2018 Volvo V60 Review

V60

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2018 Volvo V60 Overview

As Volvo’s smallest wagon, the V60 breaks from the Swedish automaker’s boxy mold, taking the S60 sedan and extending its roofline for an intriguing alternative to the usual compact luxury crossover. For 2018, the V60 sees no major changes.

Like the S60 sedan, the V60 is a prime example of understated Swedish design. Volvo forges its own path ahead with a body design featuring smooth lines and lots of glass. And if you want your V60 to stand out even further, Volvo has you covered—the Cross Country trim goes for a rugged look with an increased ride height, black fender extensions, skid plates, and aggressive 18-inch wheels. The Polestar, meanwhile, is perfect for those with a need for speed, boasting an aerodynamic body kit, 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in performance summer tires, and exclusive exterior color choices.

A key reason for choosing the V60 over the S60 is the extra cargo room— thanks to the taller roofline, the V60 offers 28 cubic feet behind the rear seats, which is 16 more than in the S60. Folding the rear seats increases cargo space to 43.8 cubic feet, although BMW’s 3 Series Sports Wagon offers significantly more room at 61.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Front passengers will have more than enough head and legroom, while those sitting in the rear have decent headroom but not much legroom to go around. The seats provide excellent comfort for long trips.

The V60’s interior is elegant and simple, much like its exterior design. The material quality is excellent, with an abundance of soft-touch plastics throughout the cabin. Where the V60 falters slightly is with its confusing and cluttered center-stack layout—while the volume and temperature controls are well placed, others like the navigation or hands-free phone shortcut buttons are difficult to find. Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system with a 7-inch screen comes standard, although it’s reportedly somewhat difficult to use due to the complex menu structure and control knob.

Under the hood, the V60 provides a selection of 4-cylinder engines. The base T5 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. The T6 adds supercharging to the turbo 2.0-liter to boost power to 302 hp and 295 lb-ft. Finally, the Polestar tweaks the T6 engine for an output of 362 hp and 347 lb-ft. All engines come equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, which features paddle shifters on the Polestar trim. T5 models get the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), while the T6 comes with AWD exclusively. Most reviewers were thoroughly satisfied with the T5’s performance, although power-hungry folks might want to consider the T6 for its more rapid acceleration. Fuel-economy figures range from 20 mpg city, 27 highway, and 23 combined for the Polestar to 25, 36, and 39 for the T5 with FWD.

Balanced is the key word to describe the V60’s handling and ride. It might feel quite as sharp as some of its rivals, but body motions are kept in check and most drivers will be impressed with its responsive steering. Those who want the best-handling V60 on the market will want to check out the Polestar, which receives a stiffer sport suspension and Brembo brakes. Some say the V60 is the perfect road-trip vehicle, as bumps in the road are ironed out and exterior noise is almost nonexistent.

The V60 carries on Volvo’s tradition of offering a large amount of safety equipment, although most of it does not come standard. All models get a full complement of airbags, traction and stability control, whiplash protection, and Volvo’s City Safety system, which can prevent or reduce the impact of a collision by automatically applying the brakes. Optional features include blind-spot monitoring, a reversing camera with park assist, automatic high beams, pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, road-sign information, and adaptive cruise control. The 2017 model received Top Safety Pick+ status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Updated

Ask William Maley how he started as an automotive writer and he would say he just fell into it. Based in Michigan, William has driven vehicles of all sizes and shapes. His work has appeared on Autobytel, CARFAX, Cheers & Gears, and U.S. News Best Cars.

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