Tired of SUVs? Stylish Volvo V60 wagon is a strong alternative Featured

Posted On Sunday, 24 November 2019 22:06 Written by
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The Volvo V60 is one of the best luxury wagon options, and offers much of the same versatility you will get from an SUV. The Volvo V60 is one of the best luxury wagon options, and offers much of the same versatility you will get from an SUV. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

The station wagon, once the vehicle most associated with family excursions, is arguably the most overlooked class of vehicles available today.

It doesn’t help that so few wagons are being produced (they make up only 1.4 percent of U.S. auto sales), and the biggest factor in this trend is the 500 SUVs and crossovers that dominate family vehicle buying these days.

But for folks who have SUV fatigue and want some alternative options, a few brands are still in the wagon business. In the luxury realm, the most notable player is Volvo, who offers a couple wagon options in the V90 and V60.

I recently tested a Volvo V60, which was redesigned for the 2019 model year, and I’m back with a full report on what it offers.

 

LOOKS
With a long roof and a low-to-the-ground design, along with a long, panoramic sunroof, the V60 presents a modern-day approach that recalls fondly the old-school stations wagons of our childhoods.

The sharpness of the exterior design of the V60 extends to the interior, where comfort is at a premium and high-quality materials are found throughout — including attractive driftwood accents.

The leather seating for all five passengers is extremely comfortable, even on long trips, one of the many touches — including optional front-seat massage functions — that proves that Volvo definitely belongs in the luxury class.

Heated seats are offered in rear as well as the front, in addition to a heated steering wheel.

Cargo space is something you’ll also get from this wagon in generous portions. The vehicle offers 23.2 cubic feet of cargo space, or 50.9 cubic feet with rear seats down. These numbers rival what many crossovers have to offer. Compared to other luxury wagons, it’s slightly less cargo space (but those alternatives are also more pricey).

The only negative I can say about the interior is that there is limited storage space for your personal items inside the vehicle (small center console, for example).

Opting for the high-end Inscription trim line will get you an even sharper look, including: Chrome exterior trim, dual integrated tailpipes, tailored dashboard and more.

HOW’S THE RIDE?
The Volvo V60 I tested featured a 2.0-liter, supercharged and turbocharged 4-cylinder engine; paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. Numbers were 316 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. (NOTE: The base engine option is only turbocharged and comes in at 250 hp and 295 lb.-ft.).

My test vehicle was an all-wheel-drive setup, while vehicles with the base engine feature front-wheel drive.

My experience driving the V60 was very enjoyable in terms of performance. It’s much sportier of a drive than you will experience in most SUVs, and could also move very fast when you needed it to do so (through driving mode selection, choose Dynamic for the best performance).

Zero to 60 takes less than 6 seconds, and the supercharger and turbocharger work well together to help deliver a driving experience you’ll look forward to each day.

This is one of the biggest selling points of these remaining wagons: A stronger, sedan-like driving experience with a level of utility people usually get from SUVs. It’s also a very quiet ride inside the cabin, with limited road noise entering.

The V60 features anti-lock braking, hill start assist, and Advanced Electronic Stability Control (ESC). You can also opt for an adaptive suspension.

TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY
This area is a split decision. While Volvo is always brilliant on the safety front, being a leader and pioneer in that area for many years, the tech/infotainment offerings suffer.

Due to its minimalist design, Volvo puts control of almost everything in the vehicle through its massive center touchscreen. And therein lies the problem.

Overall, I am not a huge fan of the Volvo infotainment system and its Sensus touchscreen. The system did not always respond well to voice commands, and it’s quite difficult to figure out the controls most of the time, as there is just too much going on with that screen. I also experienced some delays in the system’s responsiveness.

Translation: This is one area of the vehicle where Volvo falls behind its luxury rivals.

On the plus side, the sound system in the V60 was quite impressive, filling the vehicle nice and clear.

Other tech features include Bluetooth (for streaming calls and audio), rearview camera, and integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Voice commands are in play for controlling audio, navigation, phone calls and climate functions.

On the safety front, Volvo has all angles covered, including:
• Blind Spot Information System w/ Cross Traffic Alert with Autobrake
• Collision Avoidance that detects Vehicles/Pedestrians/Cyclists/Large Animals
• Run-off Road Protection & Run-off Road Mitigation
• Lane Keeping Aid & Oncoming Mitigation by Braking
• Rear Park Assist & Rear Park Assist Camera
• Full array of airbags
• Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)
• Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) in Front Seats
• Power Child Lock. Rear Doors
• Safety Belts w/ Pretensioners

Optional packages can add features such as heads-up display, Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-automated driving, and the excellent surround-view camera, which works very well in parking situations.

MPG
Official fuel mileage numbers on the Volvo V60 are 21 city/25 highway/31 combined. Among the limited competition it has, these are strong numbers. I averaged 22.2 mpg during my time in the V60.

PRICE
My test vehicle was well-equipped with options and priced just over $61,490; Base price starts about $40K for the V60. This may seem like a high number, but compared to wagon alternatives from Audi and Mercedes-Benz it’s actually a bargain if you’re staying in the luxury realm. (Going into the non-luxury brands, Subaru and Volkswagen offer wagons worth looking at if you’re on more of a budget).

For the V60, scheduled maintenance is free for the first 3 years/36K miles; and you get a 48-month/50K mile limited warranty.

BOTTOM LINE

The wagon lives on, albeit in smaller amounts, and for those who appreciate this type of vehicle there is still plenty to be excited about. The redesigned Volvo V60 is one of those things.

While it will never top the sales charts, The Volvo V60 offers a beautifully designed, versatile, safe and fun-to-drive luxury vehicle to those who dare to venture out of the SUV lane.


AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.  



Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2019 Volvo V60
  • Price as tested: $61,490 (starts around $40K)   
  • Best feature: Sleek redesign, versatility, safety features  
  • Rating: 4 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Buyers seeking a luxury ride who also want alternatives to SUVs
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

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