Volvo V60 review
If you want a luxurious and spacious estate, the Volvo V60 offers a relaxed alternative to German rivals
The V60 cements Volvo’s place among premium car makers – it’s a high quality, tech-packed, spacious and stylish estate that offers a different take on established rivals from Germany.
Where the others focus on driver appeal, the V60 offers a more comfort-orientated approach. It rides well, even on larger 19-inch wheels, and the laminated side glass found on top-spec Inscription models boosts refinement no end. Inside, there’s the typical Swedish laid-back approach with comfortable seats, lots of space in the rear seats and boot, and an easy-to-use 9-inch touchscreen that dominates the dash. The cabin design is brighter than in German rivals, and although quality is impressive, it’s not quite up to the latest Audi standards.
Nonetheless, with AWD options and a pair of rapid plug-in hybrids to tempt business users, the V60 is an attractive alternative to the slew of SUVs that are currently so popular.
About the V60 Estate
Volvo is famous for its estate cars, and while the Swedish brand has successfully embraced the SUV concept by offering some of the most attractive vehicles in the class, the V60 proves it has also stayed true to its roots.
The V60 follows in the tradition of iconic Volvo estates like the early 240 and later 850, which were generally held to be some of the most practical and family-friendly cars on the market. Volvo’s foray into the SUV sector has reduced its focus on estate buyers, but the fact the latest V60 arrived a year before its S60 saloon sister model in 2018 suggests Volvo still values its traditional strengths.
This is the second generation V60, and it’s most obviously a rival to estate versions of rival German premium-exec models such as the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate. That’s about it if you’re interested only in the once dominant estate car formula, but of course many drivers these days have switched allegiance to the very many SUVs and crossovers that offer similar practicality with a commanding road view and more fashionable style.
Car group tests
For some people habits die hard though, and for them and others who put practicality ahead of style the Volvo V60 makes a strong case for itself. It uses the same running gear as other Volvos such as the XC90, XC60 and V90 estate, plus it has the biggest boot of any model in the compact executive estate class, at 529 litres. Add in a stylish interior packed with tech, and it's clear why we awarded it commendations in our 2018 and 2019 New Car Awards.
Prices for the V60 start from around £34,000 and rise to just over £51,000, which is more or less on a par with rivals. The line-up comprises Momentum, R-Design, Inscription, Polestar and Cross Country trims. Entry-level Momentum Plus cars are very well equipped, R-Design adds a sporty edge to the car's looks, while Inscription is the plush, luxury model. The Polestar Engineered T8 petrol plug-in hybrid versions offer a blend of performance and efficiency, with the Cross-Country AWD models providing 60mm of extra ground clearance and some limited off-road ability.
The engine line-up is made up exclusively of 2.0-litre units, with the core models badged B3, B4, B5 and B6. Respective power outputs are: 161bhp, 194bhp, 247bhp and 296bhp. Most engines are petrol, but the 194bhp B4 can be had with either petrol or diesel power.
For those with a focus on efficiency, Volvo also offers the T6 (335bhp) and T8 (399bhp) plug-in hybrid versions. The latter is only available as the Polestar Engineered model grade, Polestar being Volvo’s performance division, as well as an EV brand in its own right. The T6 is available in Inscription and R-Design grades.
All V60 versions have an eight-speed auto transmission, with the plug-in hybrid, B6 and Cross Country variants offered with four-wheel-drive.
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In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingIf you want a luxurious and spacious estate, the Volvo V60 offers a relaxed alternative to German rivals
- 2Engines, performance and driveRefinement is the main focus of the V60 driving experience, although plug-in hybrid versions offer great blend of performance and economy
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFour-cylinder engines provide decent economy, with plug-in hybrids promising the best economy
- 4Interior, design and technologyVolvo leads its rivals on interior design – the V60 has a cool and calm cabin, while technology is class best, too
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceBest-in-class boot space is backed up by impressive knee room in the back. Foot space is a little more cramped, though
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe V60 delivers the usual high standard of Volvo safety