2024 Best Wagon: Volvo V60 / V60 Cross Country

For the annual AutoTrader Awards, over 20 of Canada’s top automotive journalists vote on the best cars in 28 segments. Their votes go to over-achieving vehicles they can confidently recommend to their family and friends. This year’s Best Wagon distinction goes to the Volvo V60 and V60 Cross Country. While it’s a relatively small segment in this country in terms of sales volume, wagons have a die-hard following that appreciates SUV practicality combined with car-like reflexes.

The V60 represents the traditional compact luxury station wagon, while the V60 Cross Country rides higher and boasts some extra body cladding. They’re almost equally practical and perfectly balance interior volume and exterior dimensions. The seats are among the most comfortable available in the industry. Since the current generation debuted in 2019, the V60 lineup has taken the Best Wagon award for three of the last four years.

The V60 and V60 Cross Country had to defeat some mighty contenders to reach the top of the Best Wagon category. After increasing battery capacity helped the range of plug-in models, the Volvo reclaimed the crown from last year’s winner, the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. While every wagon available for Canadians to buy is eligible for an award, some standout competitors included the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon and the Audi A4 Allroad, A6 Allroad, and RS 6 Avant lineup. While all of these alternatives can offer a more premium driving experience, Volvo’s Scandinavian minimalist approach more consistently resonated with our experts, who appreciate how it seamlessly integrates into everyday life.

Electrification options have improved since 2019, and the V60 Cross Country combines a 48-volt mild hybrid setup with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that puts out 247 horsepower, allowing a 6.9-second sprint to 100 km/h. A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) V60 Recharge is available only in regular wagon form and not the Cross Country model. It’s kitted with Polestar performance gear, including Öhlins suspension, lightweight forged wheels, and Brembo brakes. The Recharge pumps out 455 total system horsepower and knocks the zero-to-100-km/h time down to 4.5 seconds. Unfortunately, the two powertrains are tied to the dichotomy of the sporty Polestar-tuned wagon and the softer jacked-up Cross Country.

Fuel economy ratings for the V60 Cross Country are 10.0/7.5/8.9 L/100 km for city, highway, and combined driving, respectively. With an electric-only range of 64 kilometres, the fire-breathing V60 Recharge is rated at 3.0 Le/100 km in typical plug-in hybrid use. A depleted battery nets 8.0/7.2/7.6 L/100 km city/highway/combined using only the gas engine.

Recent updates to the infotainment system now have full Google integration on the 9-inch touchscreen display. While the system is still somewhat cumbersome to use, the updated interface now has less of a learning curve than before. For the audiophiles, the optional Bowers & Wilkins audio in the top trim levels is a pricey but fantastic-sounding system that’s one of the best in the industry.

As a company renowned for its safety record, Volvo has enjoyed good crash test ratings with the V60 lineup over the years. The American Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has not completed some of the newer, more stringent crash tests since the 2021 model year, but both the V60 Recharge and V60 Cross Country have received a flagship Top Safety Pick+ rating as recently as 2022. As a well-rounded, safe, and practical car that is also a positive fashion statement, the Volvo V60 is our clear pick for this year’s Best Wagon.