Volvo arguably built its reputation in America on wagons. Yet for the 2013 model year, and even into 2014, they're conspicuously absent from the brand's U.S. showrooms.
That's slated to change with the introduction of the 2015 Volvo V60, a model that will be introduced early in the 2014 calendar year. The 2015 V60 won't only mark the return of the wagon to Volvo's lineup; it'll also be the first model to get the brand's new Drive-E four-cylinder engines—along with their significantly better fuel economy ratings.
The Swedish (and now Chinese-owned) dropped its V70 wagon from the U.S. lineup back in 2011, instead opting to make all of that body style in its more rugged XC70 form, while the V50 was discontinued with its S40 sedan sibling after 2012.
Design-wise, the V60 picks up where the V50 left off, while it's likely to appear a lot more curvaceous to those who have owned V70 models in the past. Forward of the rear doors, the V60 looks much like its S60 counterpart, including the sportier makeover that this model received for 2014, with its restyled headlamps and lower airdam, new wheels, and somewhat more horizontal grille. But at the rear, the roofline takes a downward curve, and the sides taper, ever so slightly, in the same way as the stylish C30 hatchback. What's inside remains distinctly Scandinavian in terms of trims and interior combinations, and light and dark contrasts abound.
What's under the hood will be new. Two different new four-cylinder engines will power the V60; a base 2.0-liter turbocharged four will make 240 horsepower and be installed in T5 models, while T6 models will get a 302-hp version of that same engine that's both supercharged and turbocharged. The idea is that it'll produce strong, V-6-like torque at low revs while relying on the turbocharger to help improve mileage and also give strong mid- and higher-rev power when needed. Based on early driving impressions of the stronger engine, the turbo six will be missed in sound alone, and the new engine feels just as strong. Both engines, by the way, will include eight-speed automatic transmissions.
Throughout the lineup, we expect the V60 to drive much like the S60; that means you can expect confident, albeit somewhat light, steering and, for the most part, athletic handling and decent dynamics for a front-wheel-drive car. Look for a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds or less for the T6 version. Meanwhile Volvo anticipates an EPA Combined rating of 29 mpg for the T5 version, and we anticipate that the only slightly heavier V60 could match that.
All-wheel-drive versions of the V60, due at or soon after launch, will still warrant the old-generation engines, for now. That means a 250-hp, 2.5-liter turbo five, or a 325-hp turbo 3.0-liter six in top R-Design AWD form. Although the mileage won't be nearly as good, we've found these engines to be strong, smooth, and agreeable. Unfortunately though, the new fours won't be offered with AWD for a year or two.
Volvo hasn't yet priced the V60 or detailed its features, but we expect a set that's comparable to what's offered in the S60 sedans. That means that you can expect the same new Sensus Touch interface, as well as updated navigation systems with real-time traffic, a rear camera system, and voice controls, plus loads of active-safety features as well as the kind of all-encompassing Climate Package that we've come to expect from Volvo.
The 2015 V60 goes on sale in January or February 2015; check back for more information as it's announced.
- Beautiful, tapered wagon roofline
- New fuel-efficient engines
- Ride quality
- Top-tier safety record of S60
- If it's not boxy, will it be as practical?
- AWD versions get thirstier engines
- Handling not quite up to sport-sedan standards