2018 Volvo V60 Review: The Cure For SUV Envy
– Detroit, Michigan
Volvo is one of just a few automakers still selling wagons in America, but boy am I glad the company persists. You’ll also find the fabulous V90 wagon in Volvo showrooms, as well as the rugged Cross Country versions of the V60 and V90, for all your wagon desires. The V60 is equal parts stylish, functional, and fun to drive – the latter aided by a punchy engine that delivers strong acceleration. Add in all-wheel drive and a spacious cargo area, and the V60 is a good reminder that station wagons can do pretty much all the things a crossover can do.
Premium design. Wearing its R-Design costume, the V60 presents a premium appearance that is still nicely understated. Sharp edges complement smooth curves to make the body stand out; brushed-metal trim provides a contrast against the Osmium Gray Metallic paint. And although the interior plastics might not be the smartest you’ll find in a car at this price point, the detailing – from the nicely trimmed leather to the brushed-chrome accents – successfully elevate the Volvo’s appearance to something more special than the everyday wagon.
Plenty spacious. Cargo room is bountiful, especially with the rear seats folded flat to the floor. Couple that with a back seat that can handily fit two real-life adults, and you’ve got a vehicle that should make growing families question the need for a crossover; this wagon can surely handle most of life’s necessities.
Oh, and it’s quick, too. Now, it may not be as feisty as that Polestar-tuned V60 we drove in the spring, but this V60 T6 still hustles. Volvo’s twincharged four-cylinder continues to impress me in every application; with 295 pound-feet of torque delivered sans lag, I could be convinced this engine displaces far more than 2.0 liters. A transmission that’s eager to downshift helps keep the engine on boil at all times. The result is a car that feels – and is – hugely eager.
Torque steer. Most modern front-wheel-drive cars have excised any torque-steer demons, but this all-wheel-drive Volvo still suffers the affliction. The steering wheel wriggles around in my hands under acceleration, which, again, is all the more frustrating given that the engine drives all four tires.
Dated infotainment system. Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, controlled by smattering of buttons and knobs on the center stack, seemed dated to me when I drove a V60 back in 2014, and today it looks as archaic as a Motorola Razr. Although I’m always in favor of physical buttons because they tend to distract less than touchscreens, navigating the Volvo system’s elaborate menu structure is a chore. The touchscreens in Volvo’s newest generation of cars (S90, V90, XC90, XC60) are a welcome improvement.
Photos: Jake Holmes / Motor1.com