Volvo V60 Review

Find out more about the Volvo V60 in the latest Motors.co.uk Review

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  • Pros
  • Large boot
  • Stylish design
  • Very comfortable
  • Cons
  • Could be better to drive
  • Intrusive wind noise
  • Fiddly touchscreen system
  • MPG
    40 - 64
  • CO2
    117 - 160 g/km
  • Video

  • Price Guide

  • Trims

  • Summary

Model Review

The first V60 launched in 2010 as a replacement for the V50. The V60 represented a big shift for the brand, with a fresh design ethos taking hold of the Volvo range.

Debuting in July 2010, it represented a new generation of sleek estates, moving away from Volvo’s box-like wagons from the past. The V60 is available as an estate variant of the S60, with both versions feeling surprisingly similar to drive.

A host of efficient diesel and petrol engines were offered from new, while Volvo would expand the engine portfolio further with a diesel plug-in hybrid – the first of its kind.

The sporty-looking ‘R-Design’ trim level was also added to the range, becoming the most popular version of the model.

Volvo also gave the V60 the Polestar treatment – Polestar being Volvo’s performance sub-division at the time (it’s since morphed into a new sub-brand) – with an impressive power output of 345bhp, allowing for a sprightly 0-60mph time of 4.7 seconds.

After a facelift in 2014, the firm also revealed an off-road version of the V60, known as the Cross Country.

Latest model

Volvo unveiled the swoopy second-generation V60 in February 2018, adopting a stylish new look similar to that of the XC90 and attractive V90 model.

Unsurprisingly, the V60 led the way when it came to safety kit, with features such as steering assistance which works in the event of a car veering out of lane, as well as oncoming lane mitigation: an autonomous braking technology that can steer out of the way of a car driving on the wrong side of the road.

Volvo’s latest Sensus infotainment system was also fitted as standard.

Since the V60’s unveiling, Volvo has added a stylish new R-design model to the range, featuring a sporty bodykit, larger alloy wheels, sports-tuned suspension and adjusted handling.

There has also been the unveil of the V60 Cross Country – the estate variant for those who fancy some off-road attributes. Styling differences over the normal car include additional bodywork protection, lower plastic cladding and wheelarch extensions, while mechanical differences include the addition of hill descent control and a special off-road driving mode.

The V60 has won plenty of accolades – including the 2018 Sunday Times Family Car of the Year award.

 

Value for money

Such is the luxury offered from the V60 that prices are not quite as cheap as you might expect. Models start from £32,410 which means the Volvo just undercuts the Audi A4 Avant and the outgoing BMW 3 Series Touring, but the V60 can’t quite rival those models for quality. That said, top-of -the-range models only cost a touch over £40,000 with the current petrol and diesel line-up. When the range-topping plug-in hybrid launches, this will likely cost more money.

The standard equipment is good though, with entry-level Momentum models coming with automatic LED headlights, a nine-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, rear parking sensors and a host of safety kit with automatic steering and emergency braking featuring as standard. It’s this area where the V60 eclipses other models.

The previous generation V60 has been a popular fleet model in the past, so there’s examples starting from just £4,000 on the used market, although these will have travelled in excess of 100,000 miles.

Vehicles with lower mileage start from around £6,000, although this will get a car with the somewhat underpowered 1.6-litre diesel engine. Our pick would be a mid-spec SE car with the 163bhp D3 engine (2.0-litre diesel).

 

At the time of writing, the second-generation car had been on sale for less than a year, although several thousand pounds off list price could still be obtained.

Cross Country models are rare, and start from around £16,000, while you’ll struggle to find the performance Polestar version for much under £30,000.

 

Looks and image

While looks are subjective, it’s quite fair to say that the V60 is one of the best-looking estates there is, and makes its key rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes all look rather bland. The V60 has a sleek, swoopy profile and while the rear is boxier than the model it replaces, it pulls the estate look off well. Volvo’s trademark ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED headlights are a welcome addition to the front, too.

The V60’s interior feels reassuringly premium, with plenty of soft materials used throughout. All besides the cheapest models come with leather seats, while Inscription models benefit from wood trim, which surprisingly isn’t as tacky as it sounds. Inside is where it feels like a slightly shrunken version of the excellent V90 – Volvo’s top estate– which is one of the best compliments you can pay to a car. The nine-inch touchscreen and Volvo’s clutter-free approach to interiors also make the V60 feel modern, although the touchscreen is needlessly fiddly to navigate – even more so on the move when it can prove distracting.

Unlike more performance-focused rivals, the V60 takes a refreshingly laid-back approach to driving. The V60 is a car to appeal to those who want to get to their destination in complete comfort, rather than as fast as possible. The steering might be lacking in feel, and it rolls more in the corners than it should but both these issues are immaterial when comfort is the priority. With plenty of punchy engines available, the V60 can accelerate rather quickly, should you need it to. Our only gripe is that the largest wheels offered on the R-Design hinder on ride comfort, while it’s not quite as refined as you might hope due to intrusive wind noise.

Video Review

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69TjGZR17Zg&t=12s
Space and practicality

It’s a bad job if a Volvo estate fails to be practical, and thankfully the V60 doesn’t disappoint.

The last V60 seemed to favour curvy looks over practicality, but thankfully this latest model manages to bring back the practical roots, and still looks stylish in the process. Boot space is more sufficient than Audi and BMW’s offerings, with 539 litres on offer, while an excellent flat shape to the boot and nifty design cues give the V60 its practical mojo back. That said, it can’t match the cheaper Skoda Octavia when it comes to boot capacity. Folding the rear seats opens up an area amounting to 1,441 litres.

Rear space is as accommodating as you would hope for with plenty of legroom and headroom, even for six-footers. If you regularly carry adults in the back, we’d recommend avoiding a car with the panoramic sunroof, as it noticeably eats into headroom.

As for safety, very little at this price point can beat the V60. The Swedish firm is arguably the frontrunner when it comes to safety technology and this shows with just some of the safety kit fitted to the V60. All models come with City Safety – Volvo’s advanced autonomous braking system, which has the capability of steering around danger rather than other systems which purely brake to try and prevent crashes.

Surprisingly the V60 has not been tested by Euro NCAP yet, and therefore doesn’t have an official safety rating, but we would be very surprised if it didn’t get five stars. It’s worth noting that the last generation V60 got a five-star Euro NCAP safety score, while Volvo has some of the safest cars on sale in the UK.

 

Engines

At the time of writing, Volvo offered three engines on the V60.

Two diesel units are available – the 148bhp D3 and 187bhp D4. Both are powered by 2.0-litre engines, with the option of an eight-speed automatic transmission, or a six-speed manual. The D4 can accelerate from 0-60mph in 7.6 seconds – two seconds quicker than the D3 – and is the only engine offered on the Cross Country model.

The sole petrol engine offered is a 2.0-litre unit producing 247bhp, which is capable of a top speed of 145mph and a 0-60mph time of 6.4 seconds. It’s paired with an eight-speed auto.

Volvo is expected to offer the T8 plug-in hybrid option to the V60 at the start of 2019, while further petrol engines are likely on the way, too.

In this respect, Mercedes, BMW and Audi offer more engine choice in their estates than Volvo does.

 

Running costs

There’s quite a disparity in terms of efficiency between the diesel and petrol units.

Both diesels emit a matching CO2 figure of 117g/km in their cleanest guises, with the D3 returning a claimed 61.4mpg on the combined cycle, and the D4 62.9mpg.

While the petrol engine is quite thirsty, it’s good on fuel considering its excellent performance. Volvo claims it can return 43.7mpg, with a CO2 figure of 157g/km.

Insurance groups are comparable to those of rivals, with groups ranging between 24 and 31, depending on which model you go for.

Things to look for

The latest V60 is still too new for any noticeable issues to have arisen with it but Volvo doesn’t have the reputation for reliability that you might expect from a premium brand. The previous-generation V60 suffered from quite a few serious gremlins – the main one being that the car would occasionally lose power and could be hesitant accelerating. This issue affected a number of diesel-powered models, although it’s not a widespread issue.

 

Rivals

The Volvo V60 has a number of important rivals – the three most notable being the Audi A4 Avant, the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate, which dominate in the premium executive car class. Other slightly cheaper rivals to the V60 include the Volkswagen Passat Estate and Skoda Superb Estate

 

Depreciation

Volvo V60s are fantastic used purchases because the Swedish manufacturer’s models can’t quite hold their values in the same way that other German rivals manage to. But it’s hard to moan when you can get £8,000 off a nearly new model, and with prices for the last-generation model starting from as little as £4,000, they’re hard to avoid at this price point.

Which V60 to Pick

Trims Explained

Volvo’s trim levels are complex, with grades including the Momentum, Momentum Pro, R-Design, R-Design Pro, Inscription, Inscription Pro and the Cross Country.

Momentum

Entry-level Momentum has standard equipment including cruise control, keyless start, automatic LED headlights, auto-folding door mirrors, automatic wipers, rear parking sensors and 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels (depending on engine). It also comes with a nine-inch touchscreen with DAB, Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and a host of safety equipment including automatic emergency braking and steering assist to bring the car back on the road and to avoid oncoming traffic, as well as hill-hold tech and lane-keep assist.

The Momentum is priced from £32,410

Momentum Pro

The Momentum Pro comes with extra equipment including leather seats, a heated steering wheel, adaptive headlights, a head-up display, rear armrest and keyless entry. It also comes with an electric boot opening, an electric driver’s seat with memory function, heated front seats, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and LED cornering fog lights.

Momentum Pro costs from £34,660

R-Design

Sporty R-Design trim builds on the Momentum spec with half-leather sports seats with extensions for extra comfort, a Nappa leather key, LED cornering fog lights, gloss black mirrors, diamond-cut alloy wheels, front parking sensors, a heated steering wheels, a considerably sportier suspensions setup, further gloss black styling details and R-Design tread plates.

This model is priced from £35,410.

R-Design Pro

E Design Pro comes with extra kit including tinted rear windows, keyless entry, 19-inch diamond-cut alloys and all the other assortments you would find on the Momentum Pro.

R-Design Pro costs from £37,660

Inscription Pro

Range-topping Inscription Pro adds Nappa perforated leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, further electrical adjustment to the front seats, a head-up display and washers for the front headlights.

This is priced from £38,910.

Cross Country

The rugged Cross Country model adds styling differences such as wheelarch extensions a darker front grille, a Cross Country embossed rear bumper, side mouldings, roof rails, hill descent control and matte black styling cues.

The Cross Country model costs from £38,270.

Summary

  1. Superb standard safety equipment
  2. Fantastic number of trim levels available
  3. Class-leading boot space
  4. Very comfortable
  5. Great value on the used market
  6. One of the best-looking estate cars
  7. Punchy engines
  8. Much softer to drive than rivals from BMW and Audi
  9. Plug-in hybrids available on sale shortly
  10. Definitely one of the best estate cars on sale