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In-depth reviews

Volvo V60 (2018-2023) - 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

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Engines, performance and drive Rating

4.1 out of 5

Price
£41,330 to £57,970
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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.

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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 plug-in hybrid V60 Recharge T8 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 399bhp 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 54 miles – it's feasible that both the T6 and T8's petrol engine could be reserved exclusively for out-of-town driving if you keep the batteries topped up.

0-62mph acceleration and top speed

The engine line-up for the V60 is made up exclusively of petrol 2.0-litre, four-cylinder units, badged B3, B4 and the Cross Country-only B5. Respective power outputs are 161bhp, 194bhp and 247bhp, while the 296bhp B6 engine was discontinued along with the D3 and D4 diesel options. 

The plug-in hybrid V60 Recharge T6 and T8 pair their petrol engines with an electric motor for a total power output of 335bhp and 399bhp respectively.

The entry-level B3 goes from 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds with the more powerful B4 achieving the same sprint a second quicker. The B5 Cross Country is even faster still with a 6.9 seconds 0-62mph, but the plug-in hybrids take it to the next level – delivering an impressive 5.4-second and 4.6-second time for the T6 and T8.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

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    2.0 D3 Momentum 5dr
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Most Economical

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Fastest

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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