Once upon a time before Volvo made proper SUVs, there was the V70 Cross Country, a rugged version of the V70 wagon which then morphed into the XC70. The XC badge then became synonymous with Volvo’s SUVs thanks to the successful XC90. Now, the Swedish brand is reviving the Cross Country name with the V40 Cross Country. This badge will exist alongside the XC range.

“There is a clear distinction between our XC and Cross Country models. The Volvo XC models have a distinct crossover character with unique body-styles including an elevated seating position, while the Cross Country models are expressive all-road versions of our dynamic wagons and hatchbacks,” explains Lex Kerssemakers, senior vice president of product strategy at Volvo.

“When it comes to driving dynamics, the V40 Cross Country is eager to take on the sportiest competitor versions. It features an attractive blend of sportiness and comfort,” he adds.

The driver rides 40 mm higher in the V40 Cross Country than in the standard V40, and unique details include V70 sized wheels (up to 19 inches); dark contrasting bumper; honeycomb mesh grille; upright DRLs; sculpted, contrasting sills and a contrasting rear bumper with integrated skid plate.

There are also off-road inspired details such as the anodised, black high-gloss frame around the greenhouse, the black rear-view mirror housings and roof rails.

Inside, the Raw Copper exterior launch colour is echoed in the contrasting stitching. The hue can be emphasised further by choosing the Copper Dawn centre stack inlay. Leather comes in five different colours, including Espresso Brown. For a “theatre lighting” feel, there’s a red-to-blue setting that adapts LED lighting to the interior temperature or seven mood themes. Reading lights can be dimmed.

All-Wheel Drive is available on the T5 petrol turbo model, which has a five-cylinder 2.5-litre engine with 254 hp and 400 Nm, including 40 Nm overboost on full throttle. The T5 can be a 2.0 litre with 213 hp/300 Nm in certain markets. The T4 is a 1.6 litre GTDi engine with 180 hp and 270 Nm, including 30 Nm overboost.

The T5 version comes with an automatic gearbox, while T4 customers can choose between the dual-clutch Powershift transmission or a good old manual ‘box. All are six-speed units.

On the turbodiesel front, the five-cylinder 2.0 litre D4 delivers 177 hp, 400 Nm and 0-100 km/h in 8.3 seconds with the automatic gearbox (8.6 sec with manual). Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 4.4 l/100 km with a manual gearbox and 5.2 l/100 km with the automatic. There’s also a 2.0 litre D3 with 150 hp/350 Nm.

The greenest option is the D2, which comes with class-leading 99 g/km CO2 emissions and fuel consumption of just 3.8 l/100 km. This 1.6 litre diesel engine has 115 hp and 285 Nm of torque, including 15 Nm overboost. A six-speed manual is the only transmission choice.

Every V40 Cross Country gets start-stop and braking energy regeneration, but Hill Descent Control is only for the T5 AWD.

To be produced in Ghent, Belgium from November, the V40 Cross Country is aimed at both Europe and China. Volvo’s home continent is expected to buy half of the 17,000 units produced per year, with China taking 30%. Volvo will also bring the V40 R-Design, this car’s sporty sister, to Paris.