloy wheels, subtle gray lower perimeter body cladding, and a mere hint of a rear skid plate, the V60 Cross Country Ultimate looks more rugged than a typical wagon but in the understated manner that defines current Volvos.

Open the driver's door, and a richly tailored interior adhering to a Scandinavian design ethos beckons. Ultimate trim includes premium nappa leather upholstery, artificial leather for the dashboard and steering wheel, exclusive driftwood trim, piano-black accents, and a classy Orrefors crystal shift knob.

All materials exude quality, and evidence of attention to detail includes metal tread plates and carpet-covered sides on the center console. The test car's metal speaker grilles and signature round Bowers & Wilkins speaker nestled into the top of the dashboard added to the upscale ambiance.

The control layout is simple, to the point where the controls on the steering wheel might leave you guessing what they do. The system is set up so that the 9.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system is used to access most features and settings; fortunately, it is user friendly. A stereo volume knob and radio tuning buttons make it easy to adjust the music, and drivers will likely appreciate the quick access to the defrosters.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country back seatChristian Wardlaw

With a Volvo, Comfort Is King

In my experience, Volvo builds comfortable cars and SUVs, and the V60 Cross Country is no exception. The supple leather, the comfy cushions, and the supportive bolstering make this wagon a great long-distance driver. Heated front seats are standard, and the Ultimate option package adds ventilation to them. The Climate package installs a heated steering wheel and heated rear seats.

A standard panoramic glass sunroof bathes the cabin in natural light. Volvo equips the V60 Cross Country Plus trim with a dual-zone automatic climate control system, PM 2.5 air purification, and rear air-conditioning vents. Ultimate trim adds a four-zone setup with controls for the rear passengers.

Though the V60 is the smaller of the two Cross Country models in the Volvo stable, I found its back seat to be just roomy enough to accommodate adults.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country cargo areaChristian Wardlaw

Impressive Utility, Including Roof-Rack Accessibility

Storage space in the door panels and the glove compartment is generous, but otherwise, you'll probably deem the trays, bins, and cupholders just adequate. Open the hands-free power liftgate, and the V60 Cross Country provides 22.5 cubic-feet of cargo space decorated with helpful hooks, nets, and more.

A pass-through into the passenger compartment allows you to carry longer items and rear passengers simultaneously. Fold the back seat down, and the wagon can swallow up to 60.5 cu-ft of whatever you need to haul.

If you need more space, consider the roof. You'll need the accessory attachment crossbars and a carrier, and though the Cross Country sits higher off the ground than a typical car, it has a low roof, making it easy to strap things down up top.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country infotainment screenChristian Wardlaw

Google Built-in Infotainment System Review

Though it uses the same 9.0-inch touchscreen design as the V60 Cross Country's previous infotainment system, the new Google built-in technology is a significant improvement.

The home screen features four tiles providing quick access to navigation, media, phone, and other functions. Swipe left for apps and swipe right for vehicle features and settings. At the bottom of the screen, you'll find the climate control access menu. Push the button at the bottom of the display from any location to return to the home screen.

Google built-in equips the car with Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play Store. These features include a complimentary four-year subscription. In addition, the infotainment system includes Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and SiriusXM satellite radio.

During testing, the Google Assistant voice recognition system worked almost flawlessly. While listening to satellite radio, I said I wanted to hear some reggae music, and the assistant asked me to choose between Spotify, YouTube, and iHeart Radio instead of switching to a reggae channel on SiriusXM.

Three speaker systems are available: a 10-speaker standard setup, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon component set, and a Bowers & Wilkins audio system with 15 speakers and 1,410 watts of power. The B&W upgrade costs thousands of dollars, but you might find it worth the expense if you're an audiophile.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country infotainment screen with rear camera viewChristian Wardlaw

The Volvo V60 Cross Country Needs Better Cameras

In addition to the infotainment system, the V60 Cross Country has a 12.0-inch digital instrumentation panel that can show the navigation map or the trip computer in the center of the display. Ultimate trim adds a small and simple head-up display.

Front, rear, and side parking sensors are standard, along with a surround-view camera system and a low-speed automatic braking system. I did not find these features consistently helpful.

For example, the first time I tried backing out of my angled driveway with my wife and two teenage children aboard, the V60 Cross Country came to a sudden and violent stop — and I wasn't going fast in the first place. The automatic low-speed braking system thought I would collide with the street. In this instance, the auto-braking system was aggravating.

Later, while parallel parking in front of my kids' high school after dark, the same thing happened in front of a gaggle of teenagers. The reversing camera dimly showed a Honda Odyssey behind me, but because the camera image distorted the surroundings, the Honda was closer than it looked on the screen. The technology sensed it and instantly braked the Cross Country. In this instance, the auto-braking system was helpful.

In darkness, on more than one occasion, the reversing camera did not acclimate to the low-light conditions, rendering it useless. Also, the test car's camera display defaulted to reverse view in reverse gear, and it needs to be more apparent how to access the top-down, 360-degree view. Not that it's as helpful as it could be; the distortion of the car's surroundings is disorienting.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country safety features on infotainment screenChristian Wardlaw

Pilot Assist Puts the Emphasis on Assist

Volvo equips the V60 Cross Country with the advanced driving-assistance systems (ADAS) you expect to find on a luxury car. The list includes a feature that attempts to prevent collisions with oncoming traffic on the other side of the double yellow line.

Volvo's Pilot Assist is also standard, combining adaptive cruise control with lane-centering assist for hands-on, semi-autonomous driving assistance.

Pilot Assist struggles to navigate bends in the road smoothly, and the adaptive cruise control system strictly maintains safe following distances. Both traits make Pilot Assist activity obvious and intrusive instead of subtle and supportive. Too frequently, a driver must override the steering assist, and the uneven braking in moderately heavy and changing traffic is irritating. After swapping lanes to pass slower traffic, Pilot Assist is slow to react to a clear lane and accelerate back up to the set speed.

Volvo needs to provide improved ADAS status graphics, too. The 12.0-inch instrument display would be perfect for that purpose, but the automaker doesn't employ it. Instead, you get small, pale-orange iconography that could not get my attention. Sometimes, the test car's steering assist would turn off, and if not for the Ultimate test car's head-up display, I suspect I would have had no idea.

The Cross Country earns favorable crash-test ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, earning a five-star rollover resistance rating, which, in my experience, is unusual for a vehicle with this much ground clearance. Unfortunately, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't subjected the 2024 version of the car to its latest testing regimen.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country engine under open hoodChristian Wardlaw

Turbocharged and Electrified

Every V60 Cross Country has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology. It makes 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, transferred to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo says the car can tow up to 2,000 pounds.

The Cross Country supplies 8.1 inches of ground clearance, according to Volvo. An Off-Road driving mode, hill-start assist, and hill-descent control help when traveling on rough terrain.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country in silverChristian Wardlaw

Driving Dynamics Are a Mixed Bag

Volvo claims the V60 Cross Country accelerates to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, which seems optimistic. This car isn't quick, and the response is disappointing if you stomp down on the accelerator. It's better to step gently on the pedal, get the wagon moving, and then push harder as you ride the wave of low-end torque. That's also a good way to avoid unbecoming shifts from the transmission.

The Cross Country's underlying vehicle platform is getting old, and it can feel that way when driving over speed humps and sharper bumps. Riding over speed humps causes structural vibrations that can shake the cabin, while more severe bumps can make the car feel brittle and delicate. In the city, the ride feels appropriately firm.

The brake pedal can be hard to modulate in traffic, resulting in uneven braking. However, the highway ride is excellent, and the Cross Country proved surprisingly quiet at speed.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country in silverChristian Wardlaw

Take the V60 Cross Country canyon carving, and you'll find the sticky brake pedal, slow and numb steering, soft suspension, and squishy tires unfit for play. If that's what you seek, get the V60 Recharge wagon.

Unsurprisingly, light off-roading is the Cross Country's forte. Brief drives in the California dirt confirmed what I learned during the car's media introduction in Canada several years ago: This is a Swedish Subaru Outback, not a sports wagon.

According to the EPA, the V60 Cross Country should get 24/31/27 mpg in city/highway/combined driving. I averaged an unimpressive 23.7 mpg on the evaluation loop.

2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country in silver side viewChristian Wardlaw

A Flawed but Appealing Wagon

As a daily driver, the 2024 Volvo V60 Cross Country impresses, especially if you live where inclement weather is more a rule than an exception. It looks terrific inside and out, is comfortable and practical, has an intuitive infotainment system, and is safe.

However, the driving dynamics have a coarse undercurrent, and the ADAS displays a surprising lack of driving-assistance sophistication. From the surround-view camera to Pilot Assist performance, the V60 Cross Country aggravates as much as it helps a driver.

Nevertheless, despite its flaws, I like the 2024 V60 Cross Country. Wagons are a rarity, especially attractive ones. But if this Volvo doesn't appeal to you, perhaps its direct rival, the Audi A4 Allroad, might.

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Christian Wardlaw
My first word was “car.” That’s what I’m told, anyway. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with them. The design. The engineering. The performance. And the purpose. I’m a car enthusiast who loves to drive, but I’m also most interested in the cars, trucks, and SUVs that people actually buy. Anybody can tell you that a sports car is fast. What you need to know is whether or not you should buy that new SUV, and why. My life purpose is to help you make that decision.