10:00 PM | February 21 2020
The international media verdict on the All-New Volvo V60
“A high-quality, tech-packed, spacious and stylish estate”. “Practicality has never been sexier”. UK and US motoring experts deliver their views on Volvo’s new-generation luxury wagon.
All Volvo vehicles undergo extreme testing – from the sub-zero temperatures of the Arctic to the melting heat of America’s Death Valley – to ensure they’re able to cope with everything thrown at them once being driven by customers anywhere in the world.
Some would say, however, that the harshest test the cars face is the intense scrutiny of motoring critics.
With the All-New Volvo V60 is only freshly arrived in Australia, we find out how the Swedish luxury wagon has fared under the spotlight of the leading car-reviewing experts in overseas markets such as the United Kingdom and North America.
Volvo models have been regular picks for Motor Trend Car of the Year Finalist groups ever since the XC90 SUV won the US media brand’s 2016 SUV of the Year award. Motor Trend says the V60 keeps “the ball rolling in an incredibly competitive segment”.
“The V60 [looks] handsome and distinctly Volvo. The look and feel of the spacious interior is better still, with each trim having a distinct personality. The base V60 Momentum delivered a fresh Scandinavian take.”
Still in America, Car and Driver was similarly enthused with the V60’s interior.
“Volvo's been doing some great interiors lately and the V60 benefits from a similar design as the one found in the S60 sedan and the XC60 SUV. The cabin is spacious, the seats are comfortable, and the design is undeniably upscale.”
The V60’s global appeal ensures it’s not only American tastes the luxury wagon suits.
Said the UK’s AutoExpress magazine/website: “Volvo has made a name for itself with some of the best-looking interiors in the business and the V60 is no different.”
Wagons, of course, are also expected to be practical and versatile, and here experts weren’t disappointed.
“If you’re under the impression that the SUV route is the only way to get a decent boot these days, think again,” says the UK’s What Car. The V60 is a worthy alternative. The standard electrically operated tailgate opens to reveal 529 litres of space with the rear seats up – that’s more than its obvious rivals and easily enough to cope with buggies or a couple of large suitcases.”
“The V60 sets a practicality benchmark in the compact executive class. It’s a bigger car than key rivals and it makes the most of those dimensions inside. Boot and passenger space are better than you’ll find elsewhere, while comfortable seats mean the Volvo is a great place to while away motorway miles on a long journey.”
The Volvo V60’s underpinnings comprise a double-wishbone transverse link suspension arrangement up front and an integral axle suspension at the rear – designed to make the wagon both comfortable and composed regardless of the type of road.
Top Gear was among the motoring media to believe the Swedish car maker had found a good balance between ride and handling.
“You’re not supposed to drive the V60 like your hair’s on fire,” wrote Top Gear. “Not that it complains if you do – it’s actually very well composed when you press on. It contains its body roll well, there’s little understeer and the steering does let you place it with fluent accuracy on the road.”
AutoExpress liked the way the V60 drove both in the city and on freeways.
“Visibility is good, making the V60 easy to pilot around town, while the auto gearbox is a smooth shifter. It’s on the motorway where you’re most likely to use the Volvo’s excellent Pilot Assist autonomous features, too. The car will keep a set distance from the vehicle in front once you’ve set the speed you want to travel at but will also keep you in lane and steer you around gentle corners. …It really adds a degree of relaxation to longer journeys.”
In Australia, the V60 is available with a T5 turbocharged petrol engine that What Car appreciated for its “super-linear power delivery”, while Car and Driver praised the engine for its “strong performance”.
AutoExpress describe the V60 T8 as “quite the rapid estate … but the CO2 emissions stand at just 39g/km [and] regular top-ups of the 10.4kWh battery should take you far north of anything you could reasonably expect to achieve in a conventional petrol or diesel vehicle.”
In summarising the All-New Volvo V60, Top Gear said: “…A lovely-looking cabin, an obsessive approach to keeping everyone safe, lots of practicality and a thoroughly relaxed approach to long journeys. For a family estate, those human-centric values are pretty compelling.”
“The V60 cements Volvo’s place among premium car makers – it’s a high quality, tech-packed, spacious and stylish estate that offers a different take on established rivals from Germany,” said AutoExpress in its verdict.
Car and Driver remarked that despite SUVs comprising the majority of Volvo’s sales, the company “still knows how to do wagons”.
The US motoring magazine concluded: “If you're looking for proof that station wagons aren't dead, just take one look at the handsome, long-roofed 2019 Volvo V60: Practicality has never been sexier.”