Review

Volvo V60 estate

Price  £22,005 - £36,695

Volvo V60 estate

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Stylish looks
  • Very comfortable
  • Loads of safety kit
Cons
  • Underwhelming handling
  • Smaller boot than rivals
  • Not the most economical

"The V60 is a Volvo estate that puts style before practicality in an effort to compete with rivals from BMW and Audi."

When looking for a classy small estate it's easy to go down the well-trodden path of choosing to buy a BMW 3 Series Touring, but the Volvo V60 has much to offer over its German rival. Unlike older Volvos the V60 forfeits ultimate load capacity in favour of attractive exterior styling, but the V60 is still one of the safest model on sale, while is seats are the comfiest in any car, while the interior is well-built and stylish.

Engine options include four frugal diesels – the D2, D3, D4 and D5 – a quick petrol, and the frugal D6 diesel-electric hybrid. The D4 model blends economy with performance and is the option we would go for. All the diesels are cheap to run, particularly the basic D2 and from the D3, D4 and D5 getting quicker as you move up the range, until the top-spec D6 version.  The T3 is the only petrol version, but relatively high running costs make it hard to recommend.

The range starts with the basic Business Edition, which gets plenty of kit including climate control, sat nav, and a seven-inch display. Other models include SE, SE Lux, R-Design, and R Design Lux. SE models are the most luxurious, while R-Design cars get a body kit and a sporty interior. Opting for the Nav pack adds standard sat-nav.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.6 / 5

Hybrid model offers incredible economy and emissions

It may be the most expensive Volvo V60 to buy but, the V60 hybrid is also the most frugal to run.  Economy sits at a heady 150mpg, although in our experience getting this figure is nigh on impossible, while emissions of just 49g/km mean you pay no road tax and also avoid paying London’s congestion charge.

The D2 diesel is the cheapest model to buy, but the high-tech new D4 engine is actually better on fuel – it gets 67.2mpg compared to the D2’s 65.6mpg – and also has lower emissions so it qualifies for free road tax. Even the quick D5 only costs £30 to tax, and in reality all the diesels have affordable running costs. By far and away the most expensive to fuel is the petrol T6. Its 3.0-litre, turbocharged engine means it returns just 28.5mpg. 

Engines, drive & performance

3.8 / 5

The V60’s performance doesn’t quite live up to its sporty looks

Volvo’s are unlikely to hold their values as well as cars from BMW, Audi and Mercedes, but at least they come with plenty of kit. The entry-level Business Edition gets everything you could possible need with climate control, alloy wheels, bright LED daytime running lights, cruise control, sat-nav, DAB radio, and rear parking sensors. The R-Design model, meanwhile gives the X60 a more distinctive look in line with cars such as the Audi A4 Avant S line. SE LUX models add luxury thanks to leather seats (with electric adjustment for the front seats) a TFT display and headlights that steer with the car’s steering wheel, while R-Design LUX models get parking sensors auto wipers., and a stereo with Bluetooth phone connectivity. 

Interior & comfort

4.2 / 5

Interior is great quality and the car is really comfortable

Comfort is somewhere the Volvo scores very highly. It starts with the car’s extremely supportive seats that mean even the longest journey should pass by surprisingly easily. The Volvo’s interior quality is also first rate, with a distinctive floating centre-console design that gives it a unique look. The Volvo V60 does suffer from its sharp looks, and rear headroom isn’t as abundant as it would be in one of the firms boxier old models.

The V60’s suspension also isn’t as comfortable as in models such as the Mercedes C-Class, although it does settle down at motorway speeds.

Practicality & boot space

4.1 / 5

Boot space is useable but a lot smaller than rivals’

Volvo used to be famous for building capacious estates, but the V60 has sacrificed this in the name of stylish looks. You might be surprised to learn that its 430-litre boot is 60 litres smaller than the one offered in the Audi A4 Estate, while the excellent Skoda Superb Estate offers an impressive 633 litres. The Volvo does win back some points by offering a lip-free boot opening – so sliding heavy items in is easy – and an integrated floor divider and retaining straps.  The seats also fold completely flat to reveal 1,246 litres of capacity, although this is less than a Volkswagen Golf offers with all its seats down.

The Volvo’s seats mean that getting comfortable shouldn’t be a problem – and the driver’s gets a full range of adjustment. Headroom in the back might be tight, so double check it will not a be a problem for you. Cubbyholes are at least plentiful in the V60 and it should be easy to hide any clutter.

Reliability & safety

3.5 / 5

Volvos have always had a great reputation for reliability and safety

We expected better from the Volvo V60 in our 2014 Driver Power survey and the model could only manage to come 74th out of 150 cars – by no means a disaster but not what you expect from BMW competitor, either. It performed poorly for reliability and practicality. But both build quality and seat comfort came in for praise.

Safety certainly isn’t something you need to worry about with the V60 and all cars come with Volvo’s City Safety system, which uses radar to monitor the front of the car and brake the vehicle if it sense an imminent impact.  When the car was crash tested by Euro NCAP it almost got a perfect scorecard. All models get six airbags, stability control, a seatbelt reminder and a speed limiter.

Price, value for money & options

3 / 5

Offers better value for money than premium rivals

Volvo’s are unlikely to hold their values as well as cars from BMW, Audi and Mercedes, but at least they come with plenty of kit. The entry-level Business Edition gets everything you could possible need with climate control, alloy wheels, bright LED daytime running lights, cruise control, sat-nav, DAB radio, and rear parking sensors. The R-Design model, meanwhile gives the X60 a more distinctive look in line with cars such as the Audi A4 Avant S line. SE LUX models add luxury thanks to leather seats (with electric adjustment for the front seats) a TFT display and headlights that steer with the car’s steering wheel, while R-Design LUX models get parking sensors auto wipers., and a stereo with Bluetooth phone connectivity.

What the others say

3.4 / 5
based on 4 reviews
3 / 5
It's the curvy estate that aims to shed Volvo's sensible image, and Auto Express has driven it first in the UK! But the V60 faces some stiff competition from the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3-Series Touring – so has it got what it takes to stand out from the crowd?
3 / 5
Much more sleek than previous Volvo estates, clever safety systems, impressive direct injected petrol engines, comfortable seats, nice sound from five-cylinder D3 and D5 diesels.
3.5 / 5
Volvo has launched the V60 as a sports wagon and not as a traditional estate car. The official reason is that the car manufacturer wanted to make a vehicle with a coupe-like design, strong driving characteristics and good level of practicality. The S60 saloon forms the basis of the V60 but the sports wagon is a better looking car.
4 / 5
The V60 has a classy, comfortable and spacious cabin. It's keenly priced and comes with a huge array of standard and optional safety kit.
Last updated 
12 Feb 2014

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