The condition of our roads compels you to use a car with ample ground clearance, but you don’t want to give up the ride and handling prowess of a sedan – well, Volvo thinks they may have the answer...
Let’s start this review by stating a point of fact – the large majority of our roads suck! Perhaps that’s sugar coating it. What I mean to say is that they can be an absolute nightmare to drive on at the best of times. Even if you leave out the complete lack of driver education, road manners or even common sense, the condition of our roads can vary from being acceptable to non-existent within a few metres of each other – and often does!
The situation only worsens if you happen to be driving a luxury car that you’ve worked hard over the years to acquire. With their slim sidewall tyres, bad roads are not their friends – and while their luxurious interiors might isolate you from the chaos outside, the constant worry of damaging a tyre, or causing suspension damage, or scraping the front bumper on a badly designed speed breaker, are everyday worries that plague luxury car buyers.
So, what do you do when the roads resemble the lunar surface of the moon? Well, you buy an SUV, of course. But what if you’d rather not – what if you prefer the ride-and-handling balance and the proportions of a sedan? Well, with the S60 Cross Country you get the qualities of a sedan – lower seating, ease of entry-and-exit into the vehicle – with ground clearance that beats most SUV’s available at its price range. With its 201mm of ground clearance, the it offers a unique package – and, it has to be said, one that’s never been tried before.
Apart from the unique ground clearance, the Cross Country also offers standard fit all-wheel drive, which means that if one wants to indulge in a bit of light off-roading, it would be more than capable of handling it. Helping the car tackle these variety of conditions is a 2.4-litre turbo diesel engine, which produces 190bhp and 420Nm of torque, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. So, on the road, the it has a unique appeal, as the dynamics of the car remain saloon like – good ride and decent handling without too much body roll – despite the raised ride height, and, yet, you’ll always have the ability to tackle bad roads and fly over potholes with ease.
Of course, what helps are the wonderful seats, which are some of the most comfortable in the industry – this side of an XC90 that is. They’re so comfortable in fact that it feels like sitting in your favourite armchair at home. And, speaking of the XC90, the only major gripe I have with the it is in comparison with the XC90. You see, after experiencing the cabin of the XC90, everything else simply feels dated. It’s not that the Cross Country isn’t comfortable or a great place to be, it’s just that it feels a generation old when compared with the industry benchmark set by the XC90. So, when you go to the Volvo showroom to have a look at the it , I suggest you steer clear of the XC90.
Overall, the S60 CC does have quite a few things going for it. Volvo has managed to make it look quite attractive with an aggressive stance. It’s very sedan-like to drive, and it seems almost exclusively designed for Indian conditions. And, so, if Indian customers are open minded enough to accept yet another niche in the market, Volvo certainly has a very unique – and surprisingly compelling – product on their hands.
- Volvo S60 Cross Country
Engine: 2,400 cc / 5-Cylinders / Common Rail Direct Injection / Turbocharged
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic / All-Wheel Drive
Power: 188bhp @ 4000rpm
Torque: 420Nm @ 1500 - 3000rpm
Price: Rs. 38.90 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Delhi)