Review: Volvo V60 (2018)
Handsome estate car with big boot. Lovely interior. Plug-in hybrid due late 2019.
Not as sharp to drive as rivals. R-Design firm at low speeds.
Volvo V60 (2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £34,315, brokers can source from £26,438
- Contract hire deals from £243.56 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 25–43
- On average it achieves 77% of the official MPG figure
The Volvo V60 doesn't shout about its abilities. In many ways, it's just a Volvo V90 that's shrunk in the wash, as a left-field alternative to an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series. It has the same sense of Scandinavian style - inside and out - as the V90, and it's loaded with technology, including all the safety kit you'd expect in a modern Volvo.
There are a number of different variants to reflect your personality, from the sporty R-Design to the gentrified Cross Country. The former is trying a little too hard to be an Audi, while the latter is very good - if expensive. Most buyers will find one of the regular Momentum or Inscription models offer the best compromise.
The interior is lovely - a superb contrast of twee materials (you can spec wood if you like) and up-to-date technology. There's a large portrait screen in the centre of the dash on all models. This offers access to the superb infotainment system, with a clear navigation screen which works well on the portrait screen (showing the road ahead rather than fields to your side).
Volvo seats are known for their comfort and you can easily spend long periods of time in the V60 without complaining of any aches or pains. There's a useful amount of space inside, thanks to longer dimensions than rivals - meaning six-footers can squeeze into the rear seats relatively comfortably.
At 529 litres, the boot's one of the biggest in its class, while dropping the rear seats increases this to 1441 litres. Every V60 features an electric rear tailgate, while a wide opening with no lip helps when loading bulky items.
While there is a T5 petrol engine, the majority of buyers will opt for a diesel V60. D3 and D4 diesel engines are refined and provide good fuel economy, although neither are particularly quick. It's not really a car that likes to be hustled along like the BMW 3 Series - the steering's quite light and it's at its best being driven in a relaxed manner.
What makes the Volvo V60 really stand out is its safety kit. Volvo says that no one should be killed or seriously injured in one of its new cars from 2020, and the V60's standard safety equipment reflects that. This includes Volvo's Pilot Assist autonomous driving technology, which can provide steering inputs at speeds up to around 80mph, as well as accelerate or brake.
The semi-autonomous City Safety system is also available, with radar and cameras allowing the V60 to avoid low-speed collisions by automatically applying the brakes. Volvo tells us it's the only system on the market that's capable of recognising pedestrians, cyclists and animals.
While you're making a statement by buying a Volvo V60 over a German rival, it doesn't represent too much of a compromise. The interior's lovely, with loads of space and it's a relaxing (rather than sporty) drive.
What does a Volvo V60 (2018) cost?
Volvo V60 (2018): What's It Like Inside?
While the words 'Volvo estate car' might conjure up images of ancient old boxy things with as much room as a van, the V60 isn't quite that practical. It's the smallest estate car in the firm's line-up, but its 529-litre boot space is still the biggest in its class. Access is easy, too, thanks to a wide-opening boot with an electric tailgate (standard across the range) and no irritating lip to lift things over.
The V60 is longer than rivals, so as well as having a bigger boot there's also more space for front and rear passengers. Head and legroom is generous in the back, with enough room for two tall adults in the rear. There are also Isofix points fitted to the outer rear seats, making it easier to fit child seats.
Just how opulent the V60 feels depends on which trim level you opt for. The Inscription models are the most luxurious, with leather seats as standard and optional wood inlays should you wish. It's true that it's not quite as luxurious as the bigger V90, but the V60 can be made to be pretty special.
With its sports seats, metal inlays and sports pedals, the R-Design takes a more German approach to entire design which will appeal to those used to alternatives from BMW and Audi.
A nine-inch portrait touchscreen display is located in the centre of the dash, providing access to all the infotainment features you may require. It's easy and intuitive to operate as well as being fast to react.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are a worthwhile £300 option if you want to access your phone's media library, although they don't integrate with the portrait screen as well as the landscape systems used in other cars.
There's a 12.3-inch driver's information display replacing the dials on all models - a bonus as, while systems like these are becoming widespread, they'll often cost you extra. They're clear to use and help with directions when approaching junctions.
Overall, the Volvo V60's interior is surprisingly spacious and pleasingly premium - while also being very different from rivals. You can even spec it in some interesting colour and trim combinations.
Specification (March 2019):
Momentum models feature height and reach adjustable steering column, speed sensitive steering, three-spoke leather steering wheel with chrome trim, steering wheel infotainment controls, cruise control, hill start assist, power parking brake with auto hold function, drive mode settings, keyless start, dynamic chassis, automatic LED headlights with active high beam, autofolding heated power door mirrors, automatic windscreen wiper activation, electric tailgate, roof rails, roof spoiler, rear park assist, 17-inch alloy wheels (D3 and D4), 18-inch alloy wheels (T5 only), tyre sealant kit and compressor, two-zone electronic climate control, 12.3" TFT driver's information display, driver and passenger seat with power height adjustment and lumbar support, split folding rear seat (60/40), rear armrest with cupholder, City Safety with Steering Support (includes pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and front collision warning with full auto brake), oncoming lane mitigation, run-off road mitigation, run-off road protection, speed limiter, driver alert control with lane keeping aid, road sign information display, ISOFIX (outer rear seats), anti-theft alarm including immobiliser, nine-inch centre console touchscreen, voice activated control, DAB radio, Bluetooth.
Momentum Pro adds leather upholstery, heated wiper blades, heated steering wheel, head-up display, rear armrest with storage and cupholders, keyless drive, headlight cleaning system, heated front seats, front LED headlights, power driver seat, handsfree tailgate.
R-Design adds sports seats, front park assist, heated steering wheel, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather sports steering wheel with gearshift paddles (automatic), sports pedals, lowered sport chassis.
R-Design Pro features heated wiper blades, dark tinted windows, heated front seats, handsfree tailgate, 19-inch alloy wheels, headlight cleaning system, head-up display, power driver seat with memory for seat and exterior mirrors, multicolour theatre lighting and puddle lights.
Inscription models feature leather seats, power driver and passenger seats, front LED foglights, autodimming interior mirror, front park assist, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome window surround, tailgate illuminiation, rear footwell illumination.
Inscription Pro adds heated wiper blades, heated steering wheel, keyless drive, 19-inch alloy wheels, headlight cleaning system, heated front seats, head-up display, handsfree tailgate.
Child seats that fit a Volvo V60 (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 (2018) like to drive?
There's a choice of 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, with power ranging from 150PS to 250PS. Most buyers will opt for the diesels, which return good fuel economy and are reasonably refined - albeit with a slight rumble should you attempt to make progress.
The D4 is the pick of the range, thanks to its impressive real-world fuel economy (check Real MPG for the latest figures) and useful amount of torque. It's not quick, but it's got enough grunt for overtaking and lazily eating up motorway miles.
Both the D3 and D4 diesel engines can be paired with a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. The auto suits the car's relaxed nature, but it really doesn't like to be hurried - hesitating if you request a sudden burst of acceleration. You shouldn't dismiss the manual - it's got a slick change and a light clutch pedal.
If you've got an aversion to diesel or most of your miles are around town, the T5 petrol has a generous 250PS, but it doesn't feel as sprightly as its 6.7 second 0-62mph time suggests. It's expensive, too - you might be better waiting for a plug-in hybrid model to arrive late in 2019.
Volvo is going for the Audi and BMW market with its V60 R-Design, which drops ride height by 12mm thanks to its sports suspension. At higher speeds, this works well, providing a dynamic drive as alluded to by its sporty looks. Around town, however, it's unneccesarily firm, finding every bump in the road and passing them into the cabin.
The V60 is at its best in non-sporty guise, providing a lovely, relaxed drive: quiet, with decent (if light) steering, ride and handling. On smaller wheels with its standard suspension, the V60 isn't as dynamic as an Audi or BMW but it's more absorbent and ideal for stress-free travel. For the ultimate in all-terrain comfort, the V60 Cross Country provides a very compliant ride as well as off-road capability.
|D3||59–66 mpg||9.1–9.9 s||117–123 g/km|
|D3 Automatic||59–62 mpg||9.1–9.9 s||119–126 g/km|
|D4||62–65 mpg||7.7–7.9 s||117–122 g/km|
|D4 Automatic||59–62 mpg||7.7–7.9 s||119–125 g/km|
|T4 Automatic||-||7.2 s||157 g/km|
|T5 Automatic||41–44 mpg||6.7–7.3 s||150–157 g/km|
|T8||-||4.6–4.9 s||39–47 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Volvo V60 (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.
What have we been asked about the Volvo V60 (2018)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
Can you recommend a good petrol hybrid estate?
What Cars Are Similar To The Volvo V60 (2018)?
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star 100%
- 4 star
- 3 star
- 2 star
- 1 star