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2017 Volvo V60: New Car Review

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author photo by Autotrader February 2017

The 2017 Volvo V60 is a sleek alternative to the crossover crowd. It's an absolute pleasure to drive, yet still completely sensible. Such are the joys of 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. The interior is surprisingly accommodating, with good headroom front and rear, though rear-seat legroom is somewhat snug.

What's New for 2017?

Except for the high-performance Polestar variant becoming more readily available, plus some low-key rationalization and reallocation of equipment, the V60 carries over from the previous year.

What We Like

Punchy and fuel-efficient engines; sleek styling; super-comfortable front seats.

What We Don't

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

How Much?

$37,145 to $62,595

Fuel Economy

The T5 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 a stop/start function. Power goes solely to the front wheels. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption at 25 miles per gallon in the city, 36 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in combined driving.

The T6 AWD R-Design drives all four wheels with 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. The EPA numbers are 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined.

The Polestar takes that engine, swaps in some beefier components and tunes it all up to make a meaty 362 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque. Fuel consumption is 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2017 Volvo V60 comes in T5, T5 Premier, T5 Platinum, T6 AWD R-Design and Polestar trim levels. Each offers only a few optional packages.

The T5 ($37,145) comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, 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 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 T5 Premier ($39,095) brings leather seating surfaces, roof rails, navigation, an adaptive 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-keeping assistance, 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 Platinum ($42,745) includes features from both the Technology and Convenience packages, along with ambient interior lighting, xenon headlights with washers and a 12-speaker/650-watt Harman Kardon Surround Sound system.

The T6 AWD R-Design ($49,945) is equipped along the lines of the T5 Platinum, but also includes all-wheel drive, 19-in alloy wheels, a sport suspension, adaptive headlights, steering-wheel-mounted gearshift paddles, Blue Adaptive Digital TFT instrument cluster, power-folding rear headrests plus R-Design seats, trim and exterior aerodynamic additions.

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), a dual-screen rear entertainment system, automated parking and integrated child booster seats. The Blind Spot Information System package has blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking 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.

For the Polestar ($62,595), think a BMW M car or an S version of an Audi. As well as the stronger engine, the suspension and braking systems are also upgraded significantly. The front seats are especially snug sport items and the car is stocked with pretty much everything except for an optional sunroof.

Maximum cargo capacity of 43.8 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. And we like the retractable dog net.


In addition to a full complement of airbags, the V60 includes Volvo's City Safety system, which helps minimize or prevent collisions at 31 mph 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 (NHTSA) has not crash-tested the V60, we would 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 (IIHS) 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 a number of identically sized and colored plastic buttons that operate the audio and climate-control functions.

The engine in the T5 is impressive. Torque comes in strong at low revs, despite the turbocharger needing time to spool up, and the 8-speed automatic allows for smooth and linear power delivery 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.

The Polestar is the most specialized of the range, with an all-wheel-drive system that sends the majority of torque to the rear wheels in normal driving conditions. It's a serious performance machine with excellent speed and handling. And there's something great about having a tuned-up wagon.

Other Cars to Consider

2017 Audi allroad -- Costs more than the V60, but it also offers more luxury features, an even nicer interior, and 58.5 cu ft. of cargo area. No front-drive version, though, so fuel economy can't match the V60 counterparts. A new generation debuts for this model year.

2017 BMW 3 Series Wagon -- The all-conquering 3 Series also comes in cool all-wheel-drive wagon form, with 53 cu ft. of cargo space and the option of diesel power.

2017 Subaru Outback -- Nicely equipped, comes with standard all-wheel drive and 73.3 cu ft. of cargo space, and costs less than the V60. But this is more of an SUV wannabe. The 4-cylinder engine has less power than the T6 but better fuel economy.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon -- Much larger than the V60 and quite rare. But it's powerful and luxurious and even has a certain charm.

Autotrader's Advice

The Polestar version would be nice in a perfect world. Back in real life, the V60 T5 Platinum with the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS, $925) brings a well-equipped choice with many advanced safety features for less than $45,000 -- as long as front-wheel drive is acceptable.

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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.
2017 Volvo V60: New Car Review - Autotrader