Share This Page

Auto review: Volvo's V60 wagon bursts out of the box

| Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Consider Volvo's 2015 V60 station wagon penance for all the boxy cars the company threw at us in the 1980s and '90s.

No longer refrigerator-shaped, the style of this all-new car leaves its forefathers in the dust. The sleek silhouette puts form ahead of function for a wagon that's just as good for a play date as it is on a real date.

But pack light. The V60 can't haul like the old Volvo wagons used to.

Volvo — a brand that's Swedish by heritage but Chinese by ownership — fitted the car with a new, more efficient engine and transmission. The V60 manages to pack in the European panache of rival wagons like the BMW 328i or Audi Allroad, and for less money, starting at $36,225.

Though wagons get only a morsel of the domestic market — 1.3 percent in 2013 — the few buyers willing to consider one should put the V60 high on their list.

As the name may indicate, the V60 is the wagon derivative of Volvo's S60 mid-size sedan. That car has been around in its current form since 2010, though Volvo gave it a mild aesthetic update in 2014.

One year later, our wagon joins the lineup for the first time and brings with it an excellent new drivetrain.

An in-line, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It's hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission that pushes power to the front wheels. All-wheel drive is a $1,500 option that our test car didn't have.

The drivetrain is rated by the EPA at 25 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway.

Our $42,225 test car had a $1,500 sport package. This adds a retuned suspension that lowers the car, paddle shifters for the transmission, sports seats and larger, 19-inch alloy wheels. We appreciated the extra chutzpah in turns, but found the ride quality a bit too harsh as a result.

The snug shape, sloping roofline and small side windows behind the rear passengers are nice on the outside, but they cut into the V60's usable space inside. Like the exterior, the dashboard layout is nice to look at and touch. But the buttons are scattered.

Otherwise, we enjoyed this wagon. The drivetrain is a hoot, and it's as good as anything Germany is bolting together right now.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.