2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country First Drive

In the mind of the diehard car-nut, there are two people in this world—those who know cars, and those who don’t. With only 500 iterations of the 2016 Volvo S60 Cross Country slated to enter the U.S. market as 2016 models, it’s pretty clear which faction this car caters to. Rejoice fellow car nerds, your obscure automotive reference has arrived.

At its core, the limited-run Cross Country is still an S60 sedan, just with a higher ride height that will probably only be discernible to car junkies. Think of it like a really nice AMC Eagle. With that extreme exclusivity and relative anonymity—it’s indeed something special, but how is it to drive? 

The Volvo S60 Cross Country is a Gift to Car Buffs: First Drive

Swedish Reservation One of the big Volvo talking points of late is the company’s new Drive-E four-cylinder engines, which combine turbocharging, supercharging, and even hybridization to unlock impressive levels of performance. They’ve permeated the U.S. market already, however you won’t find one under the hood of this Cross Country. Instead, it still uses Volvo’s 2.5-liter turbocharged straight-five, good for 250 horsepower and 266 lb.-ft. of torque. Not a bad mark in the least. It’s a smooth engine—it has been for years—and has a unique feel that only a five-cylinder can provide. With its quick-shifting six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive system, the S60 also feels light on its feet and pliable in the turns. Volvo says 0 to 60 mph is done in just 6.7 seconds, and that sounds about right. But off-the-line speed isn’t really what this...