Few things are as relaxing as driving on the highway with an excellent car, especially after dark. We took a trip to Aguascalientes from Mexico City and just a few miles after leaving the city, we were grateful for the partner we had on the road. Cruising in a Volvo V60 Cross Country, we left our troubles behind as we drove, not noticing the hours pass by.
With an empty road we took advantage of the opportunity and tested the Volvo to its limits. Gearing up the V60 was easy. Its 2.5-liter, turbocharged engine was more than happy to deliver its 254 Hp, allowing us to race up to 190-200 km/h without hesitation. The 6-speed transmission was also engineered with enough precision to offer a ride with no odd bursts or hiccups. Even though we were cruising at top-speed, the V60 felt surprisingly stable for a car of its size, aided by the anti-lock braking system (ABS), the electronic stability control (ESC), and the roll stability control (RSC).
But driving at the same speed is no fun at all. So, we tested the brakes and the acceleration, playing with the car in different situations. Acceleration-wise, the car was right on the spot, responding as soon as my foot touched the pedal. Braking was a completely different story though. I prefer cars with light brakes that respond as fast as the accelerator does. The Volvo on the other hand, needs a heavy foot to control it but either way you will not feel unsafe.
Our excitement did not last long, as we eventually reached a section of the highway under renovation. We came to a complete stop, which put an end to all the fun we were having. However, this gave us the opportunity to really appreciate all the luxury the car could offer. Despite the V60 lacking the commanding height of the XC90 for passengers to look down on surrounding cars, the interior leaves little to be desired. During the one and two hours we were stuck in traffic, we enjoyed the leather seats’ comfort, which were fully adjustable.
The infotainment system was a delight. The 10-speaker harman/kardon sound system was clean and precise enough to enjoy a casual conversation with background music. The whole unit was really user-friendly and even though I was driving I had full control of my environment. We were happily testing every button within our reach when suddenly a flash of light appeared right above the data cluster accompanied by a rapid beep. At first we were not sure how or why it had happened but when the car in front of us braked abruptly the alert appeared once again as we got a little too close to the vehicle. It is a truly useful feature to have although it can sometimes be a bit overdramatic especially for the congested streets of Mexico City.
Once we finally reached the open road again we were able to take the V60 to the limit once more, and all the way to Aguascalientes.
The next day we had a meeting in the outskirts of the city forcing us to detour from the pavement. Any other time we would have been worried about driving off-road but this time we had a Cross Country on our side. The suspension was built for the challenge and the car had enough clearance to wade over any difficult terrain. Plus, its AWD Instant Traction system with Hill Descent Control gave us the confidence we needed to get to our destination.
One our way back to the city, we noticed the Cross Country’s profile matches Volvo’s style perfectly, with the trademark sophistication of an XC60 or an XC90, but with some of the V60’s lightness. The honeycomb grill is also a truly nice addition, combining rather nicely with its LED headlights. It gives the impression of a large and luxurious SUV with the ruggedness that a Cross Country needs.
We arrived to Mexico City late at night, but pleased to have enjoyed the Volvo V60. We learnt the car was as good on the streets as it was on the highway, since despite its size it was really easy to maneuver. Overall we found the V60 to be a truly complete Cross Country and an excellent companion for any road trip.
At a glance
- Make: Volvo
- Model: V60 Cross Country
- Engine: 5-cylinder, 2.5-liter turbocharged
- Power: 254 Hp @ 5,400 rpms
- Transmission: 6-speed AT
- Efficiency: 11.1 – 13 km/l
- 0 – 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds
- harman/kardon audio system
- Bi-Xenon (ABL) headlights
- NESO DIAMOND CUT 18” rims
- AWD Instant Traction system
- Hill Descent Control
Price at time of review
$579,900 pesos ($30,900)