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2015 Station Wagon Review: 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design +VIDEO


2015 Station Wagon Review: 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design +VIDEO



2015.5 Volvo V60 T6
    R-Design (select to view enlarged photo)

By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel



Disclaimer: I like station wagons. I’ve had a number of them as my daily-driver during my corporate life. And, my wife has owned four station wagons.


2015.5 Volvo V60 T6
    R-Design (select to view enlarged photo)

Admittedly, we’ve also had a number of SUVs in our household fleet all of which served their purpose very well to move our four-person family, two Labrador retrievers, tow a 19ft boat on a double-axle trailer, and move lots of household yard and garden supplies. And yes, every one of these SUVs was all-wheel drive.

The SUVs fell in the middle years of my wife’s wagons…two wagons, a few SUVs and then two consecutive wagons. The last two wagons were chosen because we needed room for our two labs. Plus, at that point we were empty-nesters and no longer wanted to “climb up” to get in a vehicle, but simply slide in and down.

As you might imagine I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of the all new for the U.S. market 2015.5 (yes, fifteen and a half) Volvo V60 for a week of driving. To my surprise and delight, with a bit of caution thrown in, the V60 that arrived was a bright red T6 R-Design model. Yes, R-Design, a go-fast station wagon.


2015.5 Volvo V60 T6
    R-Design (select to view enlarged photo)

The caution I mention was the fact that this R-Design wagon was fitted with the optional 19-inch wheels and 40-series summer tires. Nice tires to have on dry roads, however a big snowstorm was in the forecast for Chicagoland. And as it turned out we got dumped with nineteen inches of snow the day after the V60 arrived.


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The 2015.5 Volvo V60, the wagon version of the S60 sedan, carries five passengers and is offered in three models, a T5 Drive-E, T5 AWD and T6 AWD R-Design. There are up-level Premier and Platinum trims also available. Prices start at $35,750.

The 2015.5 model year designation relates to newer V60s that received Volvo’s new standard Sensus Connect and Volvo On-Call with 6-month complimentary subscriptions. Also, new Sensus Navigation with Map Care is now standard.

The V60 T6 R-Design I was driving had a base price of $45,150. An optional climate package with heated everything added $1550. The 19-inch wheels and tires were $750, and the Blind Spot Information System Package was another $900. Add in $925 for destination and handling gets you to a total of $49,275.

Power comes from a 3.0-L twin scroll turbo DOHC 6-cylinder putting put 325HP. This is mated to a six-speed automatic putting the power to all four wheels with Volvo’s AWD system.




EPA test fuel economy ratings for the R-Design are 19 city mpg, 28 highway mpg, for a combined rating of 22 mpg, or 4.5 gallons per 100 miles. The 325HP tempted me all the time to get in to the throttle, so I was by no means a fuel economy champ.

The six-speed automatic features Advanced Quick Shift that lets you wring more out of the V60. When Sport Mode is selected or when using the paddle shifters, software mapping improves gear change speed by 20-30 percent on third to sixth gears and up to 50 percent faster from first to second gear. V60 R-Design is capable of accelerating from 0-60 mph in just 5.5 seconds.

Beyond the striking red exterior that says “watch out” very loudly, the R-Design package includes very nice and supportive sport seats with leather surfaces, sport chassis, unique rear and lower front spoiler, R-Design leather sport steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum inlays and sport pedals, and a R-Design rear diffuser.

Beyond going fast the V60 R-Design is equipped with lots of technology to keep you and others safe. Standard-equipped City Safety is a driver support system aimed at preventing or mitigating collisions with a vehicle ahead occurring at speeds of 31 mph or less. It utilizes a closing velocity sensor to help determine whether a collision is likely. Depending on the closing speed, City Safety will either pre-charge the brakes or automatically brake the V60 to help avoid a rear-end collision or lessen its impact.

Another feature, although not equipped on my test car, is Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, offered on all V60s with the available Technology Package. Volvo’s radar- and camera-based system can detect pedestrians in front of the car, warn the driver if anyone walks out into its path and then automatically activate the V60’s full braking power if the driver fails to respond in time.

New advanced software with more rapid vision processing enables the system to cover certain cyclist situations as well. If a cyclist heading in the same direction as the car suddenly swerves out in front of the car and a collision is imminent, there is an instant warning and full braking power is applied.


2015.5 Volvo V60 T6
    R-Design (select to view enlarged photo)

Of course the reason for driving a station wagon is the extra functionality over a sedan and the more versatile cargo carrying ability. The standard 40/20/40-split rear seat is one of those items that makes the V60 wagon user friendly. The rear seat headrests can be folded with the push of a button in the center stack. Each backrest in the three-piece rear seat can be folded to create a flat load floor opening up 43.1 cubic feet of cargo space. My two lab retrievers would love it sitting there looking out the rear hatch window as we go down the highway.

More detailed information and specs on the complete Volvo V60 model range is only a mouse click away at www.volvocars.com/us/. If you want to compare the V60 to other station wagons, or crossover SUVs for that matter, you can do that right here on TheAutoChannel.com.


2015.5 Volvo V60 T6
    R-Design (select to view enlarged photo)

All-in-all I really liked the V60 R-Design. It’s my kind of “car.” The seats are comfortable and supportive; ingress and egress is easy for me; the power train is amazingly responsive; there is the confidence of all-wheel-drive; loads of safety technology; excellent well-balanced handling dynamics…with the snow coming I did a purposeful two hour drive to be sure to feel the car out; and did I mention the roof rack for more cargo carrying. Volvo provides a very nice level of luxury.


2015.5 Volvo V60 T6
    R-Design (select to view enlarged photo)

Ownership is made convenient by Volvo with the inclusion of complimentary factory scheduled maintenance for 3-years or 36,000 miles.

The 2015.5 Volvo V60 was named a Top Safety Pick + (plus) by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

Would I buy the R-Design if I were buying a V60? Yes, including the 19-inch wheels with 40-series summer tires. For winter I would fit a set of winter tires on all four wheels and then I could go snow-drifting with confidence and ease.

There are not too many other wagons on the U.S. market today…only from German-brands. If you like to ride in a car and not a truck and need some cargo carrying versatility a station wagon may be in your future.

© 2015 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy