Volvo V60 review - Engines, performance and drive
Refinement is the main focus of the V60 driving experience, although plug-in hybrid versions offer great blend of performance and economy
Volvo has taken a different approach to rivals with the V60. Rather than go chasing the driving dynamics of the BMW 3 Series Touring, the V60 takes a more relaxed approach. It’s quiet, comfortable and relaxed, even on the optional 19-inch wheels that are available, although the largest 20-inch wheels might be an increase too far.
The suspension isn’t as stiff as in some rivals’, which pays off in terms of ride comfort, but not so much when it comes to handling. If you opt for Volvo's Active Four-C adaptive dampers, it’ll stiffen slightly if you bother to delve into the various drive modes, but most people will (wisely) just leave it in the comfort setting.
The V60 corners safely and with confidence, but you don’t quite get the level of feel you get from a 3 Series through the steering wheel and suspension. For most people most of the time, though, they’ll enjoy the quiet calm of the Volvo, especially on the motorway, where it’s an impressive cruiser.
It’s on the motorway where you’re most likely to use the Volvo’s excellent Pilot Assist autonomous features too. The car will keep a set distance from the vehicle in front once you’ve set the speed you want to travel at (this is the same as other adaptive cruise control systems), but it will also keep you in lane and steer you around gentle corners. You have to keep your hands on the wheel at all times though, ready to take over if needs be – otherwise you’ll get beeped at by the safety systems. However, it really adds a degree of relaxation to longer journeys and the system works well.
The T8 Twin Engine is the fastest model in the range, but it's not especially sporty – it's best considered as a fast, composed cruiser rather than a BMW-baiting driver's machine. Its 395bhp and 640Nm mean overtaking is effortless but there's not much communication through the steering wheel in bends. Thanks to its plug-in hybrid technology, silent all-electric driving is possible for up to 36 miles – it's feasible that the T8's petrol engine could be reserved exclusively for out-of-town driving if you keep the batteries topped up.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
The B4 diesel makes 194bhp and has a reasonable turn of pace, managing the 0-62mph dash in 7.9s. It's a relatively quiet unit, suppressing diesel clatter well and adding to the general peace and quiet in the cabin. The entry-level B3 petrol is over a second slower at 9.1s, while the B4, B5 and B6 deliver increasingly quicker sprint times of 8.0s, 6.8s and 6.0s, respectively.
The T6 and T8 plug-in hybrids are very quick machines. With a total output of 335bhp, the T6 hits 0-62mph in 5.4s, while the 395bhp Polestar Engineered T8 delivers a supercar-baiting 4.4s run.
In this review
- 1Volvo V60 reviewThe Volvo V60 is a spacious and stylish choice in the premium estate car sector
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingRefinement 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 SafetyVolvo aims for there to be no road deaths in a new Volvo from 2020 onwards, so the V60 is packed with the latest safety technology