There’s plenty of room up front for even tall drivers to get comfortable, although the Cross Country has fractionally less head and leg room than an Audi A3 or a VW Golf. Storage space is good. There’s a shallow cubby hidden behind the upright fascia of the dashboard, and it’s rubberised so is ideal for storing parking change.
Head room is a bit tighter in the back of the Volvo than it is in most rivals, but two sub-six footers will be comfortable enough, since the bench seat is well shaped and leg room is on a par with most cars of this class. The middle passenger will be less comfortable, though, because the cabin is fairly narrow, and the centre of the 60/40 split rear bench is a narrow, raised and fairly hard section. A raised central tunnel means they’ll have to splay their legs either side of it, too.
Conventional levers that you pull on each outer shoulder of the bench, at which point the seatbacks need a light push to fold flat, release the rear seats. You can do this from the boot, but it’s a stretch. If you’ve added the inexpensive variable-height boot floor (which we recommend), the folded seats will be flush with the floor. If you haven’t invested in the floor, there will be a step when the seats are down.
The Cross Country’s boot is smaller than those of most rivals by a fair margin. It has a narrower boot opening, too, so if you regularly carry really bulky items then this isn’t the best best option. Still, the boot is fine for normal use – and if you add the variable-height floor, it’s also cleverly designed. The boot floor is hinged, so it’s an easy, one-handed job to lift and fold it upwards, and to secure it in place, which gives you full access to the space below. When folded up, the boot floor also keeps your shopping bags in place.
Bargain small estate offers plenty of room, but refinement and...