Sure, the housing prices are insane, the traffic is bad, and you occasionally have to deal with the fires – but nothing beats California for the weekend retreat. If you ever need an escape from the city, you can travel less than an hour from most areas in Southern California and be transported to paradise. Recently we had the chance to take the perfect weekend adventure vehicle – 2016 Volvo V60 Cross Country – on one of these trips down to Dana Point, CA. We would make our escape from the city and navigate the V60 Cross Country to the beautiful Blue Lantern Inn that overlooks the Dana Point Marina.
Behind the wheel of the V60 Cross Country you find a setup very similar to what we have found in the S60 Inscription and the V60 R-Design. The Volvo interior is clean and simple with enough premium leather and wood trim to help earn the nearly $50,000 price tag. To help back up the adventurous nature of the Cross Country the V60 sits 2.6 inches higher off the ground and is equipped with an advanced AWD system with Instant Traction™ that senses road conditions and sends power to the wheels with the most grip. Under the hood is a 2.5L turbo 5-cylinder engine producing 250hp and 266 lb. ft of torque. The exterior changes from the higher suspension and rear-end treatment help really make this V60 stand out from the standard model. But when behind the wheel the motor feels fairly underpowered as it attempts to send power through the AWD drivetrain. We longed for the 325hp from the turbo inline 6-cylinder found in the R-Design trim for that added push along the highway. Thankfully, when on the highway you can sit back and relax a bit thanks to the Adaptive Cruise Control setting with Queue (Traffic) Assist. As we crawled down the freeway the Volvo V60 Cross Country took care of most of the work as we covered the brakes (just in case) and gave steering input when needed.
When we arrived at the Blue Lantern Inn we were greeted with a relaxed beach atmosphere that quickly helps you forget the troubles of the freeway gridlock. Upon entry there is a common room for guests to gather with open access to the outside patio. The guest rooms feature a nice fireplace, large bathroom with jetted bath tub, and open patio with seating that looks out on the marina. The Inn offers complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres in the afternoon so we unloaded the Volvo and took a moment to enjoy some red wine, cheese, and a pleasant breeze coming in from the Pacific Ocean. After a couple of glasses of wine we left the Volvo and took advantage of the free bike rentals the Blue Lantern has to offer. We set off on the beach cruisers to ride along the cliffs overlooking the beach and view the paddle boarders and boats making their way up the coastline. As the sun began to set we headed back to take in the view from the back porch of our room and get ready to head out on the town that night.
Driving through the nearby Lantern District in Dana Point there is a unique mix of luxury and lifestyle vehicles that cover the town. You might see a parking lot with Maseratis parked alongside Subarus carrying surf and paddle boards. It is fitting then that the Volvo V60 Cross Country seems to strike a perfect balance between utility and luxury. You could easily take the V60 to the beach with surfboards on the roof, then ditch the wetsuit in the back and valet the car at a nice restaurant later in the evening. The Cross Country would also be at home for a weekend trip to the snow for some skiing once the beach areas drop down to a chilling 60 degrees in the Winter. So despite some of its flaws the 2016 Volvo V60 Cross Country is perfect for those who want a luxury feel with the utility to enjoy all California has to offer on those weekends when you simply need to get away.
Special thanks to everyone at the Blue Lantern Inn for the accommodations