Motoring: Not a boxy family vehicle anymore
Credit: NAUMAN FAROOQ
The newest station wagon from Volvo should serve users well, if they don't expect much from the infotainment system.
However, Volvo has some of the most loyal customers in the market, and in order to keep them, this Chinese- owned Swedish manufacturer listened and gave the customers what they wanted.
Late last year, the V60 wagon made its way to Canada.
I drove a car with all-season tires. In all the busyness at the start of the year, they forgot to put winter tires on the test car. Most all-season tires are fine for winter use, but the ones the tester wore were Eco-minded all-seasons, which trade in grip for low rolling resistance, helping to save fuel.
In the two weeks I had this vehicle, the roads were mostly covered in snow, so traction was an issue. However, the fact that I kept the car out of ditches must say something about the vehicle’s traction and stability control system. While winter tires would have been ideal, the V60 still made it through.
On days the roads were dry – which were far and few between – the V60 exhibited great road manners. The vehicle is comfortable, especially on the highway. Some might say the suspension damping could be a bit softer, but that is only an issue if you live in an area with bad roads. The tester had the optional Sport Chassis, which does stiffen things up.
On the right set of roads, you can surely enjoy the vehicle’s best feature – its drivetrain.
Under the hood of the 2015 V60 Drive-E T5 is a new turbocharged 2.0 l I-4 engine. This motor produces 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. In this model, power was only sent to the front wheels – all-wheel drive is also available in the V60 – through a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.
The power delivery is smooth, and it feels relentless on boost. The gear changes are not only smooth but also quick. There is probably some room to tweak the gear changes to be even quicker, but we’ll probably have to wait until Polestar – Volvo’s performance arm – starts fiddling with this gearbox.
The V60 is the kind of family vehicle that will make you smile.
Since I was driving a Drive-E model with eco tires, the main purpose of this vehicle was not to burn rubber, but to save fuel. It didn’t do too great, but the cold weather had a lot to do with it.
I averaged 10.4 l/100 km on city and highway combined driving, while the manufacturer quotes 8.4 l/100 km for the same run – perhaps a test in the summer would give me a result closer to the manufacturers figure.
Since it is a family vehicle, practicality is one of the top reasons you’ll be looking at this vehicle.
From a space point of view, I thought that occupant space in the front and back seats was ample, however, the trunk is not as commodious as you’d expect from a Volvo wagon. This after all is a sports wagon, so it is not huge.
The only real downside to most new Volvos is the infotainment system, and this V60 is no exception. The screen is small and the controls are hard to use. Plus the navigation is a DVD-based system and was missing its mapping DVD.
Verdict: For most people, the V60 is all they should need. I surely loved being in the vehicle, which had good heated seats, along with a heated steering wheel and heated windshield during two cold weeks.
Base models clock in at just over $40,000. The well-equipped tester came in at $49,650. That is not cheap by any means, but it’s not a lot for a luxury wagon from Europe.