Forget about crossovers and SUVs — the 2020 Volvo V60 premium compact wagon makes more sense. Well, it does to those who prefer some entertaining vehicle dynamics to accompany their practical personal transportation. Not many companies are flying the wagon flag, but that just makes the V60 more interesting. Volvo has a long and illustrious career making wagons that are useful, comfortable, safe and even (depending on individual taste) stylish.
Sharing a foundation with the outstanding S60 sedan, the V60 wagon offers all-wheel drive (AWD), a couple of excellent drivetrains, and the special design approach that applies to all contemporary Volvo vehicles. The main reason for choosing a V60 over an S60, though, is cargo space.
Behind the V60’s rear seats is 23.2 cu ft. (the S60’s trunk is a paltry 11.6 cu ft.). With all the rear seats folded down, there are 50.9 cu ft. Let’s also take into account the low loading area, no big bits of bodywork to haul things over and a large aperture.
Now blend that practicality with styling that’s right up there with the main luxury marques (arguably beyond them), high-quality cabin materials, sumptuous front seats, plenty of great features including safety equipment and a pleasurable driving experience. Suddenly, a wagon seems a lot more attractive.
What’s New for 2020?
A Polestar Engineered high-performance plug-in hybrid model has been added to the V60 lineup for 2020. The T6 engine which is both turbocharged and supercharged has been dropped. See the 2020 Volvo V60 models for sale near you
What We Like
Strong and fuel-efficient engines
Super-comfortable front seats
High-performance hybrid model
What We Don’t
Storage space for small items is somewhat lacking
Polestar model gets a little pricey
No AWD available on any model but the Polestar
Most 2020 V60 you find will have the T5 drivetrain, which is a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard and front-wheel drive is the only option. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy at 24 miles per gallon in the city, 36 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg in combined driving. This drivetrain requires premium gasoline and has a stop/start feature to save a little fuel when idling.
A new T8 Polestar Engineered model has been added for 2020, which aims to effortlessly blend both performance and efficiency. The plug-in hybrid drivetrain makes 415 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque and has standard AWD. As of this writing, there are no official fuel economy ratings for the V60 T8 Polestar Engineered model.
Standard Features & Options
The 2020 Volvo V60 5-seater wagon comes in Momentum, R-Design, Inscription and Polestar Engineered trim levels. Momentum, R-Design and Inscription come solely with the T5 FWD setup and the Polestar Engineered trim comes exclusively with the T8 plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Momentum T5 ($41,290) has 18-in alloy wheels, black roof rails, LED headlights with automatic high beams, LED daytime running lights, heated windshield washer nozzles, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic moonroof, a power-operated lift gate, dual-zone automatic climate control, textile/simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats with memory settings, a cabin air quality system, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, a leather-wrapped gearshift knob, selectable driving modes, hill start assist, a self-dimming rearview mirror, power-folding rear seats/headrests, a cargo area cover, 12-volt outlets in rear console and cargo area, City Safety with Steering Support (forward-collision warning with pedestrian/cyclist/large animal detection), road sign information, remote services, lane-keeping assist, an 8-in driver information display, a 9-in infotainment touchscreen, voice control, a USB port, Bluetooth phone/audio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, an HD/satellite radio and a 10-speaker/220-watt audio setup.
R-Design T5 ($47,040) sports a few dedicated cosmetic differences (including metal mesh inlays), plus steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, textile/real leather upholstery, power-folding/self-dimming side mirrors, LED fog lights with cornering lights, a garage door opener, front/rear parking sensors, navigation with real-time traffic updates, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, rear-collision mitigation, driver’s-side-knee airbag and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.
Inscription T5 ($47,040) brings its own cosmetic variations (including Driftwood inlays), along with an automated parking feature, quad-zone automatic climate control, full leather upholstery, extended under-thigh support for the front seats, ambient cabin lighting, and puddle lamps.
Polestar Engineered T8 ($68,295) is new for 2020 and adds the high-performance plug-in hybrid setup we mentioned earlier plus all-wheel drive, 19-in wheels, Nappa leather, open grid textile upholstery, metal mesh inlays, dual integrated tailpipes, lane-keeping aid, black rearview mirror caps, a Bowers & Wilkins audio system and a Polestar engineered chassis.
Many standard features in the higher-spec trims are available as options further down the order. Extras include Pilot Assist (partially autonomous driving with adaptive cruise control), 360-degree camera system, a head-up display, active bending headlights, adaptive suspension, sport suspension (R-Design only), heated rear seats (R-Design/Inscription), massaging front seats with perforated leather covering and power-adjustable side support (Inscription only) and a Bowers & Wilkins 1,100-watt/15-speaker audio system (R-Design/Inscription).
The V60 has a full complement of airbags, anti-lock disc brakes, and traction/stability control systems, plus a whiplash protection system.
Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have crash-tested the new V60 yet. The latter agency has tested the S60 sedan counterpart, however, and gave it top marks in all the crashworthiness categories.
Behind the Wheel
What could be a little surprising is that the V60’s standard suspension is not quite the study in plushness we might have hoped for. Instead, there’s a perceptible firmness. Perhaps it was tuned with a full cargo bay load in mind. The adaptive suspension is affordable ($1,000), so that might be our first selection from the options list. This firmness is offset, though, by wonderfully comfortable front seats, something Volvo has turned into a fine art.
The T5’s engine is sufficiently punchy for most drivers. A pleasant push of torque comes in at low revs, and the 8-speed automatic allows for smooth and linear power delivery. Those seeking more power, plus the reassurance and traction of AWD and hybrid efficiency will be more than happy with the T8’s PHEV arrangement.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Audi A4 Allroad — Costs more than the V60, but it also offers more luxury features and 58.5 cu ft. of cargo area.
2020 BMW 330i xDrive Sports Wagon — The all-conquering 3 Series also comes in cool AWD wagon form, with 53 cu ft. of cargo space. A new generation of 3 Series sedan debuts for 2020, but the wagon version is still from the previous generation.
2019 Subaru Outback — Nicely equipped, AWD is standard and there are 73.3 cu ft. of cargo space. But this is more of an SUV wannabe. Nor is it at the premium level.
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.
A Momentum T5 version covers a lot of ground and meets many needs. Add as many driver aids as possible, because we could all use some help from time to time. The Polestar Engineered T8 model is excellent if you can afford it, but it’s a little tough to recommend with a price tag near the $70,000 mark. Find a Volvo V60 for sale