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First Drive: Volvo V60 Cross Country D4

Martyn Collins finds the V60 Cross Country could be all the off-roader business drivers ever need.

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SECTOR Mid-size estate PRICE £38,270 FUEL 42.8-47.9mpg  (WLTP) CO2 135g/km (NEDC Correlated)

The transformation from standard estate to all-roader isn’t always a happy one, usually with many compromises made to the driving experience at the expense of off-road capability.

Not so with the all-new Volvo V60 Cross Country which, tested on the UK launch in off-road mode and with standard Hill Descent Control, seemed to attack deeply rutted, muddy tracks and steep inclines and drops with almost the ability to match a proper off-roader.

Yet despite having probably more ability off road than most buyers will ever need, when you head back to the tarmac, I reckon the drive is nearly as good as the standard V60; the only negatives being the 60mm extra lofty stance equalling more body roll, plus it’s less keen to change direction quickly and there’s more road noise – although grip is impressive from the optional 19-inch wheels and all-terrain tyres.

The suspension set-up also feels softer than the standard V60s I’ve tried, but it’s a compromise I’d be happy to make, as the Cross Country feels more comfortable and composed.

Outside and inside, the only Cross Country changes over the standard V60, apart from the ride height, are the chunkier matt arches, plus lower off-road plastic protection and different styles of alloy wheels. Don’t worry, despite the off-roader makeover, it still looks as good as the standard V60 – which continues to be one of the best-looking estates on sale.

The V60 Cross Country is initially only available with the familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel in D4 state of tune. This means a torquey 295lb.ft and 190hp, plus up to 47.9mpg WLTP combined fuel figure with the standard eight-speed automatic transmission. This equals 0-62mph acceleration in just 6.8 seconds, although it’s swift rather than sprightly off the line and never feels particularly dynamic or sporty — but that’s not a bad thing.

In fact, with 500 litres of boot space, the attractive styling and easygoing drive, the V60 Cross Country could be the perfect alternative to business buyers who don’t want to run an SUV.

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Martyn Collins

Martyn has 18 years experience as a motoring journalist, working across a wide selection of B2B and consumer titles. A car enthusiast since his early years, Martyn has a particular interest in the latest models and technology and in his spare time enjoys driving his own Minis.