Saturday, August 18, 2018

Devon test drives a Volvo wagon

It was a sad day when Volvo decided the only wagon it was going to offer here in the U.S. was the XC70 which was more of a crossover rather than a wagon. Now those days are long gone and the new V60 is here. Can Volvo bring the popularity back of the wagon?

There are three engines to choose from. Drive-E trim uses a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 240hp. T5 AWD gets a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder producing 250hp while top of the range T6 uses a 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder producing 325hp. Pick of the range is the T5 AWD. All-wheel-drive is standard and it's not really that much more than the T5 Drive-E trim. Plus it's still less expensive than the 3-series touring.

Sadly the V60 just isn't as much fun to drive as a 3-series touring. Body control and handling are good but not great. The ride can be firm a bit on some road surfaces, but this is far from annoying. We strongly suggest avoiding the top of the range T6 trim with sports suspension. It really does make the V60 feel more sporty but the ride comfort is way too firm. Steering is often vague and leaves us wanting a little more especially in corners where we find ourselves re-adjusting. Wind and road noise won't be an issue with the V60. It's quiet and smooth even on the highway. The turbo engines are smooth at relaxed speeds around town and on the highway.

Volvo knows a thing or two about interior decor. The floating center console is classy and well designed. Plus all the controls are logically laid out and very user friendly. The seats offer plenty of support and comfort with plenty of adjustment for the steering wheel. Some could say Volvo seats are the best in the industry. Passengers in the rear will have plenty of space too. Although the middleman will find it rather cramped for foot space due to the large transmission tunnel. The boot space is decent too but trades space for style.

At least all V60s come a nice array of standard kit. Alloy-wheels, cruise control, climate control and Bluetooth are standard. Automatic headlights and wipers are standard as well. You'll have to step up the the top of the range trim which adds body-kit unique exterior styling and interior treatment. You'll find yourself wondering is the V60 worth paying for when you can buy cheaper crossovers? The answer is simple, if you want something more engaging to drive and really don't want to pay the running costs associate with most crossovers. The V60 is the way to go plus resale value should be decent too as Volvo has been on an upswing in popularity.

It's classy and well crafted. Plus it's the best form of a Volvo you can buy. The Volvo V60 has it all. It may not be as engaging to drive as the 3-series touring but it really does offer a convincing case. It's cheaper, offers more kit and arguably the better buy. Volvo does know a thing or two about wagons and it's great to see the wagon is back in the U.S.

Likes: Array of turbo engines to choose from. Safety is top priority. Swedish excellence inside and out.

Dislikes: Steering feedback is on the numb side.

Devon's Choice: The T5 AWD is the best pick. The standard all-wheel-drive and turbocharged five-cylinder offer an compelling reason to consider this. Plus its price makes it hard for us not to pick this one.

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