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2016 Volvo V60: New Car Review

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author photo by Autotrader June 2016

The 2016 Volvo V60 is a premium compact wagon. The terms premium and compact are both good, but don't discount the wagon aspect. We're talking niche here, but Volvo has a long and illustrious career making wagons that are practical, comfortable, safe and even (depending on the eye of the beholder) stylish.

Sharing its platform with the S60 sedan, the V60 lengthens the roof while adding a swept-up rear beltline and Volvo's signature elongated D-pillar taillights. Inside, the V60 is surprisingly accommodating with good headroom front and rear, although rear-seat legroom is somewhat snug.

This is a sleek alternative to the crossover herds that's an absolute pleasure to drive, yet is still completely sensible.

What's New for 2016?

There's been some reorganizing of trim levels and equipment, and the all-wheel-drive (AWD) version of the T5 has been discontinued.

What We Like

Powerful and fuel-efficient Drive-E engines; sleek styling; comfortable front seats

What We Don't

Limited rear-passenger legroom; small buttons on center stack all look too similar; engine stop/start feature can be intrusive

How Much?


Fuel Economy

The T5 Drive-E has a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine developing 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is stop/start functionality. This power goes solely to the front wheels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg combined.

The T6 Drive-E R-Design uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that is both turbocharged and supercharged to produce 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Again, it's an 8-speed automatic transmission, and there's an engine stop/start feature. EPA numbers are 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2016 Volvo V60 comes in T5 Drive-E and T6 R-Design all-wheel-drive trim levels. Each trim offers only a few optional packages.

The T5 Drive-E ($37,090) comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, exterior LED accent lamps, dual-zone climate control, a leather-trimmed shifter, a power moonroof, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a tilt-telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, 8-way power adjustable front seats with driver's-side memory and lumbar control, 40/20/40-split folding rear seats with a pass-through, Bluetooth phone/audio and an 8-speaker audio system with a 7-in display, HD Radio/satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary input.

The Premier package brings leather upholstery, roof rails, navigation, an adaptive thin-film-transistor (TFT) gauge cluster with driver-selectable themes and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Technology package includes adaptive cruise control, forward-collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane-keep assist, automatic high-beam control, a driver-drowsiness monitor, and pedestrian and cyclist detection. The Convenience package includes keyless entry/ignition, a rearview camera and power-folding mirrors.

The T5 Drive-E Platinum ($42,690) includes features from both the Technology and Convenience packages, along with ambient interior lighting and a 12-speaker/650-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

The T6 Drive-E R-Design AWD ($46,990) is equipped along the lines of the T5 with the Premier package but also includes all-wheel drive, 19-in alloy wheels, a sport suspension, adaptive headlights, the blue Adaptive Digital Display TFT instrument cluster and power-folding rear headrests, as well as R-Design seats, trim and exterior aerodynamic additions.

The T6 Drive-E R-Design AWD Platinum ($50,390) adds most of the T5's Platinum package.

Other options include the Climate package -- heated front and rear seats, heated windshield-washer nozzles, a heated steering wheel and a cabin air-quality system -- plus a dual-screen rear entertainment system, automated parking and integrated child booster seats. The Blind Spot Information System package has a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park assist, and lane-change merge assistance.

The T5 can also be ordered with a Sport package that brings 19-in alloys, a sport suspension, sport seats and paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.

Maximum cargo capacity of 43 cu ft. (with the rear seats folded) is not as good as rivals from Audi and BMW, but the split folding rear seats and pass-through (sometimes referred to as a ski hatch) bring some flexibility.


In addition to a full complement of airbags, the V60 includes Volvo's City Safety system that helps minimize or prevent collisions at 31 miles per hour or below by automatically priming or applying the brakes if it detects excessive speeds when approaching an object.

Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash-tested the V60, we expect it to perform on par with its S60 sedan sibling, which earned perfect 5-star ratings in all categories.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the V60 top marks in all major tests and named it a Top Safety Pick+.

Behind the Wheel

The interior's minimalist approach is highly pleasing. It features many soft-touch surfaces, a clean dashboard and instrument cluster, and rear headrests that can be lowered to provide better rearward visibility. The floating center stack is another visual bonus, except for the number of identically sized and colored plastic buttons that operate the audio and climate-control functions.

The engine in the T5 is impressive. Power comes in at low revs despite the turbocharger needing time to spool up, and the 8-speed automatic allows for smooth and linear power progression right up to redline. Fuel economy is also impressive, even capable of achieving 35 mpg in heavy-footed highway driving. Those seeking more power and/or all-wheel drive will be equally happy with the T6's turbocharged and supercharged engine.

Enhanced by some of the most comfortable front seats in the automotive world, the V60 moves smoothly, absorbing most bumps and blemishes without numbing the experience completely. A stiff body, nicely weighted steering wheel and well-tuned suspension strike a fine balance between sporty driving and a relaxed ride.

Other Cars to Consider

2016 Audi allroad -- The allroad costs more than the V60, but it also offers more luxury features, an even nicer interior and 50.5 cu ft. of cargo area. There's no front-drive version, though, so fuel economy can't match the V60 counterparts.

2016 BMW 3 Series Wagon -- The all-conquering 3 Series also comes in a cool wagon form, with 53 cu ft. of cargo space as well as options for diesel power and all-wheel drive.

2016 Subaru Outback -- Nicely equipped with all-wheel drive as standard and 73.3 cu ft. of cargo space, the Outback even costs less than the V60. But this is more of an SUV wannabe, as the 4-cylinder engine has less power than the T6, but it does boast better fuel economy.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon -- The E-Class is much larger than the V60, and it's also quite rare, but it's powerful and luxurious and has a certain cool charm.

Autotrader's Advice

If front-wheel drive is acceptable, the V60 T5 Platinum with the Blind Spot Information System brings a well-equipped choice with many of the latest safety features for under $45,000.

Find a Volvo V60 for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Volvo V60: New Car Review - Autotrader