It’s been several years since we’ve seen a new Volvo wagon on American shores, but the 2015 Volvo V60 was worth the wait. In a reversal of the Swedish brand’s decision to back away from wagons in favor of SUVs, the Volvo V60 provides a stylish alternative to families who need a more practical daily driver but who don’t want to park a behemoth in the driveway. There’s also a lot to like about the V60’s mechanical approach, which has been given a thorough refresh that previews what will eventually be the automaker’s company-wide drivetrain philosophy.
Let’s take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2015 Volvo V60.
01. The 2015 Volvo V60 Is An All-New Design
While European audiences may have been enjoying this svelte people mover for quite some time, the 2015 Volvo V60 represents the return of an absent friend for American drivers who have lamented the disappearance of what was once a mainstay of East Coast suburbia. It’s worth noting, however, that the new Volvo V60 isn’t the boxy Volvo wagon of old – instead, it adopts the kind of aggressive, style-focused sheet metal and stance that is slowly getting the automaker noticed again on the global stage. No one’s going to be mistaking this beautifully sculpted compact car for the much-lampooned family truckster, which is a reflection of the major image rehabilitation underway at Volvo.
02. The 2015 Volvo V60 Can Be Had With All-Wheel Drive
Like most European wagons, the 2015 Volvo V60 features the option of all-wheel drive. There is a catch, however - in order to snag extra traction, you have to stick with a set of carry-over engines snagged from last year's S60 sedan (more on that model later). This means a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder mill that produces 250 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque, or a more robust 3.0-liter, 325 horsepower six-cylinder motor that is also good for 354 lb-ft of torque. Each of these units is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission, and a turbocharger is also standard.
03. The 2015 Volvo V60 Also Offers A Pair Of Appealing Four-Cylinder Engine Options
Don’t think that the four-cylinder drivetrains available with the 2015 Volvo V60 are in any way pedestrian, or unable to match the grunt of a larger mill. The entry-level edition of the car features a 2.0-liter turbocharged design that grinds out an impressive 240 horses and 280 lb-ft of torque (when making use of the Volvo V60’s overboost feature). That’s better than the top-tier editions of several of the premium brands the wagon faces off against – but wait, there’s more!
The market’s first ‘twin-charged’ production engine (that is to say, a unit that makes use of both a supercharger and a turbocharger) will also soon be offered by the V60. Based on a similar direct-injected 2.0-liter block, the twin-charged car gets things cooking at lower speeds with the supercharger and then disconnects it so that the turbo can take over at the high end. The result is 302 horses and 295 lb-ft of torque with very little impact on fuel economy.
04. The 2015 Volvo V60 Features An Eight-Speed Automatic Gearbox
Aiding and abetting the 2015 Volvo V60’s efficiency quest is an eight-speed automatic transmission for its four-cylinder engine options. Sourced from Aisin, the Volvo V60’s eight-speed automatic enables it to balance performance and economy by taking maximum advantage of the powerbands of each of its respective engines. Eight-speed autos are quickly taking over the industry, and Volvo makes a set of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters available on the wagon for those who select the Sport package. It’s not designed to be a sports car, but Volvo claims that the V60 can reach 60-mph from a standing start in a healthy 5.6 seconds when equipped with the twin-charged drivetrain.
05. The 2015 Volvo V60 Provides Respectable Fuel Efficiency
So just how efficient is the 2015 Volvo V60? It all depends on which version of the car you are driving. The base edition of the Volvo V60, with the 240 horsepower engine, has been rated by the EPA at 25-mpg in stop and go driving and 37-mpg on the highway, which is quite good for a car in its class and better than rivals like the BMW 3 Series wagon (which offers similar power). The twin-charged model’s fuel economy figures have yet to be released, but they are expected to come in very close to those of the less-powerful version of the car.
06. The 2015 Volvo V60 Is Relentlessly Practical
There’s generally one big reason that families opt for a wagon instead of a sedan, and the 2015 Volvo V60 is no different in this respect: cargo space. Specifically, the Volvo V60 offers not just a generous ‘trunk’ behind the rear seats (15.2 cubic feet, which is the equivalent of a mid-size sedan), but also the ability to fold down four of the wagon’s five seating positions in order to accommodate over-sized and over-long, items. There’s a grand total of 43.8 cubic feet on offer underneath the V60’s extended roof, and the ability to fold the front right seat flat is a boon to anyone who’s ever tried to haul a surfboard home in a less-conveniently-designed automobile.
07. The 2015 Volvo V60 Is Outfitted In Understated Luxury
The 2015 Volvo V60 continues Volvo’s trend of creeping slowly but surely into the upscale luxury space. The Volvo V60 might not have the brand recognition of traditional premium models, but it has been given the tools it needs to vie for the attentions of customers willing to spend a little bit extra for high class comforts. In addition to an elegant interior, the V60 features the availability of heated leather seats, a top-shelf audio system, mobile phone connectivity, and navigation – all hallmarks of a modern premium automobile, applied with an understated Scandinavian flourish.
08. The 2015 Volvo V60 Maintains The Brand’s Focus On Safety
A Volvo wouldn’t be true to its heritage if it didn’t make safety a priority, and the 2015 Volvo V60 certainly doesn’t shirk this obligation. In addition to a full complement of airbags (dual forward units, side impact airbags, and side curtain airbags), the Volvo V60 also offers the option of a blind spot monitoring system as well as a lane keeping system that can actively steer the wagon back on course should it stray into harm’s way. The V60 is additionally available with the City Safety system which is designed to automatically brake the vehicle in order to avoid a forward collision with either a pedestrian or another automobile.
09. The 2015 Volvo V60 Will Be Available As A Hybrid CHECK
The 2015 Volvo V60’s four-cylinder gambit will eventually expand to include a hybrid model. Although nothing has yet been laid in stone, a future Volvo V60 hybrid will most likely come with plug-in capability, as well as an all-wheel drive setup where the gasoline engine motivates the front wheels and an electric motor serves to power the rear axles. Volvo has also hinted that the term ‘hybrid’ might not necessarily denote ‘fuel miser’ – the brand’s product planners have kicked around the idea of a plug-in V60 that offers eight-cylinder levels of output with four-cylinder fuel consumption.
10. The 2015 Volvo V60 Comes In A Sedan, Too
In case you’re not the wagon type – in which case, how did you manage to make it to the final page of our article? – there’s a sedan version of the 2015 Volvo V60 out there as well. Known as the Volvo S60, it’s been available to Americans for quite a bit longer than the wagon, and while stylistically the two vehicles are quite similar, the four-door offers different drivetrain options. Like the sedan, it’s possible to order an all-wheel drive version of the S60 thanks to the availability of the car’s older five and six-cylinder engines