Honey, I shrunk the V90!

After several years with slow sales and dated products, Volvo began to revive its vehicle lineup with a new architecture and a fresh design language. It started things off with the XC90 in 2014, but several models followed suit until 2017. The V60 remained the oldest car in the lineup to still feature the old design, but this just changed ahead of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, as Volvo unveiled a new compact station wagon. After struggling to compete against similar offerings from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi for nearly eight years, the V60 finally has what it takes to climb higher in the compact premium segment.

Essentially a shrunken V90 on the outside, the V60 boasts the same tech and safety packages as the larger Volvo models. This makes it the most advanced vehicle in its class, despite both the Audi A4 Avant and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon still being relatively new. It also gained most of the V90’s drivetrain lineup, which includes both gasoline and diesel mills, as well as a hybrid. But unlike the V90, the V60 gets a second, less powerful hybrid drivetrain for customers looking for a more affordable electrified vehicle. But let’s find out more about that in the review below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volvo V60.

Volvo V60 Exterior

  • V90-based design
  • Thor’s hammer headlamps
  • Sporty bumpers
  • Longer wheelbase
  • Modern design overall
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The new V60 looks as sexy as they get with the new, V90-based design language

At first glance, the V60 is pretty much a downsized V90. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. The styling cues seen on the S90 and V90 models will eventually trickle down into all Volvo cars and it makes sense for all wagons to mimic the V90. It’s the usual "same sausage, different lengths" strategy used by most automakers.

But that’s not a bad thing. The new V60 looks as sexy as they get with the new design language and it’s definitely fresh when compared to other premium compact wagons out there, including the BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Audi A4 Avant.

The front fascia is a close copy of the V90, using the same "Thor’s hammer" headlamps and the big, rectangular grille. The front bumper seems a bit different though, with smaller black inserts in the side intakes. On the other hand, the three-piece outlet configuration is pretty much the same and includes the large trapezoidal cutout in the middle.

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The front fascia is a close copy of the V90, using the same "Thor’s hammer" headlamps and the big grille

The profile is very similar, down to the identical beltline and lower character line and the overall shape of the greenhouse. However, the C-pillar is slightly different, as is the third window, which is a tad shorter. The rear overhang is shorter too, while the tailgate isn’t as sleek as the V90’s.

I can see minor differences around back too. For starters, the tailgate spoiler seems a bit more aggressive. The tailgate has a smaller window, typical for compact wagons, and it’s shaped differently above the license plate recess. The taillights and bumper are similar to the V90’s, but the former sport a different LED layout. And I like the V60’s more to be honest.

All told, there aren’t any surprises to talk about. I don’t know about you, but I was expecting this compact wagon to look like a shrunken V90.

Volvo V60 Interior

  • Also based on the V90
  • Vertical infotainment display
  • Clean center stack
  • Wide center console
  • Leather and cloth
  • Good fit and finish
  • Premium look
  • Loads of new tech
2019 Volvo V60 Interior
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Interestingly enough, the dash seems a bit taller in this car, almost similar to what we usually find in a crossover

Much like the exterior, the interior is heavily based on the S90 and V90 models. There are a few notable differences, but all the familiar details from the larger models are there, including the boxy dashboard, the vertically-oriented infotainment screen, and the wide center console.

Interestingly enough, the dash seems a bit taller in this car, almost similar to what we usually find in a crossover. The chrome trim is also different, now descending at the corners to run below the slightly larger A/C vents. The steering wheel is a bit different too, as are the door panels, with revised trim and armrests, and with the door handle placed just under the window.

2019 Volvo V60 Interior
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The Sensus infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and 4G

Both the center stack and console layouts are identical, and this is a good thing, as the S90 and V90 have one of the cleanest configurations I’ve seen in a modern car. Controls outside the infotainment system are limited to a thin stripe below the display and a start button near the gear shifter.

Volvo didn’t provide too many details yet, but the model pictured here seems to have cloth and leather upholstery. The seating surfaces and the door panels have a unique black and white design that gives the car a vintage, yet premium vibe. Definitely a breath of fresh air compared to what you get from the competition.

No word on tech either, but Volvo did say that the state-of-the-art Sensus infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G. The system is controlled via an intuitive tablet-style touch screen that combines car functions, navigation, connected services, and entertainment apps. Yup, it’s exactly what you get in the larger S90 and V90, which is very cool.

Volvo V60 Drivetrain

  • T5 and T6 gasoline engines
  • D3 and D4 diesel units
  • Two hybrid drivetrains
  • Up to 390 horsepower
  • Eight-speed automatic
  • All-wheel drive
2019 Volvo V60 Drivetrain
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Since it sits on the same underpinnings as the V90, the V60 gets the same engines

Since it sits on the same underpinnings as the V90, the V60 gets the same engines. Well, not all of them, and it actually gets a unit that the V90 doesn’t have, but you get the point. The big wagon can be had with three gasoline engines, three diesels, and a hybrid drivetrain, all of them built around 2.0-liter four-cylinder units. Volvo ditched both six-cylinder and V-8 engines recently and doesn’t plan on offering something similar ever again.

For the V90 and other recently launched models, the gasoline range includes the turbocharged T4 with 190 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, and the turbocharged T5, which generates 254 horses and 295 pound-feet. Finally, the range-topping T6, which is both turbocharged and supercharged, cranks out 360 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of twist. Volvo says that the V60 will arrive with the T5 and T6, but no word on the T4 yet. This might be the case for the U.S. market, but the T4 will definitely become available in Europe at some point.

2019 Volvo V60 Exterior
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The V60 benefits from a new T6 hybrid drivetrain with less output than the T8

The diesel lineup consists of the D3, rated at 150 horsepower and 240 pound-feet, the D4 with 190 horses and 300 pound-feet, and the D5 with a solid 235 horsepower and an impressive 350 pound-feet. While the D3 and D4 are available with either FWD or AWD, the D5 is an all-wheel-drive model only. Again, there’s a slight difference compared to the V90 here, as the D5 unit isn’t included on the V60’s list. It could become part of the lineup later this year or in 2019 though.

Finally, there’s the hybrid drivetrain, and here’s where the big news lies. While the V90 gets the T8, which pairs a 2.0-liter, turbocharged and supercharged four-banger and a 60-kW (80-horsepower) electric motor, the V60 also benefits from a new T6 hybrid with less output. Both work on the same principle and share the same components, but while the T8 cranks out up to 390 horsepower, the T6 generates up to 340 horses. The T6 hybrid is actually a good idea, as it will give customers access to a slightly more affordable hybrid, as well as a choice of two gasoline-electric combos, which the competition doesn’t have.

All engines mate to an eight-speed automatic transmission in other models and this shouldn’t change for the V60. In the U.S., only the gasoline and hybrid setups will be offered. At least at first.

Volvo V60 Safety

2019 Volvo V60
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Volvo says that the V60’s safety package is identical to the V90, so it includes active systems like Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Run-off Road Mitigation, Run-off Road Protection, and the City Safety package, all of which should be standard. The latter is able to detect vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, and large animals and it’s always active above 4 km/h (2.5 mph).

Options should include Blind Spot Information, Rear Collision Warning, Cross Traffic Alert, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pilot Assist, Distance Alert, Park Assist Pilot and a 360-degree camera.

Just like the V90, the V60 will be a semi-autonomous vehicle thanks to Volvo’s new Pilot Assist feature. When activated, the system controls acceleration, braking, and steering in order to help the driver follow the traffic flow within the current lane. It also reduces driver strain in tedious situations and increases safety, while also delivering enhanced speed and distance keeping in the lane.

Volvo V60 Prices

2019 Volvo V60 Exterior
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Although the upcoming V60 is already listed on Volvo’s U.S. website (with a cover on obviously), there’s no pricing information available as of February 2018. The old model retails from $38,250 and the redesign could add a premium to that sticker. I’d say that the base model will start from between $39,000 to $40,000. With the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon and the Audi A4 Allroad priced from a little over $44,000 each, Volvo has enough room to put a premium over the old V60, but still keep it more affordable than the competition.

In the U.K., however, the new V60 starts from £31,810, with full pricing and specification details to be announced later. Deliveries are expected to begin in the third quarter of the year.

Like the rest of the company’s new models, the V60 can be accessed via Volvo’s new premium subscription service, Care by Volvo, which offers car access via a monthly flat-fee subscription rather than ownership. Care by Volvo makes having a car "as transparent, easy and hassle free as having a mobile phone," according to the Swedish automaker.

Volvo V60 Competition

BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

2016 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon High Resolution Exterior
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The 3 Series Sports Wagon is essentially the only full-fledged competitor to the V60 that you can get in the U.S., where the station wagon market is extremely poor. The Bimmer is a bit though, as it’s been around since 2012. And a new-generation model won’t become available until at least 2019. But the design is still somewhat fresh, The good news is that the Sports Wagon is available with a couple of drivetrain in North America. There’s the familiar 330i xDrive model with 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque and the 328d xDrive, a diesel that comes with 188 horsepower and 295 pound-feet on tap. Pricing for the former starts from $44,650, while the latter retails from $46,150.

Read our full story of the 2017 BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon.

Audi A4 Allroad

2017 - 2018 Audi A4 Allroad Quattro High Resolution Exterior
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In the absence of the regular Audi A4 Avant and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon here in the U.S., the A4 Allroad remains the only option besides the 3 Series Sports Wagon. Unlike the 3 Series Sports Wagon, the A4 Allroad is only a couple of years old, being based on the latest A4, unveiled in 2015. The redesign brought a sportier exterior styling with sharper lines, a design language we first saw on the latest Q7 SUV. The interior boasts the new continuous air-vent strip that stretches the entire width of the dashboard, updated materials, and the company’s latest tech and safety features. The A4 Allroad is available in three trims in the U.S., but all use the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Of course, thanks to the crossover-like ride height, the A4 Allroad is more capable in rough terrain than its rivals. Pricing starts from $44,500.

Read our full review of the Audi A4 Allroad.

Conclusion

2019 Volvo V60 Exterior
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Despite not looking as sexy as its German counterparts, the previous-generation V60 had many attributes. It was comfortable, safe, and efficient. On the flip side, it was rather cramped inside the cabin and the trunk wasn’t very impressive either. The new V60 seems to fix these issues, while the new design turns the pleasant-to-look-at wagon into an actually beautiful grocery getter. The new tech, the Care by Volvo program, and the advanced safety features only make things that much better and place the V60 ahead of the competition, at least until BMW rolls out a redesigned 3 Series. But even then the V60 might still remain the most exciting compact wagon on the premium market.

  • Leave it
    • * Volvo badge still not very powerful
    • * New BMW 3 Series wagon underway

References

Volvo V60

2015 Volvo V60 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo V60.

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Read more Volvo news.

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Read more Geneva Motor Show news.

Press release

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, today revealed the new V60 five-door, mid-size premium estate, underlining the Swedish company’s position as a maker of cars that combine good looks with everyday practicality.

The car was launched in its natural habitat – the driveway of a family home in Stockholm – highlighting Volvo Cars’ pedigree in family estates and pinpointing how the V60’s versatile design caters to the diverse needs and realities of modern family life.

Few car makers can match Volvo Cars’ history and credibility in making well-designed, practical and versatile estate cars.

"The family estate driver is an important customer for our business and has been for generations," said Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars. "The new V60 honours that tradition, but also takes it much further."

The new V60 shares Volvo Cars’ Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform with the award-winning new XC60 and three top-of-the-line 90 series cars, which have been the collective force behind the company’s record-breaking global sales performance in recent years.

The SPA-based V60 introduces a new standard to the mid-size premium estate segment with a luxurious interior, increased levels of space, advanced connectivity, and Volvo Cars’ latest driver-support systems and other safety technology.

"The V60 really is the central point of the Volvo brand," said Robin Page, Senior Vice President Design at Volvo Cars. "It’s refined, has a beautiful proportion and stance, yet delivers on practicality and versatility."

In a first for the segment, customers can access the new V60 via Volvo Cars’ new premium subscription service, Care by Volvo*, which offers car access via a monthly flat-fee subscription rather than ownership. Care by Volvo makes having a car as transparent, easy and hassle free as having a mobile phone.

Reflecting Volvo Cars’ industry-first announcement to electrify all new cars from 2019, the V60 comes with two plug-in hybrid powertrain options: the new T6 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340 hp, or the T8 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in hybrid that delivers 390 hp.

The regular petrol choice includes T5 or T6 powertrains. Drivers who prefer diesel can select D3 or D4 engines.

The new V60 reinforces Volvo Cars’ standing as the industry leader in safety, with a comprehensive list of safety features that come as standard, including advanced driver-support systems known from the 90 series and XC60, making the new V60 one of the safest cars on the road.

The City Safety with Autobrake technology uses automatic braking and detection systems to assist the driver in avoiding potential collisions, and is the only system on the market to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. In a world first, City Safety now also engages autobraking to mitigate oncoming collisions.

The Pilot Assist system – which supports the driver with steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80 mph – has been upgraded with improved cornering performance. The V60 also includes Run-off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation and other steering-assistance systems. The optional Cross Traffic Alert with autobrake further improves safety for people inside and outside the car.

Volvo Cars’ Sensus infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G, and keeps drivers connected at all times. The system is controlled via an intuitive tablet-style touch screen that combines car functions, navigation, connected services and entertainment apps.

UK prices for the V60 will start at £31,810 on the road (full pricing and specification details will be announced shortly). First customer deliveries are expected in Q3 2018.

#newV60

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