The 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country handles well and absolutely confuses

Volvo V60 Cross Country B5 2023: New look, same Volvo touches.

price: $63,585 as tested. A climate package heats the seats, headlight cleaners and steering wheel for $750; The 20-inch wheels added $3,200. More below.

Conventional wisdom: Car and Driver likes the “modern exterior design, upscale interior ambiance, and available Polestar Performance hybrid model,” but not that “the base powertrain could use more oomph,” or that “the infotainment system has quirks.”

Marketed pitch: “Designed for wherever life takes you.”

reality: Treatment of SUV joint.

what’s new: For 2023, the V60 and V60 Cross Country get a styling refresh with a new grille design and updated rear bumper inserts. Additionally, Volvo’s entire 2023 lineup in the U.S. is made up of mild-hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or electric vehicles.

a race: Audi A6 Allroad, Subaru Outback, Volvo XC60, Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain Wagon.

The Volvo V60 Cross Country’s new gauge setup puts the most important information – speed – behind the wheel..Read moreVolvo

confusion: The gentleman’s seat has been the driver and his lovely lady’s seat companion has been the passenger in this test car for a long time. She offers great insights from a non-car enthusiast, and mostly keeps her hands to herself as we travel.

But for some reason, the first night we took the V60 out, her curiosity was piqued.

I tried adjusting the seat heater and it ended up messing up the map.

She tried to turn on the interior light and made a distress call; Fortunately this comes with a timer so I was able to cancel it.

Suddenly the interior lights turned on. All of them, even the driver’s seat was practically blind. Some screaming probably followed, and as she was trying to correct her mistake, she heard a buzzing and the sunroof began to open in the 30 degree night.

Sturgis Kid 4.0 can no longer contain himself. Hysteria ensued, and I ended up stopping to figure it all out (and regain my composure).

So, the V60 may not be the most user-friendly car.

Up to speed: The 2.0-liter engine that forms the basis of Volvo’s engine units is turbocharged in the V60 and produces 247 horsepower. This powers the station wagon to 60 in a respectable 7.1 seconds, according to Car and Driver. The motor makes a nice little sound as it does its job.

The mild hybrid stores the energy generated by braking in a 48-volt battery, This energy helps the car accelerate, according to Volvo.

shrewd: The 8-speed transmission is operated by Volvo’s elegant crystal shifter, with pull for drive, push for reverse, And a button for the garden.

Shifting is available but only by moving the shifter left or right, a move I always find unsatisfying. Forward or backward please.

On the road: People who buy Volvo SUVs are missing out on the true Volvo experience. Swedish station wagons and sedans are much better to drive, and the V60 Cross Country is no exception. The car handles exhilaratingly, not so much fun as it is competent and stable. It’s a wonderful feeling that even after a short drive, you can become one with the car, and that’s what the V60 provides. (Despite the interior lighting technology.)

The V60 also feels very European. We had a Volvo on the 40 mile trip to Philadelphia, Its highway manners were impressive, although it hit big potholes as hard as some sports cars.

Driver seat: Whether it’s a sedan, wagon, or SUV, Volvo cars usually offer a clear interface. This time, the graphics seem to have been messed up, and the tachometer and speedometer have been pushed to the sides to allow the map to guide drivers inside.between. It made watching my speed a little difficult.

But the steering wheel feels nice and the controls are easy to operate.

The ventilated Nappa leather seat is a bit firm but offers plenty of control.

Friends and things: The back seat is as comfortable as the front seat. Legroom is plentiful, but foot and headroom are a little tight. The middle seat isn’t too bad. The Sturgis Kid 4.0 reported that the seat back is also very upright, without any adjustments.

The large console between the front seats is spacious and easily accessible; In an unusual twist, it’s perfectly fine when left open, and is still a comfortable place to rest your arm while driving.

Luggage space is 25.5 cubic feet behind the back seat and 60.5 cubic feet with the seat folded.

Play some tunes: Bowers and Wilkins Premium Audio ($3,200) offers clear playback and the usual array of Volvo studio, concert hall, and room experiences. The sound is around A-, and it’s not as good at extracting hidden chords as the Mazda CX-50, Honda Odyssey, or Genesis Electrified G80.

Operation is standard Volvo, with a vertical infotainment screen that’s fairly easy to navigate, and a dial with two buttons underneath.

Keep warm and cool: Everything here happens through small buttons at the bottom of the touchscreen which then open up a larger screen. Three or four discs can do the job without attracting too much driver attention.

Fuel economy: I averaged about 22 mpg in a variety of driving conditions, proving that the mild hybrid is very mild indeed.

Where it was built: Ghent, Belgium.

How it was built: Consumer Reports expects reliability to be 3 out of 5.

in the end: I’d choose the A6 Allroad, having thoroughly enjoyed this test. The Mercedes might also be worth a look, but it’s much more expensive.

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