New & Used Volvo V60: In Depth
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The Volvo V60, which showed up at dealerships very early in 2014 as a 2015 model, marks the return of the traditional Volvo wagon back into the U.S. market. But it's far from the boxy Volvo wagons of the Seventies and Eighties. Instead, it's now a low, sleek sporty wagon version of the current mid-size Volvo S60 sedan, which was launched in 2010 as a new design. It's offered in three different powertrains, including front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, and a high-performance sportier version.
But its relatively cramped rear seat and not-very-impressive cargo volume mean that it's closer in spirit to European sport wagons from Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen than it is to its own ancestors. Volvo says it's for buyers who want a versatile vehicle that retains the handling of a sport sedan, and the company has relatively modest volume targets for the car--although it says customers have reacted enthusiastically to the return of the traditional (non-crossover) Volvo wagon.
MORE: See our 2015 Volvo V60 review page
If you want cargo space and hauling capacity, this is probably not the Volvo for you--look toward the Swedish brand's three different utility vehicles. The V60's sleek, descending roofline and angled tailgate provide just 43 cubic feet of volume for luggage after you've folded down the rear seat, far less than in Volvo's related XC60 crossover. The rear seat is split into three segments--40/20/40--and provides a pass-through for skis, but like its S60 sedan sibling, the V60 is tight for four adults.
As launched for 2015, the $35,300 base V60 T5 uses Volvo's new "Drive-E" direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It generates 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and drives the front wheels only through a new eight-speed automatic transmission. Volvo notes that the Drive-E engine has an "overboost" mode, in which its turbocharger can boost torque to 280 lb-ft under hard acceleration for up to 10 seconds. This is the V60 model with the fastest acceleration: Volvo quotes a 0-to-60-mph time of just 6.1 seconds.
The middle of the V60 range is the T5 AWD model, which pairs an older 250-hp five-cylinder engine to a six-speed automatic and the company's all-wheel-drive system. It starts at $36,800. Finally, the T6 R-Design offers the most powerful engine in the range, a 325-hp in-line six that's also paired with all-wheel drive, starting at $44,300.
Ultimately, Volvo will migrate all of its vehicle lines to the new and highly efficient Drive-E engine family, but for the moment, its use in the S60 and V60 will be restricted to front-wheel-drive models only due to packaging constraints in a platform that's now in its sixth model year. That engine now includes a start-stop system as standard--it's very quick on the restart, which we applaud. All V60 models offer three drive modes: Normal, Sport, and Eco+, which cuts off the air conditioning and remaps the throttle and transmission for more efficient performance.
Fuel efficiency for the new V60 is at its best with the Drive-E engine and front-wheel drive, at 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city, 37 mpg highway). The T5 AWD model comes in at 25 mpg combined, and the T6 R-Design at 23 mpg combined. A moonroof is standard equipment on all Volvo V60 models.
Volvo introduced models with the new Sensus Connect infotainment system as '2015.5' models, so as to differentiate them in lots. The new system in the 2015.5 Volvo S60 includes Volvo On-call concierge and roadside-assistance services, cloud-based services, 3D maps for the navigation system, and new Harman Kardon premium sound.