- Comfortable and stylish interior
- Lots of passenger and boot space
- Class-leading safety features
- Hybrid models are a bit pricey
- Touchscreen system not to all tastes
- Older models are less practical
The Volvo V60 is everything you’d expect a Volvo estate to be and more. It’s a very practical family car with a roomy interior and large boot and it’s packed with advanced safety features, many of which are specific to Volvo.
It’s an undeniably good-looking car, with a sleek exterior and an interior that blends high-quality materials with contemporary Scandinavian design. It’s a bit like stepping into a trendy Swedish furniture store.
The V60 is good to drive and makes a particularly fine motorway cruiser thanks to its supportive seats and smooth ride. All of the engines give good performance, while the plug-in hybrid models promise minimal tax costs and good fuel economy. Older models (those sold up to 2018) share many of the latest car’s positives, but they’re less practical and don’t have such up-to-date tech.
If you appreciate modern Scandinavian design you’ll love the interior of the V60. It has a modern, minimalist look while the materials are appealing to look at and feel great to touch.
There are only a few physical buttons or switches because you control most functions through a large central touchscreen. It takes a bit of getting used to but it’s no trickier than learning the quirks of a new phone and the screen itself is helpfully large and well placed. Pre-2018 models have a different system with a smaller screen and more buttons.
Volvo is famous for the comfort of its car seats and those in the V60 are no exception – whatever your size or shape, you’ll feel supported and comfortable. On long journeys they come into their own, helping to avoid aches and pains when you have to spend hours on the motorway.
There’s lots of space for people, with plenty of headroom and legroom for five adults. Some versions come with clever built-in booster seats for younger children – these pop up from the rear seats when you need them and fold away when you don’t.
There are useful storage areas throughout the interior, while the boot is one of the largest you’ll find in this type of car. Pre-2018 models have a smaller boot, but are still very practical.
Like most Volvos the V60 is an undemanding car to spend time in, with a generally smooth ride and an interior that’s quiet at higher speeds. R-Design models have different suspension and wheels for a slightly sportier character yet they’re still comfortable.
Parking the V60 is pretty easy thanks to its upright rear window, but most versions come with parking sensors and post-2018 models are available with an automatic parking system where the car alerts you to a suitable space as you drive by it and can then steer you into it automatically. Clever stuff.
The engines are all turbocharged, whether you choose petrol or diesel. All offer good performance and the most powerful petrol models are very quick. There are plug-in hybrid versions that Volvo calls ‘Twin Engine’ or, more recently, ‘Recharge’ models. These combine one of the petrol engines with an electric motor for sportscar-like acceleration. Pre-2018 models were available with a different hybrid system that combined a diesel engine with an electric motor.
Many V60s come with an automatic gearbox as standard, although you’ll find some with a manual gearbox. The higher-powered cars (including the hybrids) have four wheel-drive as standard, which gives you extra reassurance when conditions are slippery and helps when towing. There’s also a Cross Country model that has higher ground clearance and four-wheel drive as standard.
The cost to buy and run a V60 is much the same as for rivals such as the Audi A4 Avant and BMW 3 Series Touring. There are estate cars that will cost you less to own, but the V60 gives you more high-tech features, safety equipment and quality than most.
Each of the diesel versions will give you fuel economy of about 50mpg, which is impressive for a car of this size. The petrols use more fuel, especially the more powerful versions, but might make more sense if you don’t cover a lot of miles.
While the plug-in hybrid models are more expensive they promise exceptionally low running costs. You’re unlikely to match the official fuel economy of over 100mpg, but you should pay little or no tax and you could see better mpg than with a diesel, depending on your driving (and battery charging) habits. In fact, if much of your driving is around town you could use very little fuel at all, because with a fully charged battery these models can travel up to 36 miles using electric power alone.
No car brand has such a strong focus on safety as Volvo and the V60 is packed with all of its latest features. As well as driver aids that can help prevent you steering off the road or into oncoming traffic, it’s available with systems that detect other vehicles, cyclists and even large animals on the road ahead and brake if necessary to help avoid a collision. Little wonder that it scored the maximum five stars when tested by safety organisation Euro NCAP in 2018. The previous version also scored five stars when tested in 2012.
Volvo’s reliability reputation is generally good and the V60 feels every inch a premium product.
Best for emissions - T8 Twin Engine/Recharge
Best for adventure - Cross Country
Best for performance - T6 R-Design
Every V60 is well-equipped, with features such as climate control, alloy wheels and sophisticated safety equipment. If you want a sportier look and feel go for one of the R-Design models. For more luxury choose opulent Inscription trim. If you live somewhere remote or simply prefer a more rugged image, Cross Country models might be right up your street (or lane).
The range of options is extensive. Look out for things such as a 360-degree camera that makes parking easier by giving you a bird’s eye view of what’s around you, as well as upgraded audio systems that promise top-quality sound for everyone on board.