|Lease Term (months)||36|
|Miles per year|
If you’re looking for proof that station wagons aren’t dead, just take one look at the handsome, long-roofed 2020 Volvo V60: Practicality has never been sexier. In true Volvo fashion, both a standard wagon and a Cross Country variant are offered, the latter of which takes on the Audi A4 Allroad with its more rugged appearance, extra ground clearance, and standard all-wheel drive. In both guises, the V60 wagons offer the upscale appearance of the V90 and V90 Cross Country but in size small. A turbocharged four-cylinder is the standard powertrain but a performance-oriented plug-in-hybrid model tops the range and offers up to 22 miles of electric-only driving in addition to brisk acceleration.
The 2020 V60 adds a higher-performance plug-in-hybrid Polestar Engineered model courtesy of Volvo’s performance arm. In addition to increased power and specific chassis tuning, it sports an exclusive exterior styling treatment including yellow brake calipers, unique 19-inch wheels, and black-chrome tailpipes. The rugged Cross Country model is also a new addition this year. The mid-range 316-hp T6 powertrain has been deleted from the lineup for 2020, leaving the 250-hp T5 and the hi-po T8 as the only options. The base trim, called Momentum, ditches its standard 17-inch wheels for 18s; the R-Design now comes with a stitched faux-leather dashboard, four-zone automatic climate control, and interior ambient lighting. All V60 models lose last year’s power-folding rear backrests, and the optional adaptive suspension is no longer available.
We’re partial to the racier R-Design trim, which brings such niceties as nappa-leather upholstery, a Harman/Kardon stereo system, unique 18-inch wheels, fog lamps, and sharp exterior styling. Most V60 models are front-wheel drive, but if you want an all-wheel-drive model, both the Cross Country and the T8 Polestar offer that as standard.
Two engines are offered in the 2020 V60 lineup: Cars wearing the T5 badge are powered by a 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and come with front-wheel drive in all but the Cross Country model, which comes exclusively with all-wheel drive. When we tested the T5 powertrain, we found it to be a strong performer, with a 60-mph time of 6.4 seconds. As long as you’re not pushing it too hard, the V60 feels agile and responsive through corners. The ride is firm, particularly on models equipped with the optional Sport suspension and 19-inch wheels. The souped-up V60 T8 Polestar comes with a 415-hp hybrid powertrain that pairs a turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder with electric motors and all-wheel drive. This arrangement is far quicker than the T5 model, leaping to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. The T8 Polestar also comes with a manually adjustable suspension—something driving enthusiasts will think is cool—so the owner can dial in the car’s riding behavior to his or her preference.
The front-wheel-drive T5 models earn EPA fuel-economy ratings of 23 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 27 mpg combined. In comparison, the all-wheel-drive Cross Country loses some efficiency, rated at 22 city, 31 highway, and 25 combined. Despite being the lineup’s performance-oriented model, the V60 T8 Polestar’s plug-in-hybrid powertrain is fairly efficient, earning a highway fuel-economy rating of 30 mpg with up to 22 miles of claimed electric-only driving range, which we were able to replicate in our testing. On our 200-mile highway fuel-economy test route, the T8 Polestar delivered 31 mpg.
Volvo has been doing some great interiors lately, and the V60’s is no exception, largely mimicking those of the S60 sedan and the XC60 SUV. The cabin is spacious, the seats are comfortable, and the design is undeniably upscale. But Volvo’s minimalist approach means that many controls are hidden away inside the infotainment system. Like other Volvos of this vintage, the cabin looks and feels more expensive than it is, which makes it all the more impressive. Cargo capacity is great, too, something we expect from a station wagon. In our testing, we fit eight carry-on suitcases behind the rear seats and a total of 22 with the seats folded. For reference, the A4 Allroad fit two fewer carry-ons in both tests.
We’ve experienced significant—and significantly annoying—lag times with Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system, particularly within the first few minutes of starting the car. Until the screen wakes up, you can’t adjust the climate control, set a destination in the navigation, or change the radio station. Once it does, though, it’s smooth sailing. The simple and intuitive nature of the interface makes it easy to operate while driving, so you take the good with the bad.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have not released crash-test results for the V60, but Volvo’s safety-focused ethos means driver-assistance features such as lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking, and other collision-avoidance technologies are standard. Key safety features include:
Volvo’s standard protection plan doesn’t break from the luxury-brand norm, offering four years or 50,000 miles for both powertrain and limited warranty coverage, but it does add some value in the form of a three-year complimentary scheduled maintenance plan.
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