The 2017 Volvo V60 is the successor to that most iconic of all things Swedish: the square-cut Volvo station wagon. Not even Ikea or ABBA could hold a candle to it. That wagon was the official safety vehicle of upper-middle-class childhood in the '70s and '80s and a reliable indicator of its owner's moderate to liberal political leanings. It was everything everyone assumed a Swedish car should be.
But that was 30 to 40 years ago, and a lot has changed. First it was minivans and now it's crossovers that have displaced the station wagon as the official vehicles of child rearing. But there's still a niche for European luxury wagons.
The current V60 was introduced as a 2011 model, and Volvo significantly refreshed it for 2014. Following in the wake of its brother, the S60 sedan, it's now powered exclusively by Volvo's still-fresh Drive-E 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. In turbocharged form, the engine is rated at 240 horsepower and is installed in the T5 version of the V60 with either front- or all-wheel drive. Adding a supercharger alongside the turbocharger bumps that output up to 302 hp for the V60 T6 with standard all-wheel drive. Then there's the hypertuned, all-wheel-drive Polestar edition, which uses a fortified version of the turbo-supercharged engine with a larger turbo and a reinforced assembly to withstand the onslaught. The Polestar engine is rated at 362 hp.
All V60s use an eight-speed automatic transmission. The T5 is offered in Premier, Platinum and Dynamic trim levels with, of course, each level a bit more plush than the one below it. The T6 comes only with the sporty R-Design. And the Polestar is its own thing, orbiting above them all. There's also a V60 Cross Country model with raised suspension and some off-road pretension that is covered in a separate Edmunds review.
Though old Volvo wagons are renowned for their ability to swallow huge amounts of cargo, the smaller V60 emerges from the sport wagon tradition. For those Volvo-philes out there, think more P1800ES than 245. So the interior can feel, well, intimate. And the rakish roofline and minimal overhang compromise interior room.
Considering this Volvo's power and heft, the V60 gets decent mileage. The front-wheel-drive turbo version is EPA-rated at 29 mpg combined (25 city/36 highway). The all-wheel-drive turbocharged and supercharged V60 gets 26 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway). The powerful Polestar is, of course, thirstier.
European wagons are specialized products for specialized tastes. Making sense of which is the most special one for you means doing some research. Let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Volvo V60 that's right for you.