The new Volvo V60 is a far cry from its boxy predecessors that were once common on our roads. It still offers excellent safety, useful cargo space and everyday practicality that the old wagons were known for but it now wears a sharper suit and offers serious performance potential too. Introduced only two years ago the V60 features minor changes for the 2017 model year.
The interior is a fine example of Swedish style with quality materials, light-colored fabrics and a minimalist feel that is unique to the brand. Higher trim levels offer customization options that really add to the feel good factor. The customizable instrument gauges are a nice touch although the current touchscreen system is a bit behind the times in its functionality.
Occupants in the front will appreciate the comfortable seats and as long as they do not recline too far back, rear passengers will have adequate leg room too. An available child booster seat for the rear is a useful and unique option to the V60.
Cargo space in the rear is a big step up from the sedan but only average compared to other wagons. The fold-down rear seats do add some practicality and offer some smart solutions to keep your shopping or pets in place.
The V60 is heavily based on the S60 sedan and this means that it offers a similarly sharp drive, responses to inputs are immediate and while it may not have the overtly sporting feel of an equivalent 3 Series wagon the bias towards better ride comfort will be appreciated by some shoppers.
Those wanting more dynamic ability can always opt for the T6 R-Design model which adds power, sportier suspension settings and larger 19-inch wheels. This does sharpen up the handling but the ride is a lot busier over bumpy surfaces.
The base V60 T5 is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 producing 240 hp and 258 lb ft of torque. T6 R-Design models add a supercharger to the layout and make 302 hp and 295 lb ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic is the only transmission option. It changes cogs smoothly throughout the rev range.
Front-wheel drive is standard on the T5 with all-wheel drive optional on all trim levels. The T6 is all-wheel drive only.Consumption figures are very competitive with a slight dip if AWD is optioned. Performance figures are strong too, the T6 in particular delivering impressive acceleration with a claimed 5.7-second 0-60 mph time.
The T5 is available in standard, Premier, Platinum and Dynamic trim levels. Front-wheel drive is standard with all-wheel drive available as an option. The base T5 comes equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen display including Bluetooth, power front seats, cruise control, auto-headlights and wipers, sunroof and LED running lights.
Premier trim adds leather seats, navigation, silver roof rails and auto dimming rearview mirror.Platinum trim adds a Harman Kardon audio system, active dual Xenon headlights and includes both the Convenience (keyless drive, rear park assist, adaptive digital display) and Technology packages (Adaptive cruise control, driver alert control, distance alert, lane keep assist, collision warning and active high beams).Dynamic trim adds detail exterior styling features, paddle shifters and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The T6 R-Design come with the 302 hp engine and is available exclusively with all-wheel drive. It has a number of R-Design touches and includes all of the Premier trim items as standard as well as having keyless drive, sport tuned suspension, adaptive Xenon headlights and power folding mirrors.A dual-screen rear entertainment system, integrated rear booster seats and a Climate Package with heated windshield, washer nozzles and steering wheel are also available.
Modern wagons may not have the cool factor of the currently fashionable crossover SUVs but the Volvo V60 with its high levels of practicality, style and performance may well convince some shoppers otherwise. Superlative safety equipment and a comfortable ride help it stand out in its segment too.