The Case for Volvo V60 XC, Country-Fried Luxury SUV

Think of it as a getaway car.

Cars are all about romance: where they’ll take you, whom you’ll take you with, whether whomever you’re taking will tell you, in sotto voce, to pull over. So, what’s the deal with “city cars?" Who wants to imagine themselves parallel parking, getting swiped by a bus or sitting fuming on the West Side Highway?

That’s the reasonable-enough thinking behind Volvo’s new V60 XC, a rugged little wagon with navigation system that seems designed to direct you to areas with lower population densities. Like its larger siblings, the XC90, XC70 and XC60, the new V60 XC is a standard, sturdy Volvo with a raised suspension, knobbier tires and some minimally-functional protective cladding.

Its (from a literary perspective, impressive) brochures show the Swedish beastie clambering up rocky inclines and storming down dirt roads. If Ferrari is a rearing stallion, this is a very reliable donkey. And donkeys can be great too – especially if the shortest distance between points A and B spans some tougher terrain.

While it will likely get relegated to suburban school duties like every other luxury trucklet, we’d recommend that aspirational outdoorsman (read: people from the Pacific Northwest) give Volvo some serious thought. It’s not a cabin, but it’s the closest you’ll get to driving one on the highway without buying a wood-paneled Wagonmaster – and there’s not much romance in that.

Photos by Volvo