VOLVO has always made stylish, versatile and comfortable estate cars and such models have retained their popularity despite the upsurge in SUV sales.
The V60 is one of the most desirable family cars on sale at the moment and this Cross Country version which arrived in July adds a little more capability and toughness into the mix.
It offers some extra height giving it some off-road ability as well as a more supple ride than the normal V60.
Starting at just over £40,000 the Cross Country is certainly not cheap and the price tag puts it up against some premium SUVs but it does have plenty going for it.
For a start it is based on a very good car and this new model gets a different bodykit to its lower-slung siblings, with a more rugged look created by the use of plenty of hard black plastic cladding.
It rides 60mm higher than a regular V60, thanks to a combination of suspension changes and larger-diameter tyres and it still feels good to drive.
I drove the 187bhp D4 four-cylinder diesel engine which sends power to an all-wheel-drive system through an eight-speed auto box. There's also an off-road drive mode and hill-descent control to improve the package.
It is ideal for tackling rough tracks or muddy fields and is sure to be a favourite with vets.
The 2.0-litre diesel engine delivers 190hp and is paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It covers the 0-62mph dash in a respectable 8.2 seconds, topping out at 130mph.
It is also fairly economical delivering combined fuel economy of 42.8-47.9mpg (WLTP) and carbon emissions of 143g/km.
The Cross Country is very smooth to drive out on the open road and is also a good motorway cruiser. It copes with anything you throw at it and enjoys being chucked around even although it is 4.7 metres long. It is agile and the good all-round vision makes it easy to park.
The Cross Country is also a good-looking 4x4 estate and is crammed with all the latest on-board technology.
Its looks are enhanced by charcoal protective cladding and wheel arch trims, dark tinted windows, metallic paint, a retractable tow-bar and 19-inch alloys while its raised ride height enables it to be taken off road without damaging the undercarriage.
Owners can access a range of web apps and browse the Internet if a SIM card with mobile data allowance is used. The system can also be used to create a mobile WiFi hotspot so passengers can connect their tablet or smartphone to the internet whilst on the move.
The set-up is also where you access the navigation systems, radio stations, climate control, phone contacts and car settings. It can be a bit fiddly until you get used to it, especially if you just want to adjust the heat or blower.
Five adults can travel in comfort and there is stacks of room for rear passengers. The boot space ranges from 529 litres to 1,441 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. There is also plenty storage space inside the cabin
Different drive modes allow you to alter the way the car handles and these are called Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. There is also an Off-Road setting that makes the most of the car's 4x4 capabilities.
Most vehicles will never tackle really rough terrain but the Cross Country is ideal for towing and will surely be a favourite with caravan vans.
Volvo has always been at the top of the safety charts and the V60 is loaded with kit to protect its occupants and pedestrians.
There are lots of driver-assist systems to help prevent accidents occurring in the first place, such as autonomous emergency braking that works day or night and detects vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists or large animals up ahead. The driver is alerted to the danger, and if the warnings are ignored, the car will automatically brake to avoid a collision.