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2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E Wagon Review By John Heilig


By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

VEHICLE: 2015 Volvo V60
REVIEWED MODEL: 2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E
ENGINE: 2.0-liter turbocharged 4
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 240 hp @ 5,600 rpm/258 lb.-ft. @ 1,500-4,800 rpm
WHEELBASE: 109.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 182.5 x 73.4 x 58.4 in.
TIRES: P215/50R17
CARGO: 43.8 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 25 mpg city/37 mpg highway/25.7 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 17.8 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,527 lbs.
STICKER: $43,575 (includes $925 destination, $6,910 options)

BOTTOM LINE: Volvo has dared to admit it is producing a wagon, rather than some variant of sport utility vehicle. The V60 wagon has all the attributes of wagons of the past with the panache of Volvo and modern styling.

There was a time, back in the era when Volvo was building square cars, that the Swedish company was the leading station wagon builder in the world. But, with the advent of sport utility vehicles, the wagon became passe.

Well, Volvo is re-entering the wagon market with the V60, which doesn’t compare with behemoths like the Buick Roadmaster or Ford LTD, but which does the job very well.

The V60 overall is a nice package with a vastly improved body style over the older square-rigger Volvo wagons. I like the styling with one exception. It seemed that every time I entered the V60 I banged my head on the door frame. I must have done this four or five times before I learned.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Once inside, people who have driven the XC60, for example, will notice a family resemblance. I like the instrument panel with the center-mounted tachometer and inset digital speedometer. Instead of the speedometer, you can toggle among several screens, but the large speedometer worked best for me. So did the heated wheel in some pretty cold weather.

Front seats are comfortable with very good side support. We were able to take the V60 on some longer rides and experienced no residual back pain. Rear seats are flat, however, but offer a decent amount of leg and knee room. Rear passengers enjoy good visibility all around.

The rear headrests fold forward from the driver’s seat to reduce any rear visibility problems. They raise easily when someone is sitting back there. The headrests also fold when you lower the rear seat backs to improve cargo capability.

Regarding the cargo area, access is through a hatch that isn’t powered. There’s a panel in the cargo area that raises to provide a flat place for grocery bags. There’s a nice elastic strep that holds the bags in place. We had four full bags back there and the strap kept asking for more. There are also cargo hooks that work for grocery bags,

Under the hood is a turbocharged four that delivers a robust 240 horsepower. This was more than enough for all you might ask of it. We found merging into rushing traffic to be easy. The engine powers the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Economy is decent at 25.7 mpg during our teat. In fairness to the V60, most of our driving was local and in city streets, so we would expect that an owner’s mpg numbers would be closer to the 25-37 mpg numbers the EPA estimates.

Being a Volvo, there are numerous safety features on the V60. I won’t attempt to name them all, but rest assured, you are well ensconced in the V60. For one, there is BLIS, the blind spot monitor. There is a labeled light on the A pillars that lets you know what it is when it lights. I also liked the park warning. This advises the driver if he or she is getting too close to other cars while they’re trying to park.

Part of the blind spot information system package is the front and rear park assist, as well as cross traffic alert and lane change merge aid. Cross traffic alert lets you know if there are oncoming cars as you are backing out of a driveway or parking slot. It also works for people who may be crossing behind you. The lane change merge aid helps you on the road when you are changing lanes.

Back in the day, when we had three little girls to bus around, we had a Ford LTD wagon that worked until we upgraded into a full-size van. The Volvo V60 doesn’t have a rear-facing back seat where the kids can look out at the traffic behind them. It does, however, have a much safer package for the children, as well as for the adults in the front seat. Cargo capacity might not quite match the LTD, but at nearly 44 cubic feet before you lower the rear seat backs, it certainly has more than enough.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate