Wagon sales have plummeted in the United States but this hasn't deterred Volvo from offering two great ones (four if you include the CrossCountry models). The V60 is Volvo's compact luxury wagon, which would compete against the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class wagons if either were sold here in the US. Volvo basically has this market to itself right now with only the lifted Audi A4 Allroad stealing some of the thunder from the V60 CrossCountry.
For the 2020 model year, Volvo has dropped the T6 powertrain from the V60 lineup, likely to cull the manufacturing complexity from a low volume model. Customers are left with just the base T5 powertrain or the plug-in hybrid T8 Polestar Engineered, which is technically counted as its own model and reviewed as such. The T5 sends its 250 horsepower from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine smoothly to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. But the V60 excels in many areas with strong safety tech, a smooth ride, and wonderfully-appointed cabin. The V60 wagon costs more than its S60 sedan counterpart but after reviewing a base T5 Momentum trim for a week, we think it could be worth the premium.
For 2020, the T6 powertrain is culled from the lineup, leaving shoppers with the choice between the capable T5 and the eager-beaver T8 Polestar Engineered, though the latter Hybrid V60 is reviewed separately. The entry-level Momentum trim swaps out its 17-inch wheels for 18-inch ones, and the sporty R-Design now comes standard with quad-zone climate control and ambient lighting. All models chuck the power-folding rear backrests out the window, and the optional adaptive suspension is no longer offered for the V60. Some color changes have also been made to the exterior paint palette, and a new Slate Grey Nappa leather upholstery is offered on the R-Design. All Volvo cars come standard with a 12.3-inch digital driver display for 2020, too.
See trim levels and configurations:
The V60's enticing exterior design is part of Volvo's mission to breathe modern life into a bodystyle that was once considered ugly. It manages to be one of the most attractive modern wagons around, thanks to simple yet elegant curves and edges. The face of the V60 is stunning, thanks to the sharp Thor's hammer LED headlights and the iconic grille that challenges rivals with a single diagonal line. The rear end follows a similar trend, and the L-shaped LED taillights draw a perfect frame around a well-shaped posterior. The V60 sits on a modest set of 18-inch wheels and boasts a panoramic sunroof along with roof rails. Sometimes less isn't more, but Volvo has managed to deliver a clean and simple design that catches the eye and refuses to let it go.
In terms of size, the V60 is on par with the likes of the Audi A4 allroad, but is slightly smaller than the Buick Regal TourX. The V60 sprawls 187.4 inches from front to back and has a 113.1-inch wheelbase. The wagon stands shorter than mentioned rivals at 56.6 inches and has a width of 75.4 inches with the mirrors folded. Curb weights range from between 3,778 pounds for the FWD Momentum and 3,837 lbs for the FWD Inscription. The Volvo is slightly lighter at base level than both rivals from Audi and Buick.
An eight-color palette is made available for the V60, and all three trims come standard-clad in a shade of Black Stone. The other six options cost an extra $645, and add extra sparkle as they are all metallic hues. Starting off with the tasteful bunch, Osmium Grey, Pebble Grey, Birch Light and Crystal White are on the subtle end of the spectrum. More adventurous hues require specific upholstery choices to be opted for. The Denim Blue exterior paint is exclusively available with the Charcoal leather upholstery, and the same applies to the daring shade of Fusion Red. The Bursting Blue exterior hue is exclusive to the R-Design. Our tester wore a simple shade of Birch Light, which is a sort-of beige color. On any other car, it would look boring, but the V60 rocked it like a supermodel wearing mom jeans.
The absence of the stronger T6 engine and AWD is a tough pill to swallow, but the 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder T5 offers enough power to get the wagon going without fuss. Still, the option of getting from 0-60 mph in six seconds flat is no longer available this year, so you'll have to make do with the Volvo-claimed 6.4-second that the T5 manages, though the available Polestar Performance software add-on will give you a little more performance, for an extra fee. With the T5, you'll be a second slower getting the kids to school compared to the T6 models of yesteryear, and the A4 allroad and Regal TourX will get you there slightly faster, with the latter completing a run from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds. All models now come solely-equipped with a front-wheel-drive system, meaning that they offer less capability on rainy days, but not much else is affected by the culling of AWD. The wagon also boasts a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 lbs. The T5 engine does a fine job of getting the fancy wagon going, and the regular shopper isn't at risk of being disappointed. It's those that are concerned with performance that might fault the T5, as it isn't overly exciting, as sometimes it feels as if it merely does what's asked of it and goes home at 5.
The V60 only offers a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder T5 engine for the lineup in 2020, and the T6 that added a supercharger to the mix has been put out to pasture. The T5 performs well and delivers fine and steady power via outputs of 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It's just not as exciting or peppy as the T6 variant that delivered 316 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, and the sole engine available for the V60 has slightly less oomph than the Audi A4 allroad in terms of the four-ringed wagon's 273 lb-ft torque figure. It's also less powerful than its American rival, the Buick Regal TourX, that boasts the same horsepower figure, but significantly more torque with an output of 295 lb-ft. The V60 employs an eight-speed automatic transmission to row the gears and most part, the transmission fires off shifts quite quickly and smoothly, keeping the engine humming along quietly.
While other luxury cars pretend that their owners are weekend racecar drivers, Volvo realizes that its customers just want to be comfortable on their way to work. The V60 still exhibits the traditional fitness and poise of a European car but it does feel softer than the majority of German options. Mashing the throttle presents the front wheels with a dilemma as they attempt to handle the steering and the power at the same time. There is a Dynamic Mode to force quicker shifts from the transmission but with no paddle shifters on the wheel of the Momentum trim, we felt it best to just leave the V60 in its Normal or Eco Mode. Besides, Volvo's 2.0-liter four-pot tends to sound a bit industrial when pushed hard, so letting the torque pull the V60 along at low rpm is the best way to enjoy the car.
The steering is a bit too light to be considered "fun" but it still feels accurate, giving you a nice feel for where the front wheels are positioned. Toss the V60 into a corner and it does lean in considerably but once the suspension settles, the car never feels unstable. If you'd like your V60 to feel more sporty, the R-Design with its sport chassis might be more your speed. This is certainly not the most exciting luxury car to drive but it makes for a wonderful long-distance cruiser. Volvo's Pilot Assist system is one of the best semi-autonomous suites on the market and it considerably eases the burden on the driver with light steering inputs. You end up getting out of the V60 feeling more refreshed than when you first hopped in.
The V60 is a light sipper, and bests both of its main rivals with excellent EPA estimates. Granted, the other rivals come standard equipped with all-wheel-drive, but figures are figures. The Volvo manages EPA estimates of 23/34/27 mpg city/highway/combined, only beating the A4 allroad slightly. We averaged just over 23 mpg during a week of testing. The Audi's figures are at 23/31/26 mpg from the EPA, but the Volvo's fuel economy is significantly better than the Buick Regal TourX with EPA estimated figures of 21/29/24 mpg. When the 14.5-gallon fuel tank is at full capacity, the V60 will offer just over 390 miles of range.
Living up to Volvo's distinguished reputation, the modern wagon still offers stunning and supportive seating, and the wagon is on par with competitors with its interior space offering. The V60's standard features list is impressive, even for the demanding shopper. Modern tech and clean design make the inside of the Volvo a boon, and if that isn't enough to sway you, the unconventional portrait-layout infotainment system will. Some say it's too complicated, we say the multi-faceted system is excellent once you're accustomed to it. Premium materials envelop the entire cabin, and though it may not be on the level of the A4 allroad's interior, it makes a valiant effort to surpass its German rival.
While the V60 can manage five occupants easily, the wagon is ideally suited for four adults and their carry-ons. Six-footers aren't likely to be disappointed by the rear real estate of the wagon, and they'll be even more at home in the front. The V60's rear seating area offers more legroom than rivals from Buick and Audi with 35.2 inches. The front seats offer two-way lumbar support and you can add power-adjustable side bolsters along with ventilation and a massage function on the Inscription trim if added luxury is what you desire. Optional sport seats are also available for the Momentum and Inscription and embrace occupants intimately through turns, and they come standard fitted with the R-Design.
The inside of the V60 is swathed in premium materials, a total of eight upholstery choices are available for the V60 lineup, though certain options are exclusively available for specific trim levels. Our favorite option is only available on the base-level Momentum trim, and it's a quirky blend of plaid and Blonde leather called Blonde City Weave Textile. The Momentum also makes four leather options available including Blond leather and Charcoal leather. Maroon Brown leather can be had exclusively with the Denim Blue exterior paint, and the Amber leather requires the same paint option. The R-Design gets access to two Nappa leather upholstery choices in either Slate or Charcoal. The Inscription gets access to the same leather options as the Momentum with some added ventilated Nappa choices including Maroon Brown, Blond, Amber, and Charcoal.
It's a fight to the death in the wagon segment when trunk and cargo space are considered, and the Volvo puts up a strapping fight against the Audi A4 allroad. Sadly, it falls slightly behind its four-ringed competitor with 23.2 cubic feet behind the second row in comparison to the Audi's 24.2 cubes. It may be slightly smaller than its rivals, but that doesn't mean that the space it offers won't be enough for practicality. The Volvo offers 60.5 cubes of space with all the seats folded, which is more than enough for the odd occasion that you need to help that old friend move house. The cargo hold is especially practical with grocery hooks, side storage, and an ellastic strap to stop your gallon of milk from rolling around.
The in-cabin storage offered by the wagon is decent, thanks to front and rear cupholders, an average-sized glovebox and center console. Deep door pockets aid the effort, and seatback pockets seal the deal.
For the exterior, a panoramic sunroof is standard. A multifunction steering wheel and multi-way power-adjustable front seats with two-way lumbar support join the list, along with dual-zone climate control for the base Momentum model. The R-Design adds the fours: four-way power-adjustable lumbar support and four-zone climate control, and the Inscription adds a leather gear shifter, too. The V60's entry-level safety suite is enough to get by with, but the two upper trims add some more value. The Momentum includes a rearview camera, cruise control, front and rear collision mitigation, hill start assist and lane keep assist. Added to the R-Design and Inscription is a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert. For additional packages, heated seats and heated steering can be added for $750. The Advanced Package adds a surround-view camera and a head-up display along with adaptive cruise control.
Volvo's Sensus infotainment system comprises a nine-inch portrait touchscreen, and it may seem like a challenge to use at first. The tech hub has many facets, but once you get the hang of it, it's a boon. The screen feels like using a smartphone and cementing that feeling is standard integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system also enables Bluetooth streaming, HD Radio, and SiriusXM functionality through a premium ten-speaker sound system. A navigation system is added at base-level already, along with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Added to the R-Design and the Inscription is a premium 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and HomeLink. A 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system can be added for $3,200 and is worth every penny.
Every single 2020 Volvo is being recalled for the possibility of the automatic emergency brake not engaging, and the V60 is inevitably one of them. The 2019 model suffered the same issue, along with no GPS location being provided to emergency services in the event of a crash. To reassure purchasers, Volvo offers a basic warranty of four years or 50,000 miles along with a 12-year corrosion warranty. The drivetrain warranty is valid for the same period and mileage limit as the basic warranty, and roadside assistance is standard for four years.
The 2020 Volvo V60 has not been crash-tested by the NHTSA or the IIHS, but its close relative, the S60, managed to bag a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS.
Volvo is renowned for the excellent safety of its vehicles, and this is shown in its suite of safety features. All V60s come with a seven-airbag system that includes dual front, front side, side curtain, front side and driver's knee airbags. The Momentum includes front and rear collision mitigation, hill start assist, lane keep assist and a stop/start function. The two upper trims add a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert. Pilot Assist can be added under the Advanced Package and this welcomes the addition of adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, a surround-view camera, distance alert and pilot assist that aids steering in favor of keeping the V60 in one lane. Park Assist can also be added separately for self-parking.
Other automakers may have shunned the wagon segment but the Volvo V60 proves that these automakers backed out prematurely. The V60 shines as a practical and comfortable luxury vehicle that feels more compelling than a crossover. It offers a stellar interior, class-leading safety technology, and a modest powertrain that feels inoffensive. The lack of AWD could be a dealbreaker for some buyers but fortunately, the lifted V60 Cross Country still offers it. Wagon fans who crave a bit more zip can opt for the Polestar Engineered T8 trim, which adds a supercharger and hybrid motor for a total of 415 horsepower. The V60 Polestar should be the ultimate unicorn as performance wagons are nearly nonexistent in the US.
Despite lacking a more powerful engine option, the V60 feels like it is a class of its own. The V60's only near competitor is the Audi A4 allroad but it suffers from having a lifted ride height and body cladding that ruin its wagon proportions. Owners who need to drive up a dirt driveway may prefer the allroad's ruggedness but Volvo's V60 CrossCountry offers similar capability. If you are in the market for a luxurious wagon with a compelling package, the V60 is now your one and only option, and it's a good one.
With a starting MSRP of $39,650, the entry-level Momentum trim is significantly more affordable than the base model A4 allroad's MSRP of $44,600. The R-Design offers some extra features and a sportier exterior design for $45,400. The top of the range Inscription will set shoppers back by the same price as the R-Design, so it comes down to whether you'd prefer a sporty V60 or a more refined one when choosing between the two. A $995 destination fee is applicable to your purchase of any of the three V60 trims.
A total of three trim levels make up the V60 lineup, and these include the Momentum, R-Design, and the Inscription. Only one engine is available for this year's range, and the V60 is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. An AWD-option is also no longer available, and Volvo sticks to an exclusive front-wheel drivetrain for the V60.
For the exterior, a panoramic sunroof is standard from base level and all three trims sit on 18-inch wheels. For the interior, the Momentum includes multi-way power-adjustable front seats and a multifunction steering wheel as well as dual-zone climate control. A large touchscreen enables Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with Bluetooth streaming, HD Radio, and SiriusXM functionality through a premium sound system.A 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is standard. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, cruise control, hill start assist, front and rear collision mitigation, and lane keep assist.
The Inscription and R-Design add four-way power-adjustable lumbar support and four-zone climate control. A premium 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system is added to the R-Design along with Homelink. These trims also add a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alert.
For the Momentum, a Multimedia Package can be added for $1,850 and adds the Sensus navigation system and a premium 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. One of the more important add-ons for any of the trim levels would be the Advanced Package that adds a head-up display and a surround-view camera for $2,500. The $2,050 Premium Package welcomes the addition of front and rear park assist, the blind-spot information system, steer assist and cross traffic alert. A power tailgate is also added along with an auto-adjusting rearview mirror that avoids the glare of headlights. Heated seats and a heated steering wheel can be added to any model for $750. The Inscription gets exclusive access to the Luxury Package that adds power-adjustable side bolsters to the seats as well as a massage function. This package also includes four choices of Nappa leather upholstery for a total cost of $2,200.
Given that the R-design and the Inscription are pretty much the same price with the latter offering a less sporty appearance, we'd recommend going for the Inscription as it adds a few features over the base model, including blind-spot monitoring and a premium Harman Kardon sound system, and a softer ride than the R-Design. We'd recommend opting for the Advanced package for $2,500, adding the head-up display and the surround-view camera. The luxury package is a nice touch as well for $2,220, adding those wonderful massaging seats with ventilation. Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound is a pricey option at $3,200 but it is still the best audio system we've tested in a luxury car. The Fusion Red metallic hue is also worth opting for $650, as it clads the V60 in an elegant, yet eye-catching, color. As-described, the V60 rings in at $55,690. We hate that you can't get the plaid interior on the Inscription trim and it almost makes us want to save around $6,000 to opt for the Momentum trim.
Starting with a vast difference between price tags, the Outback comes in at a much lower asking of $26,645. While budgets are important, so is quality, and the Subaru is not as luxurious as the V60, whether you consider the outside or the inside. What the Japanese wagon does offer is the choice of two engines and all-wheel drive, which the V60 no longer offers and extra towing capability along with some extra off-road capability. The most powerful engine in the Outback's lineup is a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine that offers slightly more power than the V60, but not by enough to influence the final decision between the two. The Volvo offers safety and reliability that the Outback doesn't, but what the Subaru lacks in those departments, it makes up for with more interior space, better fuel economy and a nature more inclined to utility than its Swedish counterpart. Still, the Volvo manages to best the Outback in terms of luxury, comfort and fuel economy, and is the better buy of the two.
These Swedish barouches share the same turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and in turn, deliver the same power outputs of 250 hp and 258 lb-ft. The added weight from the bigger V90 means that the engine has more to lug around which results in lower EPA estimates of 22/33/26 mpg, but the option of a more powerful T6 engine and AWD for the V90 is very convincing. The two also share similar interiors, but the V90 offers slightly more luxury from its interior in the ways of wooden trim inserts and better standard upholstery. Put simply, the V90 is a bigger V60 and it offers more space from the inside and a bigger total cargo space, but strangely, a smaller trunk. The V90 also offers the T6 engine option that's a lot more powerful than the one found in the V60. If you're looking for added space and extra power, the V90 is the way to go. If you're not concerned with those two factors and want to be kind to your bank account, stick to the V60.
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