Automotive

Review: 2020 Volvo V60 is a wagon without compromise

Review: 2020 Volvo V60 is a wa...
There are few things more beautiful than a well-designed station wagon
There are few things more beautiful than a well-designed station wagon
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All-wheel drive still offered despite Volvo’s dropping of the T6 model
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All-wheel drive still offered despite Volvo’s dropping of the T6 model
The V60's front fascia is flat and clipped at the edges making good driver visibility
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The V60's front fascia is flat and clipped at the edges making good driver visibility
Station wagons enjoy the best of both worlds
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Station wagons enjoy the best of both worlds
At the rear, the V60's windows narrow for a more dramatic, fast-paced look, but still allow a lot of rear visibility for the driver
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At the rear, the V60's windows narrow for a more dramatic, fast-paced look, but still allow a lot of rear visibility for the driver
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On the road, the 2020 V60 feels comfortable and easy to drive
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On the road, the 2020 V60 feels comfortable and easy to drive
There are few things more beautiful than a well-designed station wagon
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There are few things more beautiful than a well-designed station wagon
Inside, the 2020 V60 has an elegant and very Volvo interior
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Inside, the 2020 V60 has an elegant and very Volvo interior
Rear seating in the 2020 Volvo V60 is roomier than expected and surprisingly comfortable
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Rear seating in the 2020 Volvo V60 is roomier than expected and surprisingly comfortable
The digital driver's instrument cluster is standard in the Volvo V60
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The digital driver's instrument cluster is standard in the Volvo V60
For technology, the V60 is pretty well-equipped. Especially for safety, as would be expected of Volvo
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For technology, the V60 is pretty well-equipped. Especially for safety, as would be expected of Volvo
Cargo space in the 2020 V60 is huge, standing at 23.2 cubic feet
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Cargo space in the 2020 V60 is huge, standing at 23.2 cubic feet
There is only one powertrain for the 2020 Volvo V60 now, the T5 model with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine
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There is only one powertrain for the 2020 Volvo V60 now, the T5 model with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine
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Volvo has a reputation for a lot of things, one of those being an undying love for station wagons. Throughout the company’s history, wagons have been present in various formats. The V60 is perhaps the most-recognized station wagon on the market today, offering premium midsized luxury with a hatch.

At a Glance

  • Beautiful design both inside and out, as befits a well-done wagon.
  • Lots of cargo and passenger room to be had.
  • All-wheel drive still offered despite Volvo’s dropping of the T6 model.
  • Extremely comfortable front seating.

Station wagons enjoy the best of both worlds: they have the handling and feel of a sedan and the versatility and roominess of a hatchback crossover. They’re also prettier, by design, than most bulkier vehicles. There’s a lot to love about a good wagon or European estate.

On the road, the 2020 V60 feels comfortable and easy to drive
On the road, the 2020 V60 feels comfortable and easy to drive

Revamped last year, the 2020 V60 changes a few things this year in hopes of matching the current market more closely. The T6 AWD model is no longer offered, with all things V60 being encapsulated in the T5 instead. Some content shuffling in the trim levels gives more goodness to the lower end, for example, by making things like larger wheels standard, and upgrades like ambient interior lighting easier to get.

Perhaps most compelling for the V60, though, is its beautiful design quality. Sleek edges and a saloon-type estate profile give the new model something not found in most other station wagon options. The front fascia is flat and clipped at the edges, giving both a strong face to the car and easy driver visibility and maneuvering. At the rear, the windows narrow for a more dramatic, fast-paced look, but still allow a lot of rear visibility for the driver. The size of the bodywork is minimized thanks to the effect large wheels (18-inch as standard, 19 inches on the top trim) have in the long and low design of the V60.

Inside, the 2020 V60 has an elegant and very Volvo interior, with diligent use of material changes and inlays for a classy, but not overdone look. Comfort is high in the front seats, with bolstering and padding done just right. Adjustments are plentiful, and finding enough legroom is easy. Headroom is also spacious. In the back seats, comfort is very good at the outboards, while the middle seat spot (never a coveted position) is adequate for kids or short trips.

Inside, the 2020 V60 has an elegant and very Volvo interior
Inside, the 2020 V60 has an elegant and very Volvo interior

Cargo space in the 2020 V60 is huge, standing at 23.2 cubic feet (657 liters) with the rear seats up and 50.9 cf (1,441.3 liters) with the rear seats folded. Those seats fold nearly flat and the rear cargo door hinges up for a wide opening, impinged only by the signature Volvo tail lamp inset angles. It’s a large, useful cargo space that’s on par with most small crossovers.

There is only one powertrain for the V60 now, the T5 model with its turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This outputs 250 horsepower (186.4 kW) and 258 pound-feet (350 Nm) of torque; doing so fairly early in the RPM range. This connects to an eight-speed automatic transmission for front-wheel drive with AWD as an option. This setup provides smooth delivery of the turbo-four’s muscle and is more than adequate for the V60. It’s a great balance between performance feel and economy for this car.

On the road, the 2020 V60 feels comfortable and easy to drive. It’s intuitive, never lacks for power, but doesn’t have the usual jumpiness a turbocharged engine can create. Instead, it’s smooth and confident, as a luxury estate like the V60 should be.

For technology, the V60 is pretty well-equipped ... especially for safety, as would be expected of Volvo. Standard features in the V60 include automatic LED headlamps, rain-sensing and heating windshield wipers, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone climate, a digital instrument cluster, power-folding rear headrests to improve driver visibility, and 40:20:40 rear split-fold seating.

At the rear, the V60's windows narrow for a more dramatic, fast-paced look, but still allow a lot of rear visibility for the driver
At the rear, the V60's windows narrow for a more dramatic, fast-paced look, but still allow a lot of rear visibility for the driver

The standard 9-inch touchscreen with Volvo’s Sensus infotainment interface includes the usual array of connectivity such as Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and satellite radio. Also standard are forward collision warning and mitigation braking, lane keeping assist, and driver alert monitor. Unusually, though, the V60 also includes intersection cross-traffic collision mitigation, run-off-road mitigation/protection, and a traffic sign reader as standard.

With add-on options or trim level increases, the V60 can also have even more safety and convenience equipment like power-folding and auto-dimming side mirrors and front-to-rear parking sensors – not to mention semi-automated driving with Volvo’s Pilot Assist and a head-up display feature. An adaptive suspension system, which we had on our test model, is also optional and can greatly improve ride quality in the V60.

There are a lot of things to love about the Volvo V60. With a price tag starting at US$39,650 for a well-equipped base model, it can move past $50,000 fairly easily when fully loaded. Our well-heeled 2020 Volvo V60 AWD Cross Country test model rang in at $56,990 with delivery ... though the $4,000 Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound add-on might have been a bit excessive.

Product Page: 2020 Volvo V60

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3 comments
Russ
I love the Volvo V60 (CC) as well but I wonder why all of the accolades for it and no love for its bigger brother V90 (CC). Same interior, more cargo and a slightly more aero design.
guzmanchinky
That is a lot of car for that money. I know Europeans love their "Kombis" but I'm not sure I would ever drive a Volvo Station Wagon. Boxy But Good!
Spud Murphy
This has a huge compromise - the ICE. By buying this and any other ICE you are committing to paying thousands each year on engine maintenance and fuel. This is a vastly missed opportunity to have made a great station wagon EV.