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In-depth reviews

Volvo V60 estate - Engines, drive & performance

Performance is adequate, but the V60 takes a more laid-back approach to driving

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews
Engines, drive & performance Rating

4.0 out of 5

The V60 takes a somewhat different approach to rivals like the BMW 3 Series Touring, because it feels far less sporty. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it should instead appeal to anyone who simply wants a comfortable, cosseting and very safe experience behind the wheel.

At low speeds the steering is light and there’s very little feel – but that’s fine, as it makes the V60 stress-free and easy to drive and park in town as you get on with daily life. Head out of the town or city and the steering gets heavier, while supple suspension deals with imperfections in the road. The V60 definitely rolls in corners more than its German rivals but it's more comfortable for it, and it still remains composed through bends.

Petrol engines

The entire Volvo V60 petrol range includes mild-hybrid technology which improves fuel efficiency and supplements performance. The range kicks off with the B3 (P) mild hybrid offering 161bhp and a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds. The only real reason to choose it is because it’s the cheapest model in the range; it isn't actually much cheaper to run than the more powerful versions of the same engine, though. 

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The B4 (P) front-wheel drive model with 194bhp gets from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds, and the 247bhp all-wheel drive version cuts this time down to 6.9 seconds. Volvo has electronically limited the top speed of all versions to 112mph for safety reasons.

Hybrid engines

The expensive Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid was discontinued in 2021, but it’s now available again, so the V60 Recharge T6 is no longer the sole plug-in hybrid option. The Recharge T6 is still the one we’d pick, however, because it’s based around the same 2.0-litre petrol turbo engine with 253bhp, for an impressive total of 345bhp when the electric motors are factored in. With 0-62mph coming up in 5.4 seconds, it's faster than many sports cars from just a decade ago, and quicker than most hot hatchbacks, yet undercuts the Recharge T8 by more than £6,000. It can't match a BMW 3 Series Touring for driver appeal but it still has decent body control and despite its lightness, the steering is accurate.

With almost 450bhp, the Recharge T8 has an impressive party trick of being able to get from 0-62mph in just 4.6 seconds, but we don’t think straight-line speed will be all that high on the priority list of most V60 buyers. In reality, the T8 doesn’t feel much more sporty than the cheaper T6, with handling that doesn’t really goad you to tackle a twisting road flat out.

Volvo V60 diesel engines

Diesels have now been discontinued in the V60, but until late 2021 you could get a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine with 187bhp, sending power to the front wheels through an automatic gearbox. It has plenty of pulling power, getting the V60 from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds.

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Andy is Carbuyer's managing editor, with more than a decade of experience helping consumers find their perfect car. He has an MA in automotive journalism and has tested hundreds of vehicles.

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