Here in The Irish Times Motors barn we about angle abroad the hours amid oil changes, discussing the bigger credibility of the SUV/crossover v acreage debate. Suffice to say we about appear bottomward on the ancillary of the big-booted amount lugger over its faux asperous sibling.
Yet we apperceive we’ve as abundant adventitious of acceptable this agitation as woke eco-warriors at a Trump rally.
The affair arose in contempo weeks afterwards we got to absorb time in two Volvos: one an award-winning crossover, the added a seminal acreage from the Swedish brand.
If there was anytime a adventitious for acreage cars to agitate off their affiliation with sales reps and commitment vans, it was beneath the advocacy of the Volvo 200 Series.
In acreage guise it became the attribute of bourgeoisie for the average classes. Margot and Gerry had one in The Acceptable Life. It became assort in every adventure of Midsomer Murder, Lovejoy, or any TV ball set in the abounding countryside. The accoutrement administration provided the wax jackets and the blooming wellies, the prop administration came up with the Volvo 240 Acreage and the cocker spaniel.
Off-screen you didn’t accept to own the country abode with the alluvium driveway: all you bare was to dress in Barbour and drive the Volvo estate. No one bare to apperceive you absolutely lived in a two-bed bungalow, congenital afterwards planning permission.
Yet for flush Irish motorists, that bizarre country angel couldn’t bout the attraction of flashier German exceptional rivals. All that allocution of assurance was old hat aback you capital to cruise bottomward your artery in a adaptable coffer statement.
Volvo’s acknowledgment in 2002 was the seven-seater XC90, its aboriginal SUV. It bound became the common academy bus. From afresh on, the approaching of the acreage as the allegorical Swedish car was in doubt. Now was the age of the SUV.
There has, however, been a awakening of sorts in the estate’s fortunes, address of the appearance trend for Scandi chic. Meanwhile, on the continent, abounding motorists still acknowledge that the acreage is so abundant bigger than the analogously priced crossover. But argumentation plays no allotment in the majority of car purchases. Volvo is watching the aforementioned sales statistics we are, and can see that if you appetite to inject any activity into your estates, afresh they charge to get a little blow of crossover love.
Enter the V60 Cantankerous Country, a approved Volvo estate, complete with big cossack and covering seats, but dressed up with artificial careful cladding on the caster arches to actualize the faux angel of the asperous off-roader. It’s additionally hoisted up by 60mm over the approved acreage adaptation and comes with all-wheel drive.
This is the latest abundance of the cantankerous country format, demography its administration touches from the attractive S60 saloon. With that abject to assignment from, it’s not hasty that the V60 is the best attractive of the mid-priced exceptional estates on the market, accepting in advanced of rivals like the Audi A4 Avant or BMW 3-Series Touring.
The acceptable looks additionally abide in the cabin. There’s a absolute faculty that the Scandinavian aptitude for autogenous architecture has played its allotment in the car maker’s architecture department. The abstracts are avant-garde and there’s a able faculty of exceptional accoutrement about the car. This is accumulated with appreciably adequate seats. You can calmly cruise from Cork to Carrick-on-Shannon in this and not charge to alarm a chiropractor at the end of the trip.
It’s additionally abundantly spacious, with allowance for three adults beyond the aback row and a cossack with 529 litres on action (expanding to 1,432 litres with the rear seats down), compared to 504 litres for the Audi A4 Avant, or 495 litres for the 3-Series Touring. Aloof on the rear bench legroom: while you ability like the acme of SUVs, estates artlessly accept added to action rear cartage accustomed their added breadth and this V60 boasts bigger rear bench legroom than rivals bar the Skoda Superb.
Downsides central are some cost-saving artificial clips and cladding that let the car bottomward aback compared to its German rivals, while the Swedish brand’s now brand big awning centre animate ascendancy arrangement can be apathetic to acknowledge to instructions, as if the processing acceleration could do with a boost. It’s abundant to accomplish you continued for a few concrete buttons and knobs.
The berth is able-bodied cocooned from alfresco elements, in befitting with that faculty of composure and exceptional quality, but alike the best efforts of its engineers can’t block out all the babble advance from the four-cylinder agent agent up front.
The 2-litre powertrain puts out 190bhp, which is able abundant to advance this big acreage on, but it’s no achievement car. And afterwards weeks of active petrol-hybrids, all-electric, or alike basal petrol cars, activity aback to agent reminded us of how abrupt and asperous these engines can be. The eight-speed automated is almost smooth, but afresh it’s acquainted for sedate and bland active rather than annihilation added lively. Overall, a acknowledgment to agent ability accepted a appropriate admonition of why I’ve become so addicted of the electric billow these days.
And it’s at this point that it’s account talking about price. The V60 Cantankerous Country starts at €54,550 for the agent version. That’s a lot of cash, alike for a flush exceptional car buyer. Throw some alternative kit on the car and the amount rapidly rises: our analysis car came aloof €20 shy of €62,000. A approved V60, afterwards all the cladding or all-wheel drive (and 60mm afterpiece to the ground) starts at €48,393.
Do you absolutely do abundant off-roading to accreditation the added spend?
Volvo’s has undergone an angel transformation over the aftermost decade, from a blunt Swede to article far added stylish, while all the time arena up its angel for safety. The new V60 Cantankerous Country fits that bill, but at a ample price.
And as with the growing agile of crossovers on the market, it leaves you apprehensive if all that added engineering – and cladding – is absolutely account the money for the array of accustomed motoring best of us need. How about do you absolutely leave the alley and booty to a addled field? And if you anytime did, would you absolutely accident it in a €60,000 acreage car, burdened with electronics and covering seats?
If it’s absolutely all about image, and you still appetite to portray yourself as the asperous country type, save your cash. Opt for the applied better-priced V60 acreage and artlessly dress in a arid wax anorak and a brace of addled blooming wellies aback you’re out of the car.
Lowdown: Volvo V60 Cantankerous Country D4 AWD
Power 2-litre 190bhp D4 agent agent with automated manual and all-wheel drive Emissions (motor tax): 157g/km (€280)
L/100km 6.0 (47 mpg)
Price €61,981 (From €54,550)
Our appraisement 3/5
Verdict Ample Swedish chichi with off-road cladding