Volvo has given its S60 executive saloon off-roading credentials with the launch of the new S60 Cross Country.
This is the first time a manufacturer has released an off-road biased saloon, with most car makers, including Volvo, offering crossover or estate-based 4x4s. However, the S60 Cross Country is aimed at those who require the high ground clearance and four-wheel-drive of a conventional off roader, but in a sleek saloon shape that won't look out of place in the company car park.
The S60 Cross Country joins similar models based on the V40 hatchback and V70 estate in the Swedish marque's line-up. Its suspension has been raised by a substantial 65mm for improved clearance when negotiating difficult terrain, though it largely does without the plastic protective body addenda found on its siblings, in favour of a sleeker look.
UK buyers will get a choice of two diesel engines. The first is Volvo's new four-cylinder D4 187bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel, which is available in front-wheel-drive models only. Those requiring the security of all-wheel-drive will have to plump for the older, five-cylinder 2.4-litre D4 engine, which develops 178bhp.
Despite Volvo touting the S60 Cross Country as a new niche, due to its increased ride height, premium rivals BMW and Audi already offer four-wheel-drive saloon models in the UK, albeit with the same ride height as their regular models.