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All-wheel drive crossovers haul people and cargo over tough terrain with ease. So does the 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country but it adds a lower center of gravity for better handling when the roads are clear and twisty. Tom Voelk travels to Luleå Sweden near the Arctic Circle to test this low-profile crossover (okay, it’s a wagon) in its natural habitat in -7 degree conditions with fellow writer Jason Golson. And don’t forget about fika…
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Tom Voelk is an award-winning automotive contributor to The New York Times. His podcast was the first to win an Emmy Award. He also married way out of his league. Now, stop reading this promotional copy bragging about Tom's photography and editing skills and watch a couple episodes. It's much more interesting.
there is a stark beauty in northern Sweden this is the city of Lully Oh home to 75,000 hearty souls and because of abundant hydroelectric power and nature's potent cooling system and internet data server the size of 11 football fields Volvo has brought automotive riders here to show off the 2020 v60 cross country in its natural.
Habitat the cars are made 800 miles down the road in tour Salon de Sweden where it has to be warmer clearly Volvo rules here and wagons are a very popular choice those Swedes are as smart as they are resilient so we're this far from the Arctic Circle it's about seven degrees below zero and I'm fairly jet-lagged but I'm here because I really believe in this body style I've got about three.
Hours of daylight to shoot this it may not be pretty the car is though Volvo starts with the v60 wagon and applies the cross-country cues adding some cladding and raising it one point three inches for an eight point three inch ground clearance it's like crossing Subarus outback with a classic Scandinavian furniture store the result is a sleek low sport u2 with a.
Roof height that's easier to load gear on to know who ladder needed a lower center of gravity means better handling we start in a toasty warm briefing room so where we're told not to drive into snow banks fair enough then it's off to the cars parked across the street under the Lou Leo library no no no we are not doing the Costco test don't have time and I'm pretty sure they don't even know.
What costo is I could use I don't know IKEA lack tables but my gear bags are handy room is a little less than a midsize crossover at 60 and a half cubic feet because of the lower roof line but sports gear loads up well this is the last of the warm as we head out to a test track if nothing else we've seen a Swedish parking garage my drive partner is.
Jordan Golson a tech and transportation writer you may have read him in Wired and the Virg it's 11 Celsius in the garage right now it's 10 degrees below zero Fahrenheit reviewing the cross country in the garage sounds like an excellent idea instead Volvo leads us through Lou Leo to the Gulf of Bothnia and not buy it on it to show off the all-wheel-drive.
System on a set of sheer ice courses experts claim to have tested the thickness of the frozen salt water and it's over a meter thick so we're good right right there are two power transfer us to drive conveniently color-coded I'm skipping the red t8 plug-in hybrid version because at least initially it's not coming to the US and time's a-wasting t5 badging on the back means a.
Turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder delivering 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque all cross-country is run with a BorgWarner all-wheel drive system the transmission is a smooth shifting 8-speed with manual control here the selector has a great mechanical feel there are no paddle shifters this car doesn't need them time to hurry need.
Them out to go pros quickly check check check check check check check check check gotta do these sort of things we're only getting one shot at this time is of the essence Jordan fresh off a winter driving course takes the wheel first these cars are outfitted with winter tires that make a big difference for the.
First few laps were directed to keep the electronic stability control on how she's healed yeah I felt a little something that time I gave it a little extra but some new tech Volvo has a car to car system that tells other Volvo's nearby that the stability control system and anti-lock brakes are working overtime to keep the car from sliding out of control this is.
A pilot program in Norway and Sweden only it's holding we should have been on the side way yeah the combination of tires electronics and Jason's skill do a good job of keeping the cross country going well cross country instead of into the snowbanks somebody couldn't make their turn slow is smooth smooth is fast and all that we're then instructed to turn the.
Electronics off though they never fully disengaged well too much but we can do this you got there are issues with gear when the temperatures dip below zero GoPro mounts don't stick all that well Jordan seems impressed by the driving dynamics time for me to discover for myself I will say it is very control for as bad as I'm driving as much better yeah get.
My old Minnesota habits back and I'd show you what happens next but a dead battery let's just say it wasn't graceful but I stayed on with the snow banks we also did maneuvers to simulate the moose test this is 70 km/h through here not bad in other words dodging a moose and I have to say the performance inspired confidence of course the Volvo team has designed the course to show off.
The capability of this vehicle but it gives us a good idea of how the v6 D handles bad conditions slipping off the road into deep snow in these temperatures can mean the difference between living and dying seriously since many of these will never see snow or even a dirt road for that matter let's check out the interior it's a nicely crafted space that feels very Swedish.
Really I'm here in the country I can vouch for that the multistage heated wheel is a godsend today volvo seats are among the best in the business they'll soothe and support the most discerning Vikings he did invented too but most important right now heated kind of felt I had to play ABBA on the Bowers & Wilkins sound system it sounded great.
Even though I don't like ABBA there are the usual storage areas nothing all that roomy it's getting cold my camera won't focus it's not operator error okay backseat time I'm more than happy to spend lots of time telling you about this space because it's nice and warm back here a space is okay foot room might be a little bit tight and the drive shaft tunnel is on the big side.
But for the most part you got everything back here including whoo heated seats which is really really nice here the back is optimized for two passengers there's places for them to put hats scarves and gloves and there's this which opens to a ski pass-through if you want to haul people and keep your rosin dolls safe in the car just like an SUV really and this big glass roof is just.
Terrific I'll just admire it for a while and and warm up I can't do that I'm racing the Sun the Volvo team is intent on showing us more capability so we're pointed down this short steep spot to check out the hill descent control and there are other obstacles that owners will probably never take their own cars on but this should give you a solid idea that you don't need a Jeep Grand.
Cherokee Acura RDX Mercedes GLC out eq5 or Volvo's own xc60 for that matter this wagon will get owners through more than they will ever ask of it got to keep moving as we head off the frozen gulf there's a lot of Swedish life to see the good people of Lou leo clearly don't let a little cold weather bother them they're out living life and why not this is a beautiful place but.
It's still cold and it still keeps GoPros from sticking well to the sheet metal we make do the ride quality is on the firm side but softer than the standard v60 my family owns a Volvo xc70 that's bigger and far more softly sprung than this so perhaps I was expecting something very cushy cross country gets standard automatic emergency braking and not just pedestrian detection but large.
Animal as well turns out loose versus car incidents are common in Sweden mercifully we don't test that the adaptive cruise control and blind spot warning systems are effective there's too much snow on the road for the pilot assist to keep the car law it's lain confidently and turns out I'm not the only Volvo owner in the car mr. Gholson drives the last generation v60.
Does he notice a difference yes huge differences and I'm really annoyed by it because this one's a lot better and I really think I won't now I'm gonna have to go buy well you're a journalist you make tons of money oh so much this one is built on the new scalable architecture that underpins all modern Volvo's it's as solid as the ice sheet on the Gulf of Bothnia.
Gripes visibility out the back is not all that hot and the census user interface has a lot going on sometimes the smaller fonts can be hard to read quickly switching to Android auto or apple carplay simplifies things the standard v60 wagon is available now volvo starts taking orders for the cross-country model in march with delivery in july you know when it's warm.
Pricing well i'll guesstimate that it starts at 41,000 dollars and tops out at 52 grand for the version that we're driving this is not inexpensive but if i'm right that's some five thousand dollars less than its closest competitor the audi a4 Allroad and inside and out the v60 is handsome and capable it's three o'clock in the afternoon gets very dark in Sweden very early and the.
Temperatures dropping my camera's beginning to act up again in odd ways I wish I could better show how impressive the headlamps are as they Bend adapt and mask off on the left so not too blind oncoming drivers they're brilliant too bad our government doesn't allow them as this short frantic trip to understand the v60 cross country comes to a close it's time for the swedish tradition of.
Fika or snack time coffee and cinnamon rolls well the v60 sell as well as the xc60 crossover note americans just don't buy wagons like the Swedes but Volvo will keep the wagon tradition alive in the US for some the body style offers a nice warm feel it fun fact the V&V 60 means anyone spend Thor Ingrid.
Versatile it means versatile one more if you've ever shopped at Nordstrom the founder John Nordstrom was born in Lou Leo understand that Volvo flew me to Sweden to experience this and time was short I use some running footage the company provided know that I'm being as accurate as I can be to show what this vehicle is about it's important for me to offer up the best information.
Possible shoppers in this segment are plunking down a lot of Crona but this is a solid vehicle and it's not just because auto writers love wagons and special thanks to jordan for being patient as i ran around like a caffeinated squirrel to get the shots i needed for this piece it was quite an adventure reminds me of my Minnesota days and why I moved to Seattle they're.
Telling me I need to go to the airport so that is my look at the Volvo v60 cross country hey hi there that's okay that's the way it is here in Sweden especially when you're in a hurry that's driven I'm Tom Volk I'm going to use that one