From £21,720
Estate version of S60 has potential to eclipse the saloon

Our Verdict

Volvo V60
The V60’s shape, proportions and detailing are likely to win the estate many fans

Stylish new estate is Sweden's answer to the BMW 3-series Touring

28 August 2010

What is it?

The V60 is Volvo's first proper foray into Europe's premium sports estate market, dominated by the BMW 3-series and Audi A4. Volvo estimates that it will sell 50,000 V60s each year, with just 5000 sold outside Europe.

What's it like?

The company calls the V60 a 'sports wagon' and insists that it is meant to look as close to a coupe as possible. In the metal, this is a very handsome and distinctive machine.

The roofline isn't much different in height from the saloon's, but clever shaping at the edges and a very small third side window make the V60 look even more dynamic than the S60.

It also helps the V60's sense of poise that the distinctive ridge along each side of the car does not droop downwards aft of the rear door, as it does on the saloon. And the V60's rear elevation is the best expression yet of the styling theme that was introduced on the XC90 nearly a decade ago.

Volvo says the V60 is the same as the S60 up to the C-pillars, and the light, airy interior is identical to the saloon's, although I'm not convinced that rear leg room hasn’t been slightly compromised in the wagon.

Despite the tucked-in tail, the V60's boot is a very usable 430 litres with the seats up. The rear seat splits 40/20/40 and can be folded to create a totally flat load bay. The back of the front passenger seat folds forward to allow for very long loads.

Decent dynamics are essential in a market dominated by the 3-series, so the S60 and V60 spent 20 weeks on the B-roads of Wiltshire having their damping tuned to cope with the most challenging roadscape in Europe.

Volvo's chassis engineers also made extensive changes to the front end of the EUCD platform (which also underpins the S80, V70 and Ford Mondeo).

Compared with the S80 and V70, the S60 and V60 have a stiffer front subframe, stiffer strut top mounts and bushes, a quicker steering rack and a new steering column that’s twice as rigid.

The first sense the driver gets from behind the V60's wheel is of an immensely stiff and rigid machine. It feels remarkably all of a piece – perhaps even more so than the saloon.

On the motorway, the V60 is planted four square and runs pretty much arrow straight, which is at least partly due to the four-wheel-drive drivetrain of our D5 AWD test car.

This particular V60 is clearly not going to set the roads alight. The 2.4-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel is powerful, refined and torquey, but it's also a little slow to rev and a tad vocal.

The sporting potential of this V60 is further hampered by the deadening effect of the AWD system and a CO2-conscious automatic 'box that shifts into top gear as often as possible.

That's not to say that the car can't be made to go pretty well. All that work in the UK has given the V60 good body control, and the car's rigid front end allows the driver to place the front wheels with great accuracy in corners.

Should I buy one?

Overall, the V60 looks great, feels extremely well made and has commendable load-carrying potential. The chassis is impressively stable and well damped, too, and it can be pointed with great accuracy.

However, the car's true sporting potential will probably be best experienced with a snappier engine and two-wheel drive.

Volvo V60 D5 AWD

Price: £35,400 (est); Top speed: 143mph; 0-62mph: 7.4sec; Economy: 44.8mpg (combined); CO2: 166g/km; Engine: 5 cyls in line, 2400cc, turbodiesel; Power: 202bhp; Torque: 310lb ft; Gearbox: 6-spd automatic

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Comments
35

1 September 2010

**Breaking News*****

Oh my god this is going to hurt but I have to admit I Love this V60 !!! it looks F******** Wicked !!! This is the first volvo i HAVE SEEN AND THOUGHT OH GOD THIS LOOKS GOOD.

I love it for a sport wagon\estate it looks really nice looks like I am trading the Audi sportback now..... wow

1 September 2010

[quote moe360]**Breaking News*****[/quote] OVER £35K FOR A SMALL VOLVO ESTATE! less performance, more co2, worse mpg than any of the german rivals! what's happening in sweden? it must be the sight of all the lovely ladies making the marketing departments think they can charge more for their cars!!!

1 September 2010

when did this get released? Good looking estate, but I do agree that, in this spec at least, it is expensive

1 September 2010

Distinctive, yes. Handsome? Everyone to their own but I reckon that's just about the ugliest 'sports' estate out there.

1 September 2010

white

1 September 2010

[quote drivedrivedrive]white[/quote]

Too many white cars on the roads now!

Mind you didn't you hear, matt black is the new white. Apparently.

Thankfully though I can't see Volvo offering that colour scheme.

1 September 2010

Yet again someone pipes up "worse performance, worse economy than German rivals" - find me a BMW that looks THAT good and has AWD, auto gearbox and more than 4 cylinders. Or a Merc. There aren't. However this isn't going to be the big selling model is it? The 163bhp D3 will probably be the big seller - 5 cylinder diesel, 0-60 in under 10 seconds and 53mpg - all wrapped up in a body nicer than the competition with a classier interior. The cheapest D5 (205bhp remember) is only about £25k, 50mpg etc etc.

1 September 2010

I reckon Volvo might have another 850 moment with this. In the 1990's that car transformed the image of the company overnight.

1 September 2010

I had this car right up there on my 'I want one of these next' list, until I saw the excessively ambitious estimated price. Let's hope your estimation is wrong.

Ah well, I'll have to wait a few more months after the launch and get one of the Volvo UK HQ registered ones

1 September 2010

[quote Volvophile]I reckon Volvo might have another 850 moment with this.  In the 1990's that car transformed the image of the company overnight.[/quote] Not sure I agree about the 850, I would say the 760 was the car that transformed their image. I remember the launch well (my father had 2 in a row as company cars) and I also remember thinking "what the **** is that!!!" when I saw the US-style super steep rear window and Darth Vader style interior (remember the contoured/ribbed front headrests, probably the most aggressive looking headrest ever!?).

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