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2021 Volvo V60 Review

The 2021 Volvo V60 is a special car for an equally special set of buyers: Those who still appreciate a wagon. For those who do, the V60 is one of the best among its dwindling kind.

Yes, while it seems every other car buyer is buying a crossover SUV, wagons still have their place. The Volvo V60, for example, offers cargo room similar to an SUV and the athletic driving dynamics of a European sport sedan. That makes sense as the V60 is based on Volvo’s also-great S60 luxury sedan.

The 2021 Volvo V60 is offered in a few forms. The standard V60 is a front-wheel-drive wagon with elegant style and premium touches. The V60 Cross Country has all-wheel drive standard, a slightly beefier image and more ground clearance – it’s a worthy rival to the Audi A4 Allroad.

Then there’s the V60 Recharge. Formerly called the Polestar Engineered when it debuted last year, the V60 Recharge is one powerful yet efficient beast. It is a plug-in hybrid with 415 horsepower, a 4.3-second 0-60 mph time and the ability to go 22 miles on electricity alone. Who said station wagons are boring?

What’s New?

For 2021, the Volvo V60 gains blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert as standard. Also standard are LED headlights with active bending function, the Volvo Care Key that lets parents set driving parameters for teens and others using the car, and a top speed limit of 112 mph. In the Volvo V60 Cross Country, massaging front seats are now optional. See the 2021 Volvo V60 models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Beautiful styling
  • Super practical
  • A ton of safety features
  • Lots of technology
  • Choice of styles and powertrains

What We Don’t

  • Volvo V60 Recharge is pricey
  • Only one trim choice for Cross Country model

How Much?

$40,950-$67,300 (plus $995 destination charge; V60 Recharge is eligible for $5,419 federal tax credit)

Fuel Economy

Most 2021 V60 models 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. The standard V60 wagon is front-wheel drive, while the V60 Cross Country is all-wheel drive. This drivetrain requires premium gasoline and has a stop/start feature to save a little fuel when idling.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel economy of the standard V60 at 23 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in combined driving. The V60 Cross Country is estimated at 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy and 25 mpg combined.

The Volvo V60 Recharge uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs a turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with a battery-fed electric motor. The powertrain makes 415 hp and 494 lb-ft of torque and has standard AWD. The EPA rates the V60 Recharge at 69 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) and 30 mpg combined city/hwy. Furthermore, it has the ability to travel up to 22 miles on electricity alone.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 Volvo V60 5-seater wagon comes in Momentum, R-Design and Inscription trim. The V60 Cross Country and V60 Recharge both come in just one trim. Prices are before the $995 destination charge.

Momentum T5 ($40,950) 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 liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, 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), blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, road sign information, remote services, lane-keeping assist, 12.3-in digital instrument cluster, 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 ($46,400) sports a few dedicated cosmetic differences (including metal mesh inlays), plus steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, Nappa leather upholstery, quad-zone climate control, 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, rear-collision mitigation, drivers-side-knee airbag and a 13-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

Inscription T5 ($46,400) has similar features as the R-Design (thus its same price) but a more luxury bent than the sporty R-Design. The Inscription, for example, sports chrome exterior accents and driftwood inlays inside.

The Volvo V60 Cross Country ($45,450) includes features found in the standard V60 wagon, plus leather interior, heated front seats, and navigation.

The Volvo V60 Recharge ($67,300) 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, 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).

Safety

In addition to its full complement of airbags, anti-lock disc brakes, traction/stability control systems and whiplash protection system, all V60 models include a host of active safety and driver-assist systems. They include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assist. Also included are blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2020 version of the V60 its highest five-star crash-test rating. The IIHS hasn’t rated the V60, but it named the similar S60 sedan a Top Safety Pick for 2020.

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.

The Volvo V60 Cross Country would be our pick if we could only choose one model. It has standard all-wheel drive and added ground clearance – a real help in dealing with snow. This model also has an off-road mode that further optimizes the vehicle for dealing with dirt and trails.

The V60 Recharge plug-in hybrid is another character altogether. It delivers both excellent efficiency and guttural power. This split personality allows both the ability to travel over 20 miles on electricity alone and 0-60 mph sprints in 4.3 seconds.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Audi A4 Allroad – Based on the Audi A4, this rival to the V60 Cross Country also has standard all-wheel drive and extra ground clearance.

2021 Subaru Outback – It may not have a luxury badge, but Subaru’s all-wheel-drive wagon can be well-equipped and still costs less than a Volvo V60, all while boasting more interior room.

2021 Volvo V90 – If you like the idea of the V60 but want even more room and panache, check out its bigger brother. Like the V60, the V90 can be had a more rugged Cross Country form.

Used Mercedes-Benz E-Class wagon – Mercedes’ wagon offers a ton of elegance, features and even a rear-facing third row for added flexibility.

Questions You May Ask

Is the 2021 Volvo V60 a good car?

The Volvo V60 is a great car. It’s also a rarity these days, as there aren’t that many luxury station wagons. It is practical, safe, tech-savvy, looks gorgeous and drives well.

What’s the difference between the 2021 Volvo V60 and V60 Cross Country?

They both use the same engine and have a similar body shape, but the V60 if front-wheel drive while the Cross Country is all-wheel drive, has more ground clearance and some rugged aesthetics.

Where is the 2021 Volvo V60 made?

The Volvo V60 is made in Sweden, specifically Gothenburg.

How much is a 2021 Volvo V60?

The standard Volvo V60 starts at $40,950, while the more rugged, all-wheel-drive Volvo V60 Cross Country begins at $45,450.

Autotrader’s Advice

With its standard all-wheel drive and long set of standard features, our pick for the Volvo V60 would be the Cross Country model. There’s only one trim to choose from that model, but you can add options to make it your own. One that we definitely recommend is the Advanced Package that includes Volvo’s excellent Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system. The Volvo V60 Recharge plug-in hybrid is also appealing for both its efficiency and power, but its price is harder to swallow. Find a Volvo V60 for sale

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