Even in the US, where station wagons are anything but objects of desire, the Volvo V90 is, quite simply, a damn sexy family hauler. With a starting price of US$52K, it's not for everyone, though. The all-new Volvo V60 follows the V90's styling and SPA-platformed construction closely, offering a smaller, more affordable Volvo estate with sleek lines and Thor's hammer eyes. It also benefits from Volvo's leadership in safety, technology and subscription-based purchasing.
We're not sure looks are a major deterrent for would-be buyers of the current-generation mid-size V60, but we can't imagine they're a driving purchase factor either. The model is defined by a forgettable face and chunky body. It's not the worst-looking wagon on the highway, but it's definitely a smaller, less genetically endowed sibling to the newer V90.
Volvo resolves this sibling disconnect by pulling the all-new V60's construction and styling in line with its newer SPA-based fleet. The new V60 wears the more natural, attractive proportions of Volvo's latest design language, making it immediately slimmer and longer in appearance.
That's partly because, at 187.4 in (4,761 mm), it stretches nearly 5 in (12.7 cm) more in length than the current V60 and, at 56.2 in (1,427 mm), stands about 2 in (5 cm) lower. It's also thanks to revised styling elements like the fuller glasshouse, more prominent character lines along the flanks, and more robust rear. This version of the V60 definitely shares the superior genes of the new XC60 and 90 Series models.
As part of its pledge to electrify its entire lineup by 2019, Volvo gives the V60 two plug-in hybrid powertrain options: the 390-hp T8 Twin Engine AWD and the 340-hp T6 Twin Engine AWD. Both those options pair a super/turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four up front with an electric motor in back.
Volvo will also offer 2.0-liter T5 and T6 gas engine options and 2.0-liter D3 turbo and D4 twin-turbo diesel engines. In the US, the V60 will launch with a buyer's choice of 250-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged T5 four-cylinder front-wheel drive or 316-hp 2.0-liter T6 super/turbocharged four-cylinder all-wheel drive.
Along with its styling and architecture, the new V60 will enjoy a trickle-down of safety technologies from the XC60 and 90 Series. The Pilot Assist system aids with steering, acceleration and braking functions on well-marked roads at speeds up to 80.7 mph (130 km/h), and Volvo says the latest tweaks improve cornering performance. The City Safety with Autobrake system works to avoid collisions, recognizing not only other vehicles but also pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. The City Safety system can also activate auto-braking to mitigate oncoming collisions.
Inside, the car includes Volvo's Sensus infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G connectivity capabilities. The 9-in tablet-style touchscreen command center with infrared positioning detection blends car information, navigation, connected services and entertainment apps.
Volvo revealed the V60 in Sweden on Wednesday, and the world will get a closer look at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show early next month. The new wagon will follow the XC40 into Volvo's new flat-fee subscription service, Care by Volvo, available in select global markets including the US, UK, Germany, Sweden and Norway. Customers will be able to eschew traditional ownership and place an online order for the all-in-one subscription package that includes the car, insurance, services, wear items and roadside assistance.
Volvo has not announced US pricing just yet, but the V60 will start at £31,810 in the UK, a leap up from the current-gen base price of £24,145. For reference, the current-gen 2018 V60 starts at $38,250 in the US.
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