Review: Volvo V60 (2010 – 2018)
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Clever safety systems. Impressive direct injected petrol engines. Comfortable seats. New 2.0 Volvo D4 diesel from 2014 under 100g/km CO2. AWD gives steering more 'feel'.
Artificial steering feel. Ride struggles on rough surfaces. Not a load carrier like traditional Volvo estates. Five cylinder engines dropped from late 2013. Serious issue of carbon build-up in pre-AdBlue EU6 D4 VEA engines.
Volvo V60 (2010 – 2018): At A Glance
While Volvo has always had a reputation for building usefully large estates, the V60 breaks with that tradition. Rather then being an outright load carrier, the V60 is designed to be a stylish and more practical alternative to a saloon or a large hatchback.
So while Volvo estates used to be designed to carry fridges, the V60 was developed with the driver in mind and it's certainly a big improvement over the previous S60 when it comes to handling.
That said, it still doesn't feel as sharp as you'd expect given all Volvo's talk about 'dynamics' and driver enjoyment with a lack of feel through the steering wheel and too much lean in corners. On the plus side it does feel very safe and comfortable with a forgiving (if slightly bouncy) ride and good grip.
The interior is impressive both in terms of design and quality with a real Scandavian feel. The 'floating' centre console that's become a Volvo trademark has been carried over and the seats are incredibly comfortable, making this an ideal car for long journeys. And while it's not designed to carry big loads, the boot is still usefully large and there's no boot lip, so loading heavy items is a little easier.
Like all Volvos, the V60 is a very safe car and features a host of genuinely useful safety systems including Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake.
This uses a dual-mode radar and can avoid a collision with a pedestrian at speeds of up to 21mph if the driver does not react in time. At higher speeds, the focus is on reducing the car's speed as much as possible prior to the impact, reducing the likelihood of serious injury or death.
The V60 also uses Volvo's more straightforward, if not obvious, engine badging. The petrols are the T3, T4 and T5 - all four-cylinder engines, while there's the top of the range T6 which is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder. The more popular diesels are the D3 and D5 which are both five-cylinder units. Later in 2011 a 1.6-litre diesel DRIVe low emissions model will also be launched.
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Volvo V60 (2010 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
Volvo has built up a well deserved reputation for its interiors and this design continues in the V60. It retains that clean Scandinavian design and the lack of clutter and buttons is a welcome change from many other car interior designs which struggle to find a way of giving the driver access to the every-increasing number of functions and systems.
The floating centre console which was first seen on the S40 makes an appearance in the V60 and there's still the extra storage space behind, which is still difficult to get to. The central console itself is now angled toward the driver with the information screen neatly built into the dash top, replacing the old flip-up one from the previous S60.
The four circular switches control the stereo and air conditioning and allow you to access the sat nav (if it's fitted) so there's no need for the clunky remote control that used to be a feature.
The central controls are cleverly arranged in a square and all are clearly labelled and intuitive to use to, plus the air conditioning ventilation direction control neatly lights up at night. The driving position is pretty good and there's plenty of adjustment in the seat but what gets special mention is the amount of reach adjustment on the steering column - it's superb and more than any other manufacturer offers. The steering wheel itself is nice to hold too with a thick rim and easy to use multifunction controls.
Unusually, there are just two main dials which makes a pleasant change from the usual information overload on many modern cars. Inside each there are digital displays which give you the vital information you need, which can be easily accessed via the column stalks.
One small criticism is that the key slot is placed at such a height that if you have lots of keys on your keyring, they tend to jangle about on the dash which soon becomes annoying.
The quality of the finish is very good plus there's a genuinely premium and modern feel to the cabin. It's also very comfortable with excellent seats and plenty of space. Taller passengers in the back may find there's a slight lack of legroom and due to the sloping roof, which is also quite narrow, you can feel a little hemmed in, but wind and road noise are kept to a minimum so motorway journeys are peaceful.
In terms of the boot, as Volvo says this isn't supposed to be a big load carrier but it's still pretty useful and has 430 litres of boot space under the retractable load cover. While a Ford Focus Estate boot may be bigger, the V60 has a very wide tailgate opening (more than a metre) and there's no load lip either so you can slide in heavy items (and slide them out again) without breaking your back.
The rear seat backrests can fold 40:20:40 and when flipped down create a totally flat load floor with 1241 litres of space plus there's an underfloor storage area which can be locked.
The rear seats can also be specified with integrated child booster cushions in the outer seats. They are suitable for children weighing from 15-36 kg and ensure that youngsters sit comfortably and safely while the two-stage height adjustment ensures small children can still get a good view of the scenery.
Standard equipment from launch (December 2010):
ES is the entry-level models and gets cruise control, 16-inch Oden aluminium alloy wheels, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, electronic climate control, leather steering wheel, illuminated vanity mirror and headlamp levelling, City Safety, DSTC (Dynamic Stability Traction Control), dual stage driver and passenger airbags, SIPs (Side Impact Protection System, including airbags), inflatable curtain airbags, three-point seat belts all round, a CD stereo, aux input for MP3 player, six speakers, remote controls on the steering wheel and a five-inch colour display screen.
SE adds rain sensor windscreen wipers, rear park assist, auto folding door mirrors with ground lights, T-Tec/Textile upholstery, shimmer graphite aluminium interior trim, a rear-view mirror that dims automatically, Bluetooth, ‘Balder' 17-inch alloy wheels with low-profile sports 215/50 R17 tyres, Volvo's Interior Air Quality System (AQS) which monitors air quality coming into the cabin and automatically closes the vents if pollution levels are high and a higher specification audio system - the High Performance Sound Audio System - which features 4 x 40W amplifiers, eight speakers and a USB input.
SE Lux has everything that the SE offers and adds leather upholstery, power adjustable driver's seat with memory function and active bending lights that ‘see around corners' complete with headlamp cleaning.
R Design is the sports model and as lowered suspension, stiffer spring rates and revised dampers, it also gets 18-inch five-spoke diamond-cut aluminium alloy wheels, specially stitched and embossed R-Design sports seats (T-Tec/Textile with leather-faced upholstery), a unique three-spoke steering wheel featuring a stamped metal R-Design badge, aluminium alloy pedals, an aluminium centre stack, a special sports perforated leather gearshift knob and special hand-tufted sports mats plus the instrumentation has blue accents.
Option packs include:
- Winter Pack, offering heated front seats and headlight cleaning.
- Driver Support Pack, which gives the buyer Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto brake, Adaptive Cruise Control with Distance Alert, Queue Assist and Collision Warning, Lane Departure warning and Driver Alert Control, Blind Spot Information System.
- Security Pack, which offers Personal Car Communicator with Keyless Drive and Laminated side windows (includes rain repellant front side windows).
- Family Pack, which offers the two-stage child booster cushions and power child locks for the rear doors.
Child seats that fit a Volvo V60 (2010 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Volvo V60 (2010 – 2018) like to drive?
- Engines range from T3 Geartronic to T6 AWD Geartronic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 17–102 mpg
The D3 is the bigger seller and the 2.0-litre engine has more than enough power for the V60 with 163bhp but it's the 400Nm of torque which really gives it performance where it counts. Peaking at just 1400rpm up to 2850rpm it means the V60 pulls strongly from low down and is ideal for motorway driving where accelerating rom 50-70mph is a better measure of pace than the traditional 0-62mph time.
The D3 can get a little noisy when pushed and often feels like it's running out of breath quite quickly, but once you get used to the majority of the torque being low down, it's an easy and enjoyable engine to exploit and certainly more than enough for everyday driving. It's economical too with a claimed average of 53.3mpg, although choosing the automatic gearbox sees this drop to 47.9mpg and the Geartronic auto feels a little sluggish to shift gears at times.
The other diesel is the 2.4-litre D5 with 205bhp - a favourite among Volvo owners and an engine that has been used across the range for a number of years now in various power outputs. It has the same characterful five-cylinder note as the D3 but only offers 20Nm more torque (at 420Nm) so in everyday driving there seems little reason to choose it over the D3, especially as it carries a £2000+ premium.
It is quicker on paper, sprinting from 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds (with the manual gearbox) compared to 8.7 seconds for the D3, but you only really notice the difference if you really push it. One the plus side, the claimed average fuel economy figures are surprisingly no different between the D5 and D3. Emissions are the same for both too at 139g/km for the manual versions. The final diesel will be the 1.6-litre engine in the DRIVe low-emissions model which is due in mid-2011.
The petrol engines may not be as popular as the diesels, but they're probably more impressive in terms of performance and relative economy. The T3 and T4 are both 1.6-litre GTDi engines borrowed from Ford but don't be put off by their small capacity because thanks to turbochargers they develop 150bhp and 180bhp respectively.
The T4 is very impressive and on the move it's easy to think it's a 2.0-litre engine or even larger. It's smooth, quiet yet responsive and great fun to drive with its peak torque of 240Nm available all the way up to 5000rpm. Accelerating from 0-62mph takes 8.0 seconds and yet it still averages a claimed 42.2mpg with CO2 emissions of 156g/km - the same economy figures as the T3.
The T5 is a new engine too, but rather confusingly is no longer a five-cylinder engine as it used to be (the same 2.5-litre one that powered the Ford Focus ST). Instead it's now a four-cylinder 2.0-litre but still delivers 240bhp along with 240Nm of torque.
But even more powerful is the monstrous 3.0-litre straight-six unit in the T6 that boasts 304bhp and comes with all-wheel drive and the Geartronic automatic gearbox as standard. Only a handful are likely to be sold and although it's very quick with 0-62mph taking just 6.2 seconds it's also as thirsty as you'd expect with a claimed average of 28.5mpg.
On the move the V60 doesn't quite live up to the expectations given all Volvo's talk of driving fun. It's composed enough in corners but feels a little soft and never gives you the enjoyment of many other estates.
The steering lacks feel and often feels too keen to self-centre, plus it could do with more weight. It's much happier on the motorway where the refinement and lack of noise make it a relaxing cruiser. The ride is generally pretty good, but it can feel a little bouncy at times and it struggles over potholes or very uneven roads.
|1.6D DRIVe Start/Stop||63 mpg||11.3 s||119 g/km|
|D2||69–74 mpg||10.8–11.5 s||101–108 g/km|
|D2 Geartronic||66–67 mpg||11.0–11.7 s||111–114 g/km|
|D2 Powershift||63–67 mpg||12.7 s||110–119 g/km|
|D3||53–71 mpg||8.6–10.4 s||105–139 g/km|
|D3 Geartronic||48–67 mpg||8.5–10.4 s||111–154 g/km|
|D3 Geartronic Start/Stop||50 mpg||9.4 s||149 g/km|
|D3 Start/Stop||55 mpg||9.4 s||132 g/km|
|D4||63–74 mpg||7.6–9.4 s||99–119 g/km|
|D4 AWD Geartronic||50 mpg||8.9 s||149 g/km|
|D4 Geartronic||50–67 mpg||7.6–9.4 s||109–149 g/km|
|D5||53–61 mpg||7.5–7.8 s||120–139 g/km|
|D5 AWD Geartronic||44 mpg||7.7 s||169 g/km|
|D5 Geartronic||44–46 mpg||7.7–7.8 s||162–169 g/km|
|D5 Geartronic Start/Stop||46 mpg||7.7–7.8 s||162 g/km|
|D5 Plug-In Hybrid||-||6.9 s||48 g/km|
|D5 Start/Stop||58–61 mpg||7.5–7.8 s||120–129 g/km|
|D6 AWD||155 mpg||6.1 s||48 g/km|
|D6 Plug-In Hybrid||-||6.0 s||48 g/km|
|T3||49 mpg||8.2–9.6 s||134–135 g/km|
|T3 Geartronic||48 mpg||8.2 s||138 g/km|
|T3 Powershift||38–39 mpg||10.4 s||167–171 g/km|
|T3 Start/Stop||43–49 mpg||9.5–9.6 s||134–152 g/km|
|T4||43–49 mpg||7.3–8.5 s||135–153 g/km|
|T4 Geartronic||49 mpg||7.3 s||136 g/km|
|T4 PowerShift||38 mpg||9.2 s||171 g/km|
|T4 Start/Stop||43 mpg||8.3–8.5 s||152–153 g/km|
|T4 Start/Stop PowerShift||38 mpg||9.0–9.2 s||171–173 g/km|
|T5||35–36 mpg||7.3–7.5 s||184–189 g/km|
|T5 PowerShift||34–35 mpg||7.5–7.7 s||192–194 g/km|
|T6||28–29 mpg||6.2 s||237 g/km|
|T6 AWD||28 mpg||6.0 s||237 g/km|
|T6 AWD Geartronic||29 mpg||6.1 s||231 g/km|
|T6 Geartronic||42 mpg||6.0 s||157 g/km|
|T6 Polestar||28–35 mpg||4.8 s||186–237 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Volvo V60 (2010 – 2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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