Volvo V60 estate review
“The Volvo V60 estate is a stylish, practical and comfortable all-rounder that majors on relaxation rather than driving thrills"
- Bigger boot than key rivals
- Classy design
- Comfortable and refined
- Limited trim levels
- Plug-in hybrids are expensive
- Uninvolving to drive
Arriving towards the end of Volvo’s swathe of new model launches, the Volvo V60 could easily be seen as just a tick in the box marked ‘executive estate’. Instead it’s one of the best Volvos so far. No, it’s not as sporty as a BMW 3 Series Touring, but if design, comfort and practicality are more important to you, that won’t matter.
The V60 takes a slightly more relaxing approach to getting you and your luggage to each destination, making it a closer rival to the Mercedes C-Class Estate. It’s not as curvaceous as the last V60 – Volvo cites its main inspirations as the V70, 850 and 760 – and features like an upright grille and ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LEDs ensure it cuts a striking shape on the road. Its more chiselled tail also ensures it offers a much bigger boot.
In fact, with 529 litres of space, its potential luggage volume is quite a bit more than that of the BMW or Audi A4 Avant, while there’s also more space for tall adults in the back seats. Not only is it spacious, neat touches like a boot divider to keep shopping bags secure and an optional three-pin plug socket makes it a strong contender for families. Caravanners will find its 2,000kg towing limit plenty, too.
There's now just one diesel engine: a 2.0-litre offering 194bhp that's badged B4 (D). It can get from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds and comes with front-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Perhaps more importantly than its performance, it can also return over 50mpg. The four-wheel drive Volvo V60 Cross Countrycan also be fitted with the B4 (D) engine and returns up to 48.6mpg.
The petrol range consists of the B3 (P), B4 (P), B5 (P) and B6 (P), with 161, 194, 247 and 298bhp respectively, all with front-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, except for the four-wheel drive B6. These are also joined by the Recharge T6 plug-in hybrid and theRecharge T8 that offer company-car drivers the lowest Benefit-in-Kind tax rating. The 2.0-litre turbo B6 (P) is the quickest standard V60, getting from 0-62mph in 5.8 seconds, thanks to its 298bhp power output. The help of an electric motor drops this to just 4.6 seconds in the T8 plug-in.
On the move, the first thing you’ll notice is that the V60’s steering feels extremely light when you pull away, because it’s designed to make driving in town and car parks a breeze. Resistance builds slightly as you go faster, for a more reassuring feel, and the suspension makes a good job of filtering out lumps and bumps. The diesel engine is admirably refined in the V60, too, while the Recharge T6 feels almost alarmingly quick.
Well-equipped Momentum and Inscription trims arrived first, with navigation, LED headlights and an impressive Sensus infotainment system all standard. Both can be upgraded to Pro, bringing more luxury and heated windscreen washers and seats for added convenience. The sporty R Design trim brings a more athletic feel and is priced between the two – it boasts features that include figure-hugging seats and stiffer suspension. The rugged off-road style Cross Country V60 brings increased ground clearance and tougher looks.
It’s hard to believe Volvos used to have a reputation for being dowdy – the brand recently topped Carbuyer’s poll asking British motorists to rank the best-designed cars, beating Land Rover and Mercedes. We can certainly see the appeal of the V60’s cool looks and stylish interior, and the fact it’s incredibly safe, comfortable and well equipped only makes it more desirable.