Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
I’m an adventurous individual and seek thrills and excitement in all aspects of my lifestyle from family rearing and nomadic travel to sports and entertainment activities. Energizing my physique while stimulating brain cells is routine for the life I live. Transfer that equation into the transportation world and the same rules apply. For these reasons and more, a vehicle that offers the capabilities adequate enough regarding the aforementioned essentials will always win my affection. This is why I respect and enjoy the capabilities of the all-new 2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country.
Combine the dynamics of two very unique products and the end result is a vehicle with special DNA and defining characteristics welcoming for those looking for true luxury and “go anywhere” dynamics. Volvo’s heralded Cross Country range has already revolutionized crossover wagons with the capabilities of SUVs. The universal S60 sports sedan also holds its own against a crowded field of special European, Japanese, American, and now Korean performance sedans that offer style, opulence, and the latest technological wizardry. Yet, can they compete against both the S60 and the Cross Country when you commingle their traits into one vehicle? Not really.
To explore the tangibles of the new S60 Cross Country the Fit Fathers and Automotive Rhythms teams were invited by Volvo to Sausalito, California for summer drive opportunities of this vehicle as well as the 2016 S60 Inscription and 2016 V60 Cross Country. Situated at the Cavallopoint Lodge at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge, I felt right at home in an area ripe with activities appeasing to my needs. The former U.S. Army post at Fort Baker immediately became reminiscent of morning boot camps and afternoon drills. Surely the S60 Cross Country would not have a problem challenging the hills and landscape of the Bay Area. Without hesitation I ran the 6-mile round trip trek from base camp, up to the bridge, across the bridge, and back. Now I was ready to drive!
What’s not to like about a Scandinavian designed ride? Volvos are savvy, unique, multi-talented, and of course safe as a bank. Known for its line of family wagons and SUVs, the Chinese owned automaker has already elevated the XC90 to elite status with continuous orders piling in. So the product assault continues. “The S60 Cross Country is the sole contender in the luxury crossover sedan segment. We have identified a clear niche in the market for a more capable sedan with rugged styling cues and a higher stance. The S60 Cross Country will appeal to people that are searching for an exciting and capable sedan, whilst enjoying the clear benefits that a crossover offers,” said Alain Visser, Senior Vice President Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.
At a first look the Swedish vehicle is similar, yet smaller, to the silhouette of BMX’s X6. Basically, I view them as SUV Coupes. While the design is appealing to early adapters, it will have to wear on others who enjoy traditional vehicular features. With 7.9” of ground clearance, all-wheel drive with Instant Traction, and Hill Descent Control (HDC) you will have no problem traversing through national parks, campgrounds, gravel paths, muddy trails, or shallow beds of water. HDC is advantageous for climbing downhill since the vehicle takes control of the braking and slow acceleration while the driver steers the ship in the right direction. Keep in mind the steering wheel adjustments are manual, not electronic like you would expect in a vehicle of this caliber.
The urbane, yet tough packaging of the S60 Cross Country is perfect. Our $49,775 ($41,000 MSRP) Platinum Edition came replete with 19” BOR Matte Black Rims ($750) tucked in Pirelli Scorpion 235/45 R19 rubber (18” standard), a Honeycomb grille, front and rear skid plates with dual embedded exhausts tips, black mirror caps, a sunroof, and black fender flare extensions. Powered by a 2.5-liter 20-valve inline 5-cylinder turbo engine, the Volvo spits out 250-horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. A 6-speed Geartronic auto transmission with Adv Quick Shift (allows you to use the gear lever for manual shifting) is mated to the 2.5-liter. Power is good in all gears but steering feels a little floaty and the suspension is too soft for my taste. In regards to efficiency, the 2-liter in the Inscription achieves 37 highway mpg while the Cross Country accomplishes 28 mpg even though the 2.5-liter is only 10-horsepower stronger. Volvo says this is due to the new advancements in the 2-liter.
Safety and technology is always a highlight when you purchase a Volvo. The Harmon Kardon premium sound system that comes with the Platinum package is stellar and concert like, while Volvo On Call lets you start the engine remotely, lock and unlock the doors, check the trip computer, and integrate your iPhone into the navigation. Wi-Fi hot spot comes in handy when cellular data is out of range and Web surfing is still required. Additional advancements are offered in the form of the $925 Blind Spot Information System Package, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Pedestrian/Cyclist Detection w/Auto Brake and much more. The S60 Cross Country is just too smart for its own good.
With over 200,000 Cross Country vehicles sold since 1997 the S60 variant adds another competitive contender to the lineup with amenities worthy for the most adventurous nomad. High consumer loyalty for the Cross Country will be key to the S60 Cross Country’s sales success. I’m betting on a winner.