2019 Volvo V60, Tarragona, Spain, June 2018
When it comes to station wagons and crossover SUVs, the 2019 Volvo V60 and XC60 are all about the numbers.
We like both and for mostly the same reasons. The V60 looks like an XC60 that was left in the dryer too long, and that’s just fine with us.
We rate the 2019 V60 wagon at 7.2 points and the 2019 XC60 crossover SUV at 7.3 points. That’s a small win for the XC60, but its margin of victory could be erased when the V60 is crash tested by federal and independent testers.
The V60 and XC60 don’t just look a lot alike. They’re near twins under the skin, too. They both ride on versions of Volvo’s scalable architecture that now underpins its entire lineup. A turbo-4 rated at 250 horsepower sends power to the front wheels in V60 and XC60 T5 versions while a 316-hp turbocharged and supercharged inline-4 shuttles power to all four wheels in T6 versions.
We haven’t spent much time behind the wheel of V60 and XC60 T5s. The T6 engine gives both the wagon and the crossover SUV good acceleration and it works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission.
2019 Volvo V60 R-Design
2019 Volvo V60 R-Design
2019 Volvo V60 city weave interior
Volvo’s all-wheel-drive system provides good traction, but the 20-inch alloy wheels on some versions are wrapped in tires that may not be well-suited to some wintry climates.
The XC60 is available in a plug-in hybrid version Volvo calls T8. It’s costly, but it provides an all-electric range of 17 miles. That engine choice isn’t available on the V60.
Predictably, the V60 uses less fuel than the XC60, according to the EPA. Front-drive V60 T5s are rated at 28 mpg combined and all-wheel drive shaves that figure to 25 mpg. The XC60 is rated at 23 mpg in T5 guise with all-wheel drive and 22 mpg with the T6 powertrain.
Inside, the wagon and crossover share a dashboard design and most features. Even their leather seats are nearly identical, although the V60 Momentum trim can be ordered with a combination of leather bolsters and a plaid-like fabric that we really like.
Interior space for passengers is nearly identical up front, but the V60 pampers with about three inches more leg room in the rear. We’re not exactly sure where the Swedes carved out those extra inches since the two vehicles ride on nearly identical wheelbases.
Here’s another surprise: The V60 looks smaller but its cargo area is larger. With the rear seat upright, the V60 has about 32 cubic feet of space compared to the XC60’s 30 cubes. Fold the second row flat and the V60 can swallow almost 51 cubes versus the XC60’s 49 cubic-foot rating. The V60 is three inches longer than the XC60 overall, although neither is likely to pose a challenge when it comes to a typical garage.
2019 Volvo XC60
2019 Volvo XC60
2018 Volvo XC60
Volvo V60 and XC60 features and value
Volvo charges about $900 less for a base V60 than it does for an XC60 but there are some notable caveats. The biggest? Don’t go looking for a V60 on your local Volvo dealer’s lot. The V60 is a special order-only vehicle, so you’ll need to be patient waiting for yours to be built and shipped to the dealer.
The V60 T5 starts at about $39,000 and wants for little. Leather (or no-cost leather/cloth) upholstery, a panoramic moonroof, a 9.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and automatic emergency braking are all standard. The V60 T6 costs about $4,500 more and it includes a more powerful engine and heated seats.
A base XC60 T5 tickles $40,000 but does without leather ($1,600 more).
On both Volvos, the automaker’s advanced partial self-driving technology is a $2,500 option for most trim levels. The Advanced Package includes a trick adaptive cruise control system that uses sensors to keep the vehicle within its lane and can bring it to a halt and start it up again in heavy traffic.
The sporty R-Design trim level available for either includes interior and exterior styling touches, but neither Volvo is especially sporty to drive.
We’re patient, so we’d order a V60 and wait for it to be delivered. For those who can’t wait or must have a higher seat, the XC60 is still an excellent choice.