The 2015 Volvo V60 is a sport wagon, a front- or all-wheel drive vehicle with three engine choices and eight trim levels. It is an all-new model, one of several new or updated vehicles released by this Swedish car manufacturer this year.
Volvo is undertaking an important makeover, one that will replace every model over the next five years. The 2015 Volvo V60 is one such new model, a sport wagon offering three engine options and your choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
Is it a wagon or is it a utility vehicle? The Volvo V60 straddles the two segments by delivering a tall wagon visage. This model offers a modern interpretation of the trademark Volvo front fascia with the brand’s insignia crossed by a diagonal line.
The 2015 V60 is marked by a long hood with large, wraparound headlamps and LED lights flanking the grille. The curvature of its profile suggests a wagon with the roof line sloping forcefully to its rear liftgate.
Notably, deep profile characteristics, oversized wheels, trademark boomerang tail lamps and dual exhaust ports provide additional amplification for this model.
Inside, the 2015 Volvo V60 delivers the accessibility and seating comfort this brand is renowned for. The contoured front bucket seats are stylish and supportive, but they also serve as a safety feature with heteroclite whiplash-protecting headrests. Seats are covered in standard Nubuck material that is similar to suede and is combined with genuine leather to provide a refined presentation.
Five adults can ride with ease, but when folding down the rear center armrest, a clever storage compartment emerges, one large enough to hold a pair of drinks, snacks, a smartphone or other smaller objects.
Without the armrest in position, the in-door storage compartments furnish the drink holders.
The rear seat is a 40/20/40 design with three across fold-flat headrests. Moreover, each seating position folds flat into the floor, to deliver a variety of storage possibilities.
All driver controls are ergonomically placed and easy to discern. The center console offers a collection of buttons that correspond with the shape of a human body, enabling intuitive redirection of airflow with no need to fumble for the right switch.
The instrument panel is dominated by a single, large analog gauge that doubles as a tachometer and a speedometer. Buttressing both sides of the gauge are additional analog and digital readouts.
As equipped, the Volvo V60 offered a Harmon Kardon premium sound system, representing a 650-watt, 12-speaker symphonic masterpiece. It is an upgrade from the competent eight-speaker, high-performance system that’s offered elsewhere in the V60 line.
An available convenience package provides upgrades such as push-button start, a rear park assist camera, retractable outside mirrors, grocery bag holders and a digital compass. A full complement of power accessories is included across the V60 range.
The standard engine for the 2015 Volvo V60 is a turbocharged, direct injection 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower. Also available is a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine rated at 250 horsepower and a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine rated at 325 horsepower. Only the smaller engine is paired with a new, eight-speed automatic transmission, which improves gear shifting over the previous powertrain. The other two engine choices are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
As tested, a 2015 Volvo V60 with T6 R-Design model equipped with the largest engine and all-wheel drive showcased this model’s performance prowess.
It offers excellent off the mark acceleration and generous on-road efficacy, which was especially noted when passing on the highway. Its all-wheel drive system provides balance, enabling this wagon to maneuver twists and turns while remaining firmly planted.
When it comes to technological innovation, Volvo usually trumpets its safety features. The V60 is no exception with its available technology package featuring pedestrian and cyclist detection with full auto brake. Specifically, it represents a radar- and camera-based system that detects pedestrians walking in front of the car as well as a cyclist suddenly veering into the path of the V60. Under both scenarios, braking is automatically and immediately applied.
On the in-car connectivity front, Volvo offers its proprietary Sensus system, which manages information from the audio unit or from the navigation system if one is included.
Sensus Connect is a cloud-based system developed in conjunction with Ericsson. It brings in cloud-based apps, including Yelp, Pandora Internet radio and Stitcher. Nuance-supplied voice control, an Internet browser and a sophisticated telematics system are included. In addition, the navigation system brings in 3-D imaging, routing options and inherent apps. Like most infotainment systems, Sensus takes some getting used to. It does offer a nifty password access arrangement to keep people from seizing your data.
Volvo routinely leads in safety and its newest model is no exception. In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Volvo V60 received a Top Safety Pick+ award, which is the IIHS’ highest score. Besides receiving top scores across all five crashworthiness categories, the V60’s optional front crash prevention system received a superior score.
Beyond its structural stability, Volvo offers a suite of safety features to enhance passenger protection.
A collision mitigation system known as City Safety is standard, what can automatically stop the V60 at speeds of 31 mph or less. In addition, stability and traction control systems are also included, supplemented by roll angle sensors that respond to sharp oversteer or understeer motions to keep the V60 balanced.
Pricing for the 2015 Volvo V60 ranges from $35,750 for the standard front-wheel drive, turbocharged four-cylinder model to nearly $50,000 for the all-wheel drive T6 R-Design powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine. A well-equipped model can be had for about $41,000 if the smaller engine is chosen.
Add in all-wheel drive and choose one of the larger engines and your cost correspondingly rises. Thus, it is important for shoppers to test drive models equipped with different engine and drivetrain choices to find the one that is the best suited for them.
The Volvo V60 takes on its European competitors by offering safety and technological features that lead the industry. It may not woo many BMW and Mercedes-Benz buyers, but it does offer a robust package of engine and drivetrain choices that should interest shoppers. Perhaps its only deficiency is no diesel variant, at least not one that has been made available for the US market.