Volvo V60 Review
The Volvo V60 is a spacious estate car that’s also very comfortable. The luxurious interior looks lovely but some trim pieces feel below par and the infotainment’s a little unintuitive.
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The Volvo V60 is a posh Swedish estate car with stylish looks that won’t draw comparisons with boxy Volvos of old.
Take the Volvo V60’s front end for example. Its broad grille, subtle creases and ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights (yep, that’s really what they’re called) make it look just like a baby V90. It looks pretty sharp at the back too, thanks to some huge ‘L’-shaped brake lights and a set of real exhaust pipes – unlike the horrid fake chrome items you get in a Mercedes C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant.
There isn’t any fakery inside the Volvo V60’s cabin, either. You get plenty of plush leather, cold-to-the-touch aluminium and even optional driftwood trims which all look like they belong on the walls of a swanky Stockholm cocktail bar.
It’s a similar story with the Volvo V60’s cool vertical touchscreen. This comes as standard across the range and looks and feels just like an iPad, but It’s a bit fiddly to operate when you’re driving – unlike the screens in a BMW 3 Series Touring or Audi A4 Avant.
Thankfully, everything else about the Volvo V60’s cabin is there to help you relax. You get lovely supportive seats in the front with plenty of adjustment as standard and there’s enough space in the back for tall passengers to get comfy, too.
The V60 has the huge boot that you expect of a Volvo estate, but without the boxy styling loved by grandpas.
It’s not just good at carrying passengers, as you’d expect from a Volvo the boot’s pretty spacious, too. It’s roomier than the load bays you get in a C-Class Estate and A4 Avant so there’s more than enough room for a baby buggy and some suitcases or – if you fold the back seats down – a bike.
After a hard day’s pedalling, the Volvo V60 is the ideal place to sit back and relax. It’s quiet and comfortable to drive and comes with plenty of active safety and driver assistance systems to help you avoid bumps and scrapes.
If you do lots of long journeys, you should check out the economical D3 and D4 diesels – although it’s a shame that you can’t get the V60 with a silky smooth six-cylinder engine like in some German estate cars.
There’s also a more powerful T5 petrol and a seriously rapid (but also rather expensive) T8 hybrid if you fancy something a bit faster. The latter can even be had with upgraded suspension and brakes courtesy of Swedish tuning firm Polestar – just the thing for helping friends move house in double-quick time. That being said, it’s by far the most expensive V60 you can buy.
If you’re looking for a fun-to-drive estate car that won’t break the bank then, you might be better off waiting for the upcoming BMW 3 Series Touring. But, if it’s a comfortable, stylish and very safe family car you’re after, then the Volvo V60 makes a very fine choice indeed.
The Volvo V60 is spacious inside and has a bigger boot than many alternative estates but passengers in the back could do with a bit more space for their feet.
You should find it very easy to get a comfortable driving position in the Volvo V60. Its seats support your back in all the right places and feel more thickly padded than seats you get in alternatives.
Standard electric height adjustment for both front seats means you’ll find it easy to raise and lower the seat, while the steering wheel can be adjusted up and down and in and out to give you an unobstructed view of the digital driver’s display. The driver’s seat also comes with a memory function so it’s easy to return the seat to your position if someone else has been using the car.
Electric lumbar adjustment is another standard feature and it doesn’t feel as weedy as you’ll get in other cars – you’ll find the added support it offers very welcome on long journeys. You also get heated seats fitted as standard in every Volvo V60 – just the thing to kickstart your body on cold mornings and you can pay extra to have heated rear seats fitted, too.
Speaking of rear seats, the Volvo V60 has no problem carrying a few adults in the back. Even if you’re a tall driver, your equally tall friend sitting behind will have enough knee room to stay comfortable on a long journey and they’ll have more than enough headroom.
The only thing you might hear complaints about is the lack of foot room, though. With your seat in its lowest position, any passenger sitting behind you might have trouble sliding their feet underneath your seat.
That’s more of a problem if you have three people in the back because the huge hump in the floor means a third person will have to share the other passengers’ footwells. Other than that, though, the middle seat isn’t as hard as you find in some alternatives and headroom isn’t an issue, even with the optional panoramic sunroof fitted.
The Volvo V60’s rear doors open nice and wide so fitting a child seat is an easy job. The gap’s still plenty big enough to manoeuvre a seat into place and the clearly marked Isofix points – which are located under plastic covers – make it easy to lock the seat into place.
There are so many cubby spaces hidden inside the Volvo V60 so keeping its cabin tidy is a doddle.
The glovebox is large enough for a couple of big bottles and the door bins are also a healthy size, although their contents jiggle about over bumps because there’s no felt lining as you get in a BMW 3 Series Touring. You get a couple of cupholders and a tray for your phone in between the front seats and there’s a deep storage space hidden under the front centre armrest.
In the back, there’s only space for a small bottle of water in the rear door cubbies, but the central armrest has two cupholders and a shallow lidded tray that’s big enough to hide a couple of smartphones.
The Volvo V60 has 529 litres of boot space which is slightly more than you get in a Mercedes C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant so it’s easily big enough to carry a baby buggy and a few suitcases or a set of golf clubs.
It’s easy to load because there’s no load lip to lift things over, the boot floor is completely flat, and all models also come with a power-operated boot lid. That said, to get the hands-free opening function – handy if you have your hands full with shopping – you’ll need to go for a Volvo V60 Inscription model or above.
Another option worth considering is the Convenience Pack. With it fitted, you can fold down the rear seats from the boot, and you get hooks for your shopping, a net for holding your luggage in place and a couple of storage nets on the sides of the centre console between the two front seats. You also get a 12V socket in the boot and a three-prong plug in the dashboard.
Without the Convenience Pack, you’ll have to lean in and yank a toggle next to the rear headrests to drop the seats. Do that and you get a total load capacity of 1,441 litres, which means the Volvo V60 will easily swallow a bike without you having to bother taking its wheels off.
The Volvo V60’s quiet cabin and comfy seats make it an extremely relaxing car on the motorway, but its optional automatic gearbox isn’t as smooth as in most alternatives.
The Volvo’s optional Pilot Assist autonomous driving system is a bit like having your own chauffeur hidden behind the dashboard
The Volvo V60 is available with a choice of one hybrid, two petrol and two diesel engines.
The engine you should consider is the 150hp D3 diesel. Despite having less power than the T5 petrol, you’re unlikely to ever feel it’s left wanting and, unlike in the petrol, you don’t have to work it hard to get the best from it. However, when you accelerate hard, it’s hard to mask the loud diesel clatter.
That’s a price worth paying for the D3’s excellent fuel economy, which means you can expect to return around 50mpg, whether you go for the manual or automatic gearbox.
If you plan to fill the V60’s boot to the brim on a weekly basis, go for the D4 diesel that uses the same 2.0-litre engine as the 150hp D3, but tuned to 190hp. The D4 should return almost identical fuel economy to the D3 which is impressive when you consider the D4 accelerates from 0-62mph in a spritely 7.9 seconds.
The T5 is even quicker. It makes 250hp out of a 2.0-litre petrol engine and really makes the V60 fly, but it feels a bit overkill in the otherwise relaxed Volvo estate. It’s slightly racy engine note doesn’t help its case but if you want a quick petrol-powered V60 it’s not a bad choice.
Similarly, the more affordable T4 petrol is worth a look if you spend lots of time in town, but isn’t quite as spritely as the more powerful T5 on country roads and motorways.
The fastest Volvo V60 you can buy comes in the form of the T8 Twin Engine hybrid. Its 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor work together to make this one seriously speedy Swedish estate car that doesn’t cost a great deal to run. It’s a shame that it’s very expensive to buy, though.
Unfortunately, the Volvo V60’s eight-speed automatic gearbox is slow to respond when you want a quick burst of acceleration which can be frustrating in the middle of a congested roundabout. The automatic does indeed match the relaxed character of the Volvo V60, but the standard manual is still pretty satisfying to use and requires little effort on the gear lever and clutch.
The Volvo V60 feels most at home on the motorway, where its quiet cabin makes it a relaxing place to sit. Wind noise is almost non-existent, and road noise is barely loud enough to register. It’s also pretty smooth over bumpy roads, provided you avoid the optional 20-inch alloy wheels.
That’s not to say the Volvo V60 isn’t easy to drive in town. All models come with rear parking sensors (Inscription models and above also get them at the front), but if you want to make low-speed manoeuvring a bit easier, it’s worth considering the optional 360-degree camera.
The large pillars at the front and rear of the car give you a couple of blinds spots to contend with, but the Volvo V60’s easier to see out of than the S60 saloon and its light steering means it’s just as easy to thread through tight city streets.
If your daily driving involves a lot of long trips, you can turn the comfort up a couple of notches by adding the Volvo V60’s optional Intellisafe Pro Pack. This includes Pilot assist and adaptive cruise control, which allow the V60 to brake, accelerate and steer itself on the motorway – as long as you keep your hands on the steering wheel.
This pack looks like even better value when you consider it also includes a blind spot warning system and rear collision mitigation, which will apply the brakes if you reverse out into oncoming traffic.
That’s not to say the Volvo isn’t a car you’ll happily drive yourself. There’s plenty of grip, very little body lean and the sort of poise you don’t usually expect from a Volvo. Sure, the V60 isn’t quite as much fun to drive as a BMW 3 Series Touring, but then it’s more comfortable.
It’s especially cossetting if you pay extra for the optional adaptive suspension. Although, put your Volvo in Dynamic mode and they make the V60 too stiff to actually enjoy – it starts to fidget and feel bumpy even on fairly smooth roads.
The Volvo V60’s interior has a neat design and is packed with posh materials. That said, its portrait-style touchscreen infotainment system is tricky to use on the move.