2015 Volvo V60 T5 Road Test

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2015 Volvo V60 Wagon

(2.0L 4-cyl. Turbo 8-speed Automatic w/Prod. End 6/14)
  • 2015 Volvo V60 T5

    2015 Volvo V60 T5

    The 2015 Volvo V60 T5 is far from a traditional boxy Volvo wagon. | June 24, 2014

33 Photos

Another Great Choice for Wagon Shoppers

Quick Summary
Do you need more cargo capacity than a small luxury sedan, yet want a sharper driving experience and superior fuel economy than you get from a compact crossover? Consider a wagon like the 2015 Volvo V60. It may be less refined and engaging to drive than its two main German rivals, but the V60's superior safety, strong fuel economy and unique character make it an excellent alternative to its more expensive competitors.

What Is It?
The Volvo V60 is the wagon version of the S60 entry-level luxury sedan, and the two cars are largely identical apart from their cargo area, styling and the availability of some features and an engine choice. This aligns the V60 with the Audi Allroad and BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon, both of which are also based on entry-level luxury sedans.

Pricing starts at $35,300, making the 2015 V60 cheaper than its German rivals despite offering a similar amount of standard equipment. There are three trim levels that align with engine and drivetrain choice, as well as sub-trims/packages for each that add features. Our T5 test car included the Premier Plus package, which adds desirable features like leather, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera and Volvo's new digital gauge cluster. With Sport and Blind-Spot Information packages, the as-tested price was $42,235. A similarly equipped 3 Series would cost about $3,500 more, while an equivalent Audi Allroad would be about $1,000 more.


2015 Volvo V60

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What Engines Are Available?
The T5 trim level comes with Volvo's new 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's part of the automaker's "Drive-E" family of engines. Despite the name, there's nothing electric about them, but the T5 version is good for 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This output compares favorably to its competitors, while its 0-60-mph time at our test track of 6.4 seconds essentially splits the difference between the quicker BMW 328i and slower Audi Allroad. The T5 only comes with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive.

It should be noted that those aforementioned competitors come only with all-wheel drive, a fact that must be considered when comparing performance, fuel economy and price (as we did above). In order to get all-wheel drive in the V60, you're forced to go with Volvo's trusty old 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine good for 250 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque that's paired to a six-speed automatic. Besides significantly lower fuel economy, Volvo estimates that it's also about seven-tenths of a second slower from zero to 60 mph than the T5. If you need all-wheel drive, the V60's appeal is definitely reduced in relation to its competitors.

2015 Volvo V60 T5

There is also the T6 R-Design model, a performance-oriented version that comes standard with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine rated at 325 hp and 354 lb-ft. It features all-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission.

What Fuel Economy Can You Expect?
The EPA estimates that the T5 will return 29 mpg combined (25 city/37 highway). This compares to the BMW 328i's 26 mpg combined and Audi Allroad's 23 mpg combined, although admittedly both are only offered with all-wheel drive. BMW does offer a more efficient, diesel-powered model, however.

On our 116-mile evaluation route, the V60 returned 32.9 mpg, showing that in a combination of driving environments, this Volvo delivers on its promised thriftiness. Like many turbocharged engines, however, its energetic power delivery encourages commensurately energetic acceleration and as a result, our editors returned a rather disappointing 22.9 mpg during the V60's total stay. Fun comes at a price, it would seem.

2015 Volvo V60 T5

Still, the T5 is considerably more efficient than its all-wheel-drive siblings. The T5 AWD with the larger engine returns an estimated 23 mpg combined, while the high-performance T5 R-Design is good for 22 mpg combined.

How Does It Drive?
This is not your mother's brick-shaped Volvo wagon — certainly not in appearance and not in its driving experience, either. Besides its energetic power plants, the responsive steering delivers commendable feedback and a reassuring amount of effort, while corners are negotiated with a surprising degree of agility. It's not a sport wagon (get a BMW 328i if you're looking for one of those) but it's nevertheless engaging and reassuring.

Ride quality does suffer as a result of the Sport package's firmer suspension tuning and 19-inch wheels. It feels perfectly composed and nicely damped while on smooth pavement or even moderate highway bumps, without the sort of tiresome, constant jiggling associated with sport-tuned models. Yet in the city and suburbia, potholes and expansion joints send uncouth thwacks through the car's structure. We'd recommend skipping the Sport package, but even without it, the V60 (like the S60) generally lacks the feeling of solidity and sophistication from its suspension that its German competitors deliver.

2015 Volvo V60 T5

What Is the Interior Like?
If you're looking for the most comfortable seats in a car that costs less than $70,000, you should try the Volvo V60, especially the optional Sport package's more aggressively contoured seats. Drivers young and old, tall and short highlighted their impressive ability to simultaneously provide corner-taking support, long-haul comfort and instantaneous relief after a day at the office.

"Volvo should start selling furniture made out of these things," one editor mused.

The rest of the cabin is unlikely to be confused with anything other than a Volvo. A clean, somewhat quirky design aesthetic is complemented by premium materials and construction. They look and feel good, but they're not quite to the level of Audi or BMW.

Volvo's "Sensus" electronics interface is standard, dominated by a comparatively small screen that nevertheless has crisp graphics and sensible menus. Simple tasks like selecting a media source or radio preset are accomplished by the central, phone-style number pad and surrounding buttons, while a dash-mounted knob selects more complicated menu items such as selecting a playlist or contact from your iPhone. It's vaguely similar in concept to Mercedes' COMAND system, and although it lacks a certain cutting-edge look and functionality, it works well.

Does It Have Enough Room for a Family?
The 2015 Volvo V60 is not a classic family wagon in terms of size, but it's certainly a more practical vehicle than its S60 sedan sibling. Its open cargo area allows you to more easily carry bulky items that would struggle to fit in a normal trunk, while a clever pop-up cargo area divider with securing strap keeps smaller items like grocery bags in place. Pet owners will also appreciate the net that rolls out from one of two mounting points and connects to the roof, preventing your four-legged buddy from moving about the cabin (or flying through it in the event of an accident).

There are 43.8 cubic feet of total cargo space with the seats folded, which is about 20 cubes less than Volvo's XC60 crossover, but far more than in the S60's 12-cubic-foot trunk. On paper, BMW's 328i Sport Wagon has more cargo space, but the two seem very similar in the metal. The Audi Allroad and its more radically raked rear window has even less space.

2015 Volvo V60 T5

As for its ability to carry people, the backseat offers an acceptable amount of legroom for adults, although tall folks up front make for tight quarters in back. Headroom is abundant, which makes it feel spacious.

If kids are going to be riding onboard, we'd recommend opting for the integrated child booster seats. These raise the front portion of the outboard rear seats into two possible positions (one for kids 37-47 inches tall and between 33 and 55 pounds, the other for those 45-55 inches tall and between 48 and 80 pounds) and utilize the regular seatbelts. The kids will love them, and you won't have to lug booster seats in and out of the car.

What Safety Features Does It Offer?
The airbag count may be unremarkable (front, front-side, side curtain) and you have to pay extra for a rearview camera, but the 2015 V60 only solidifies Volvo's reputation for building safe cars. The standard City Safety system can automatically apply the brakes at sub-30-mph speeds should it detect an impending collision while in slow-moving, stop-and-go traffic. An enhanced version of this technology goes further by warning the driver at higher speeds of not only other vehicles, but pedestrians and cyclists as well. The car will also automatically brake if necessary with this system. Also available is a driver inattention warning system bundled with lane-departure warning.

The V60 hasn't been crash-tested, but the mechanically related Volvo S60 sedan received a perfect five stars in all government crash categories and the best possible rating of "Good" in all of the tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

2015 Volvo V60 T5

What Are Its Closest Competitors?
Audi Allroad: Although it features a slightly higher ride height and some lower body cladding, the Allroad is essentially an Audi A4 wagon. It's more expensive, not as quick and less utilitarian than the Volvo, but it boasts an even higher-quality cabin and more refined driving manners. Unlike with the V60, all-wheel drive is standard, but there is only one engine available.

BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon: Our highest-rated entry-level luxury wagon offers a more composed ride and sharper handling, along with impressive construction and a pair of efficient yet energetic engines (gasoline and diesel). It's considerably more expensive, though.

Why Should You Consider This Car?
A wagon like the 2015 Volvo V60 is an excellent choice if you need more cargo space and versatility than a small luxury sedan provides. We generally find them more enjoyable to drive than most compact SUVs as well. The V60 in particular offers excellent fuel economy, top safety equipment and (likely) ratings, extremely comfortable seats and a unique character that only Volvo provides.

Why Should You Think Twice About This Car?
Overall, the V60's German competitors are superior vehicles, but not by much. If you're looking for that extra degree of refinement, luxury and cutting-edge technology, the BMW and Audi have a slight edge. Also, some families may find that the V60's backseat and cargo area are just not big enough. In that instance, a bigger wagon like Volvo's XC70 or a compact crossover like the Volvo XC60 would be a better choice.

The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

Comments

  • marcos9 marcos9 Posts:

    I'll stick with my AMG wagon, but that said, I'm happy to see Volvo bring back wagons. Now bring back a mid sized R wagon!

  • emajor emajor Posts:

    44 cubic feet of seats-down cargo capacity? That means there is, what, 15-20 behind the rear seat? That's compact hatchback territory and pathetic for a wagon. I can appreciate that Volvo no longer wants to sell a rolling rectangle, but this has swung too far in the other direction where styling has pinched out most of the utility. And look at that dumb rising beltline; there's no glass area back there to see out of , so you'd better opt for that backup camera. A relative has an S60 sedan and it is a very nice car, but as a wagon owner I don't see much to get excited about here.

  • seppoboy seppoboy Posts:

    I carefully considered a V60 T5, they look great and the standard seats are spectacular. Premier Plus is a good content level, and ride is good without oversized wheels, it was a nice drive. But rear seat room is tight, the cargo area is no more than a Golf or similar hatchback, effectively, and the view out the rear is really constricted, which I consider an active safety deficiency. Really nice car in many ways, but not roomy enough, and at this price point Audi and especially BMW are more tempting. Still, if you don't need all the room, it's a desirable and comfortable and distinctive car.

  • derickd81 derickd81 Posts:

    I own one of these and have put more than 3,000 miles on it thus far. I find more and more that I like about it each time I take it on the road. The cargo capacity, as mentioned in the article, seems larger than specified, and it's more than enough space for my wife and I. We have a month-long trip coming up and test fit our gear and there is more than enough room. We have the blind-spot system (BLIS) which is really great, and the rear visibility is fine, especially when your mirrors are set up correctly, BLIS adds another layer of control in backing up. It's a great car if you don't want a crossover, need more space than a sedan, and want something safe and confident on the road. Can you fit a refrigerator in the back, no, but it offers a great deal of utility for most daily use. Definitely worth a test drive. That way you can make your own assessment.

  • wackford wackford Posts:

    I don't understand the desirability of these keyless entry systems. With the introduction of the button on the key-fob, I haven't found it any great hassle or effort to press a little button with my thumb. I guess those who find this effort to great may be the same people that find it too much effort to use their pinkies to move the signal stalk to indicate their intentions when turning or changing lanes!

  • herrstreet herrstreet Posts:

    I couldn't disagree more with some of the points in this article. I shopped the BMW - and for the 52k that it would have cost me to get a touring with navigation, leather and backup camera, I got an R Design with every option except for the tech package. And walked away with $4000 in change. I also don't think that the the interiors of modern BMW's are as luxurious as the Volvo is - though they have a nicer navigation screen, which is pretty huge. While the V60 is a FWD package (mine has awd since it's the 6) and that means I'm not going to do powerslides in it, who on earth does that? As far as the cargo area goes, it is absolutely not the size of a GTI trunk. I've had 2. From the back seats to the hatch it's about 45 inches, which means I can throw my daughter's large stroller in the back and still have space for some accesories. What the cargo space does lack is height. All the extra space in the XC60 is vertical. Overall I think it's a great car, and you can't buy a safer car.

  • bassrockerx bassrockerx Posts:

    this vehicle with allwheel drive and the turbochaged and supercharged 4 cylinder engine and i'm in although i would much rather have the xc60 or xc70

  • leocosta75 leocosta75 Posts:

    I love wagons, and I think the V60 is a gorgeous addition. I wish more people would drive wagons instead of "crossovers" (clever name for SUVs...), however I feel that in the end, the biggest rival to the V60 is its own sibling, the XC60. Why most american buyers would go for the wagon if they can satisfy their crossover fetish with the XC60 for the same ammount of money? Volvo North America should have priced the V60 much lower...

  • myob myob Posts:

    Ah yes, the "they said it so I'll say it too" review. DRIVE the car and you won't think it's "less refined". It's also pretty sporty handling with the sport package. You can buy an R design version with awd that will out handle the Audi and hold its own with the BMW. I don't know where they get some of these reviewers. The A4 based All road is jacked up and tall now and will not handle that great. It strains under load with a 4 cylinder turbo making only about 220 hp. For the same price or less you can get 325 hp and 354 lb ft of torque in the top level Volvo. AND it looks better. You can tell these reviews are lame because they are still treating the 3 series like it has great body control and steering. Sorry, that went away with the F30 redesign. You'll have to pick up a used E92 era BMW wagon to do much better than the current Volvo V60. As for cargo space, puhleese. These wagons have about double the capacity of their sedan versions. Sorry if you need more, but that's what crossovers are for. If you have a family of 4 and need more than these wagons allow, try a roof rack.

  • myob myob Posts:

    leocosta75, the V60 is priced a whopping $850 more than its sedan version, the S60. That IS cheap considering how few they'll sell and the design and costs to certify it here. The S60 is already cheaper than the BMW and Audi competition. It's a European car, they have costs a Mexican made VW won't have. (The V60 is built in Sweden, the S60 in Belgium). I'm not anti-BMW. I have owned 3 of them.

  • myob myob Posts:

    wackford, I was exactly like you till I got a car with it. "How hard is it to push a fob button?". But it really is convenient never to have to dig for a key. Now I look for the feature on new cars. Call me lazy, but I have come to really like it.

  • nouel87 nouel87 Posts:

    I'm looking for advice, both pro and con, for the purchase of this wagon. I'm a young professional in my late twenties without children to transport. I live an active lifestyle, therefore some room is important for me to load up gear for outdoor sports, fishing rods and tackle boxes, suitcases, etc. I kayak so roof racks are critical. I wanted an intro luxury, sporty vehicle with more room than a sedan, however with a good power to gas mileage ratio, so I don't feel like I'm driving a go-kart but am also not paying outrageously for fuel. Important aspects for me are performance, fuel economy, quality materials, storage space, and sporty styling. The V60 seems pricey in proportion to my current income, and with AWD a desired option, I am looking into leasing in the hopes of affording a brilliant vehicle with the option to replace it with a similar vehicle in 2-3 years. To give you an idea of previously owned vehicles, I've had 2 F-150's and a GMC Envoy. Thoughts?

  • stever stever Posts:

    New England, boater, poor access roads for your fishing spots. Guess you're sick of seeing Subarus everywhere up there, but the ground clearance is nice for those kinds of activities. (Looks like the T5 has 5.4" of GC).

  • > @nouel87 said: > I'm looking for advice, both pro and con, for the purchase of this wagon. I'm a young professional in my late twenties without children to transport. I live an active lifestyle, therefore some room is important for me to load up gear for outdoor sports, fishing rods and tackle boxes, suitcases, etc. I kayak so roof racks are critical. I wanted an intro luxury, sporty vehicle with more room than a sedan, however with a good power to gas mileage ratio, so I don't feel like I'm driving a go-kart but am also not paying outrageously for fuel. Important aspects for me are performance, fuel economy, quality materials, storage space, and sporty styling. The V60 seems pricey in proportion to my current income, and with AWD a desired option, I am looking into leasing in the hopes of affording a brilliant vehicle with the option to replace it with a similar vehicle in 2-3 years. To give you an idea of previously owned vehicles, I've had 2 F-150's and a GMC Envoy. Thoughts? What about a Jetta SportWagen TDI? Fun to drive, great mileage, pretty well-made, roomy, not too expensive. It doesn't have AWD, but FWD is good enough the vast majority of the time.

  • spkorn spkorn Posts:

    I bought a V60 in May with BLIS and all heated seats Great car and style and economy. $39k out the door including sales taxes for base model. Includes maintenance thru 30,000 miles too

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