2015 Station Wagon Review: 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design +VIDEO
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Volvo Buyers Guide | Specs, Prices, Expert Reviews and Comparisons 2015-1997
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