Review

Volvo V60 estate

Price  £22,205 - £35,145

Volvo V60 estate

reviewed by Carbuyer

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

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

The Volvo V60 is a stylish mid-size estate that competes with premium models such as the BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 Avant. These are tough cars to go up against and in truth the Volvo is pretty well outclassed by all of them. It's not really a space or practicality issue – all of these cars, including the Volvo, put style before out-and-out usefulness, although with its surprisingly small boot, the Volvo is probably the worst offender. Rather, it's the V60's dull driving qualities and weaker image that hold it back.

All that said, with its clean and crisp Scandinavian styling, the V60 is refreshingly different from its German rivals. Fortunately, it doesn't ask you to tolerate poor build quality or lower safety standards in return. The V60 is powered by a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines, all available with manual or automatic gearboxes. If you do a low mileage, the smaller petrol engine (the cheapest engine in the range) could be worth a look, since it does a reasonable 48.7mpg and costs £130 a year to tax. The other petrol engine powers the extreme – and thirsty – 345bhp, four-wheel-drive V60 Polestar.

For most buyers, the diesel V60s will be of most interest. The most efficient is the new D4. Its 187bhp engine can propel the V60 from 0-62mph in a rapid 7.7 seconds, yet returns an impressive 70.6mpg and boasts £20-a-year tax. Those are the same figures as the less powerful D3 engine, although this car is about £1,200 cheaper. The most economical diesel is the 118bhp D2. which does 74.3mpg and has the same £20 annual tax bill. The D4 is the sweet spot in the V60 range but its performance isn't matched by the rest of the car, which has heavy steering, firm suspension and leans too much in corners. However, the V60 does have plenty of grip, and the handling is safe and predictable.

Firm ride aside, the V40 is refined and comfortable, with some of the best seats in the class. The dashboard is quite unlike any other – very clean, stylish and uncluttered – and features an attractive 'floating' centre console. It's a roomy cabin in the front, but headroom in the rear is cut short by the sloping roofline. As mentioned earlier, the boot is surprisingly small for an estate, but because the rear seats can be folded flat, it's usefully long and has no obstructive lip at the entrance.

There are numerous trim levels, beginning with Business Edition, which is packed with kit including climate control, sat nav and a seven-inch display screen. Other trim levels include SE, with the accent on luxury, and R-Design, which majors on sporty looks.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.6 / 5

The Volvo V60 D6 hybrid is the most frugal model in the range, but we recommend the cheaper D4 diesel

Engines, drive & performance

3.8 / 5

The D4 diesel engine offers class-leading performance and running costs

Interior & comfort

4.2 / 5

The Volvo V60 shrugs off long motorway journeys with ease

Practicality & boot space

4.1 / 5

A relatively small boot and cramped rear headroom means the Volvo V60 doesn’t offer the roomy interior you might expect

Reliability & safety

3.5 / 5

The Volvo V60 is one of the safest cars on sale, but it underperformed in our Driver Power survey

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.
What owners say 
4.2017646901748
4.2 /5 based on 34 reviews
59%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
12 May 2015
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