2015 Volvo V60
A great car nobody will buy
Date Posted: April 16, 2015
By Zack Spencer
Station wagons or sport wagons are hugely popular in Europe but the trend is towards small crossover vehicles. So where does that leave the Volvo V60?
As much as Canadians have fallen in love with small SUVs, there is still a small, hardcore group of buyers who like family station wagons. Volkswagen has continued to produce a wagon in the Golf line for years, and there are a few premium offerings like the BMW 3 Series wagon and Mercedes E-Class, but even the wagon is getting the crossover treatment with cars like the Subaru Outback, the Audi Allroad and even the larger Volvo CX70. The list of wagons really is rather small. There is one new entry into this club that should be considered by anyone who wants the versatility of a wagon but yearns for the precise handling that a sedan offers, the Volvo V60.
Volvo, as a brand has been struggling in North America due to the lack of fresh, new products. In a few months the outdated, twelve-year-old, CX90 SUV will finally arrive with an all-new model, and not a moment too soon. To help keep the product lineup somewhat fresh, Volvo has introduced this V60, the wagon version of the S60 sedan. Yes, a limited market but for those that like a wagon, this is a very nice option. The lines are sleek and stylish and the R Design model, seen here, has larger 18-inch or optional 19-inch wheels and a suspension that sits a tad lower. The back sports meaty looking exhaust tips and the front has a two-tone spoiler to help round out the dynamic look. This setup will cost a whopping $51,700. To be fair the base model without the R design and smaller engine and front wheel drive, starts at $40,200.
What Volvo does better than most car companies is interior designs that really stand out and provide optimal comfort. Buyers can look far and wide and have a hard time finding seats that are more comfortable than Volvo Seats, especially these sportier R Design seats. The dash is very well designed with a centre console that has easy to understand graphics and layout. The dash and doors are covered in soft touch materials. This, along with polished metal trim makes the interior look and feel rich. The graphics in the instrument cluster are projected onto a screen with a modern feel that brings this car up to date. The screen in the centre of the dash is a different story, looking rather small by today’s standards. The back seat has plenty of room, even for adults, but because of the curvy exterior shape, the back cargo area isn’t as roomy as the rather square VW Golf Sportwagon.
The V60 is available with a number of engine choices and the base engine might just be the best overall value. It comes with a 2.0L direct injection turbocharged 4-cylinder, putting out 240hp. Compared to BMWs 328, that’s right on the money. This base T5 Drive-E unit is only available with front wheel drive but comes with an 8-speed automatic; all the other V60s come with a 6-speed unit. The next step up is the T5 all wheel drive with a turbocharged 2.5L 5-cylinder with just slightly more power at 250hp. The top model is the T6 R Design with a 300hp turbocharged 6-cylinder. BMW doesn’t offer its 3.0L turbo in the wagon any longer, just a turbo 4-cylinder or 4-cylinder diesel. What this car has is standard AWD and a refined ride that produces smiles at every corner. The way Volvo has been able to marry comfort and handling performance and grip is superb. This really is about as good as it gets in this class of car.
The problem Volvo will have selling this wagon is the successful SUVs they sell. The V60 costs about the same as the CX60 compact SUV and that is the direction the market is heading. To counteract the wagon stigma, Volvo has even added a crossover version of this wagon called the V60 Cross Country. So where does that leave this wonderful wagon. The market, as mentioned, is rather small but if you like a sporty, great handling car with supremely comfy seats and enough power for any task, this V60 T6 is fantastic. The best direct competitor is the BMW 3 Series, and on price, this V60 has the advantage. (The BMW 328 AWD wagon starts at almost $48,000.) It’s a small batch of car nerds that love wagons, and if you’re one of them, this one is worth a shot.
Power: 2.0L with 240hp, 2.5L with 250hp and 3.0L with 300hp
Fill-up: 9.8L/6.6L/100km (city/highway)
Sticker price: $40,200-$51,700
The problem Volvo will have selling this wagon is the successful SUVs they sell