Volvo V60

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

8/10
Wowscore

This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car

What's good

  • Comfortable
  • Spacious
  • Smart interior design

What's not so good

  • Hesitant automatic gearbox
  • Fiddly infotainment when driving
  • Bumpy suspension in town

What do you want to read about Volvo V60?

Overall verdict

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

The Volvo V60 is a classy estate car with an interior that’s comfortable and luxurious – without being overly flashy – and has impressive space inside for four adults and their luggage. That helped it to win the Practicality Award in the 2018 carwow awards.

Its stylish looks and spacious cabin impressed the judges, but above all else it won the prize for its class-leading boot space.

What also sets the Volvo V60 apart from other cars like this – such as the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes C-Class Estate – is its large portrait-style infotainment system. It controls most of the car’s systems so you don’t have to navigate your way around a sea of conventional buttons. That said, the Volvo’s touchscreen can be trickier to use on the move than the fixed-wheel rotary dial you get in an Audi A4.

Nevertheless, the big screen makes the V60’s cabin feel less cluttered and there are plenty of expensive materials on show that make it feel every bit as classy as the Mercedes. It also looks more attractive than the interior in an Audi A4, even if it doesn’t feel quite as well built.

In terms of space, though, there’s not much to complain about. You’ll be happy in the front even if you’re tall, because the seats are extremely comfortable and have adjustable lumbar support as standard. Even your rear-seat passengers will have plenty of head and knee room, although the low-set front seats eat into rear foot room.

The V60 has the huge boot that you expect of a Volvo estate, but without the boxy styling loved by grandpas

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The Volvo V60’s trump card is its boot, which is larger than you’ll find in any similarly priced alternatives. There’s no lip to lift things over, so heavy loads can be slid straight in and the huge boot opening means even large items are easy to pack away.

Once you’ve loaded up and hit the road, it’s very hard to find fault with the Volvo V60. It’s comfortable at a cruise, the optional autonomous driving aids take the stress out of long drives and, on country roads, the V60 has plenty of grip and limited body lean. In fact, the only place it gets caught out a little is in town, where it can feel a little bumpy over poor surfaces, especially on larger alloy wheels.

It’s at its best on the motorway, which makes the D3 diesel engine the obvious choice. This combines great fuel economy with enough power to shuffle the Volvo V60 along at a decent pace. If you’ll frequently load up you V60, go for the slightly more powerful D4 engine.

You can also choose from two petrol/electric hybrid models, which are expensive to buy, but can dramatically cut your fuel costs if you have a short commute and somewhere to charge the V60’s batteries.

All in all, the Volvo V60 is an extremely convincing choice if you’re looking for a smart estate car. It somehow manages to be posh without being ostentatious, is also very practical. Combine that with the fact that – as a Volvo – it should also be extremely safe, and there can be few be better estate cars at the price.

What's it like inside?

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

The Volvo’s front seats are every bit as comfortable as your favourite armchair

Mat Watson
carwow expert

How practical is it?

The Volvo V60 is spacious inside and has a bigger boot than alternative estates

Boot (seats up)
658 litres
Boot (seats down)
1,441 litres

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 you get in alternatives. Standard electric height adjustment 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.

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. Moving up to a Volvo V60 Momentum Pro model buys you heated seats and a heated steering wheel that’ll kickstart your body on cold mornings.

Go up another level to Inscription trim, and you get electrically adjustable seats that have a memory function – so it’s easy to return the seat to your position if someone else has been using the car. Inscription models are also the first to get a rear centre armrest as standard. Finally, at the top of the range, you’ll find Inscription Pro models, which have extremely soft Nappa leather and cooled front seats that’ll stop your back from sweating in summer.

Whichever model you choose, the V60’s back seats are accommodating. 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 panoramic sunroof fitted.

The Volvo V60’s rear doors open wide for good access, 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 hidden under plastic covers – make it easy to lock the seat into place.

There are so many cubby spaces hidden inside the VolvoV60 that keeping the interior tidy is easy.

Up front, 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 lining. In between the two front seats, you get a couple of cupholders and a tray for your phone 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’ll be big enough to hide a couple of smartphones.

The Volvo V60’s 529-litre boot is slightly larger than the boots you’ll find in the BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes C-Class Estate and Audi A4 Avant.

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 Momentum Pro model or above.

Another option worth considering is the Convenience Pack. With it fitted, you can fold down the rear seats from the front of 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.

Read full interior review

What's it like to drive?

Easy to drive and comfortable

The Volvo V60’s quiet cabin and comfy seats make it an extremely relaxing car on the motorway, but its optional automatic gearbox is below par

 

The Volvo’s optional Pilot Assist autonomous driving system is a bit like having your own chauffeur hidden behind the dashboard

Mat Watson
carwow expert

The Volvo V60 is available with a choice of two diesels and one petrol.

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 more than 60mpg, 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 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. 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.

Unfortunately, the 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 satisfying to use still with precise, short throws and a light 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 have opted for a modest wheel size.

If your daily driving involves a lot of long trips, you can turn the comfort up a couple of notches by adding the 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.

It lowers the level of concentration you need when driving, making long drives less stressful as a result. The 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 roll 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, but then it’s more comfortable.

Fitted with adaptive dampers the Volvo V60 can be made fairly comfortable even if a Mercedes C-Class edges it still. Stick the adaptive dampers 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 large pillars at the front and rear of the car give you a couple of blinds spots to contend with, but squeezing into tight spaces isn’t too hard, though, because 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.

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