2019 Volvo V60 AWD Momentum Road Test by Andrew Frankl
By Andrew Frankl
European Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
It isn’t very often that you get home, switch the engine off and stay in the car. Pretty rare actually unless it happens to be a Volvo V60 T6 and you are listening to the Bay Area’s jazz station 91.1. Their dinner jazz program is full of golden oldies such as Ben Webster, Errol Gardner and Oscar Peterson to name but three. It is an absolute must. Had the sound quality in the Volvo not been perfect I would have rushed upstairs but there was no need. The Harman Kardon speakers were simply brilliant. The cloth covered front seat was like an armchair .
I have to confess to two things. I am a former Volvo S70 owner. A wonderful car which I had in Britain for over 12 years. Took it all over Europe, never missed a beat. So yes, I am biased. The other thing was more of concern. When I read that Volvo had been taken over China’s Geely corporation I thought oh, dear-now what?! I needn’t have worried. The company which also has a 10 percent stake in Germany’s Daimler Corporation is clearly run by people who know what they are doing.
Consequently they decided to leave Volvo well alone. When I looked up where the car was being built rather reassuringly it said Gothenburg. As always. Phew. Felt better already.
My trip up to Lake Tahoe South from “The City” was unremarkable in as much as the Volvo did everything I’ve asked of it. Running-almost silently-at 75 miles per hour I was at the lake in just three hours. I am famous for exceeding the official mileage figures and this trip was no exception. 33 miles per gallon was my figure as opposed to the official figures of 21 in town and 31 on the highway.
Must be honest-I prefer bigger, lazy engines such as V6s but the Volvo’s 2 liter super and turbocharged engine was just fine. Sounded a bit stressed at high revs but it was minor inconvenience rather than a drama. 316 hp is plenty but as I have mentioned a 4 cylinder 2 liter engine would at some stage run out of puff carrying 4 adults, four sets of skis plus boots and all the other paraphernalia.
The Japanese made gear box was excellent as were the Pirelli tires. The company is clearly putting their experiences to good use as earlier Pirellis were not on par with their Michelin rivals. This time-in snow and on main roads the Pirellis were most reassuring.
Volvo have been making headlines of late by announcing that their new cars will be limited to 112 miles per hour. As someone who is used to high performance cars such as Ferraris and Lambos the news came as a bit of a shock but truth be told it makes sense. With the new regulations coming into force in Europe and elsewhere Volvo are just ahead of the game. As always. I was somewhat thrown by the headlines claiming that Volvo will only be making electric cars from 2020 but upon closer inspection it turns out that this is not the case.
Yes, there will be more hybrids and yes, there will be full electric cars but they are not giving up on the internal combustion engine any time soon.
Returning to the V60 for a second what I found slightly confusing is the pricing. I looked at pricing at the local dealers and found fully loaded Momentums at 49 thousand dollars whereas the test car came in at $54,600. I think this indicates that like all other manufacturers Volvo are having a tough time getting full prices for their cars. I also saw some 2018 models advertising at around the 40 thousand mark. As a previous owner all I can say is that if there is one car which will be as solid 10 years on as on day one it has to be a Volvo.
There were a few niggles which could be easily rectified. Some of the dials are very small indeed which I found confusing the outside temperature gauge being the case in point.
All in all a wonderful, elegant automobile in the finest Volvo tradition.
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