The 2017 Volvo V60 is the wagon version of the S60 sedan. The V60 is as curvaceous as any of its competitors, yet it’s spacious and practical, and it benefits from some of the finest seats to be found in any vehicle.
Introduced to the U.S. for the 2014 model year, the 2017 V60 gains a Dynamic trim level. Volvo also has made a few revisions to the high-performance 2017 V60 Polestar version.
Three basic V60 wagons are available: front-drive or all-wheel-drive T5, all-wheel-drive T6 R-Design, and ultra-performing all-wheel-drive Polestar.
The Volvo V60 Cross Country wagon features two additional inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive for improved capability on unpaved and primitive roads.
All V60 wagons are powered by 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. Base T5 models contain a Drive-E turbocharged inline-four that develops 240 horsepower, mating with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, but each T5 trim level may be equipped with all-wheel drive instead. T5 wagons come in four trim levels, while the Cross Country is offered in two.
In the higher-powered T6 R-Design wagon, a supercharged and turbocharged 2.0-liter engine produces 302 horsepower, coupled to the same 8-speed automatic. Only all-wheel drive is available.
A stronger turbo/supercharged engine goes into the Polestar edition, generating 362 horsepower and 340 pound-feet of torque, also working with an 8-speed automatic. Slightly lighter in weight for 2017, Polestar wagons have new 20-inch wheels and specially calibrated electric power steering.
Although the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has awarded the wagon a Top Safety Pick+ designation, the V60 has not been tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Active-safety features are largely absent on all but the top (Platinum) trim level, but standard equipment includes low-speed crash mitigation, electronic-folding rear headrests, and front-passenger whiplash protection. A rearview camera is part of an option package.
V60 T5 ($36,150) has front-wheel drive and the 240-horsepower engine, along with cloth upholstery, power front seats, moonroof, and 17-inch alloy wheels. (Prices are MSRP and do not include $995 destination charge.)
All-wheel drive is optional for all T5 models ($2,000).
V60 T5 Premier ($38,100) adds leather seating surfaces, navigation, a leather-wrapped steering wheel; all-wheel drive is available ($2,000). V60 T5 Dynamic ($39,300) comes with active dual-xenon headlights, aluminum inlays, and 18-inch wheels. V60 T5 Platinum ($41,950) includes an active-safety suite with blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, plus Harman Kardon audio.
V60 T5 Cross Country ($41,700) and T5 Cross Country Platinum ($45,550) have a 2-inch greater ground clearance than the regular V60.
V60 T6 R-Design Platinum ($48,950) gets the higher-powered turbocharged/supercharged engine, as well as all-wheel drive, 19-inch wheels, an R-Design grille, and paddle shifters.
V60 Polestar ($61,600) is the high-performance all-wheel-drive wagon, with a 362-horsepower version of the turbo/supercharged engine, 20-inch wheels, and Brembo brakes.
The Volvo V60 wagon’s resemblance to the S60 sedan is evident at a glance, led by the steeply raked windshield. Similarity is no surprise, since the two body styles share much of their running gear.
No trace of old-wagon boxiness can be seen, as the V60 relies on swoopy, organic body lines from stem to stern, highlighting a basic wedge profile. Viewed from the side, a V60 may seem like an average wagon. Seen from any corner, front or rear, it conveys a distinctively modern ambiance.
Anyone familiar with Scandinavian simplicity should recognize its presence in the plain cabin of the V60. An excellent all-digital instrument display sits in the center of the dashboard. It can be customized to provide three distinct looks. One knob controls the 7.0-inch infotainment display, augmented by a nine-button control layout.
Black plastic surfaces abound, some of which have a textured, patterned finish. Soft-touch materials are among the firmest available. Compared to some rivals, such as Mercedes-Benz, the relatively spartan layout seems a bit behind the times.
Four adults can ride comfortably in a V60, with space for a fifth if necessary. Cargo volume is 30 cubic feet greater than the S60 sedan provides, with space for all the gear a family is likely to haul on a lengthy road adventure.
Carefully bolstered and blissfully comfortable, front seats are among the best to be found. After a time, passengers hardly notice their presence. Visibility from the driver’s seat is quite good, which is fortunate since a rearview camera isn’t standard.
Rear seats are acceptable for six-foot riders, even when sitting behind another tall occupant. Back seats aren’t bolstered as adeptly as the fronts, but no one is likely to feel punished.
Predictability is typically a prominent virtue of wagons in general, and Volvo wagons in particular. A V60 wagon handles almost like a sports sedan, yielding a firm but smooth ride. Steering centering scores well, and the V60 provides a confident feel.
A T5 wagon won’t leap ahead when the traffic light turns green, but it doesn’t need to. The 240-horsepower engine propels this wagon to 60 mph in a respectable 6.6 seconds. Considering its hauling capabilities, that’s plenty of performance.
Upshifts from the 8-speed automatic transmission are quick and assertive, while improving fuel-efficiency. On the down side, the direct-injected four-cylinder engine tends to sound coarse when running at low speeds.
The more powerful engine in the T6 R-Design is more satisfying when dashing along twisty two-lane pavement, but hardly essential for most drivers.
Polestar brings a lot more performance, but it’s expensive.
Despite its additional ride height, the V60 Cross Country doesn’t feel top-heavy when cornering. Steering is slower than in other models, but similarly predictable.
For fuel-efficiency, the front-drive T5 is the logical choice, EPA-rated at 25/36 mpg City/Highway, or 29 mpg Combined. All-wheel drive lowers that estimate to 23/31 mpg City/Highway, or 26 mpg Combined. The all-wheel-drive T6 is EPA-rated at 22/32 mpg City/Highway, or 26 mpg Combined. A V60 Cross Country manages 22/30 mpg City/Highway, or 25 mpg Combined.
Practical virtues take precedence when selecting a wagon, and Volvo’s V60 ranks high overall. Nothing is old-fashioned about the V60’s appearance, and the T5 base model satisfies in performance as well as ride/handling. Gas mileage sinks with all-wheel drive or the stronger engine, enhancing the appeal of a front-drive T5.
Driving impressions by Aaron Cole, The Car Connection. James M. Flammang contributed to this report.