Volvo V60 (2018) Review

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Volvo V60 (2018) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
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.

+Smart design inside and out, comfortable, strong engine range including powerful PHEV.

-Not thrilling to drive, hybrids are great but expensive.

Insurance Groups are between 25–43
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

The Volvo V60 is the most recent in a long line of Volvo estates, but modern Volvos are designed to take on premium rivals like the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate. As is the way with modern Volvos, it blends traditional values of practicality and safety but adds in a distinctive sense of style and quality, as well as plenty of latest generation technology. The range also reflects Volvo’s commitment to electrifying its powertrains, with just one diesel option alongside petrol and hybrid options. Composed, understated, comfortable and practical, the V60 is a very appealing medium estate.

Looking for a Volvo V60 (2018 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

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.

Unlike many of its rivals, the V60 has an engine range with just a single diesel option, alongside three petrol options and two hybrid models, and although it’s not really a sporty car (unless you go for the expensive Polestar model) you can choose from a number of versions with strong performance.

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. 

Ask Honest John

I want a diesel, manual estate or hatchback. Could you suggest some models?
"My 2010 Saab 9-3 Sportwagon has died and we have parted company. I’m struggling to decide what I should buy to replace it. I need a hatch or estate to easily carry family stuff and don’t really want anything bigger than the Saab. In normal times, my trip to work is about 25 miles each way (all dual carriageway), so I prefer a diesel. Since parting company with the Saab, I’ve tried a few cars and concluded a manual is essential. I enjoy driving and an automatic just makes driving a process, not the experience I love. I’d like to catch up on the tech that new cars have now, though. I’d prefer a conventional car rather than something raised like an SUV. It feels like there is no perfect solution and something will have to give but manual is essential."
As you're no doubt finding, manual gearboxes are becoming less popular and being dropped entirely from some models – especially the kind of premium diesel estates you're probably looking at. A Volvo V60 sounds like it'd fit your bill – it's a stylish Swede, much like your Saab, but it's now only available with an automatic gearbox. This is a fairly recent move so, if you're keen, you'll be able to find an as-new pre-registered model with a manual transmission (and save cash at the same time). Otherwise, how about a Mazda 6? It's a stylish estate car that's great to drive and still offered with a diesel engine and manual gearbox.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Should my write off value be higher because I had a towbar fitted?
"My 2018 Volvo V60 has been written off by the insurers as Cat S. After a lot of negotiation, the engineer agreed to add £340 to the what he says is the market value of the car to account for the fact that the vehicle had a Volvo fitted retractable towbar. By his own account, finding a replacement car with a towbar will be next to impossible but luckily it is something that can be retrofit (although for a cost more like £1000). To my mind the fair market value for my car would be market value + the actual cost of installing a towbar. Do you think I would have any success pursuing this with the ombudsman, or is that a waste of time? The insurer told me the towbar is basically worthless in the valuation. I just want to be able to buy back what I had before the incident. Thank you."
In our opinion, the towbar is worth nothing relative to the market value in the used car market. But, if that's the case, request they removed the old towbar and give it to you if they are not considering it as part of the value. It's your property by that line of thinking.
Answered by Tim Kelly
Can you recommend a good petrol hybrid estate?
"I currently have a 2-litre diesel Toyota Avensis Estate with 94,000 miles since new in 2010. It's very comfortable and has a big boot with seats that fold down for a golf trolley. I travel about 10,000 miles annually with regular long trips. I'm changing cars soon and would like a little more comfort. I'm thinking an Audi estate, either A4 or A6, probably the A6 with larger boot. Ideally for the future I'd like a petrol hybrid. Any suggestions?"
An Audi A4 or A6 sounds like a good option. Also consider a Skoda Superb if you're looking for value for money - we rate the Superb highly and the 2.0 TSI is a good engine. You can get a plug-in hybrid version, which might suit your needs if you can charge a car at home. If you'd like to go down to the plug-in hybrid route, we'd also recommend a Volvo V60 or V90 T8.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Relaible and practical family car for under £30k?
"I need a large family car for under £30,000. I need good legroom and a boot capable of taking golf clubs and family luggage. I do about 14,000 miles a year. Ideally, the car should have comfortable heated seats and cruise control. Performance is not a necessity, but reliability is a must. What do you recommend? "
I'd recommend a Volvo V60 or, if you need more space, a V90. They're both very comfortable cars and your budget will get a well-specced model from 2019. If you'd prefer something brand new, consider another Mazda 6 or a Volkswagen Passat.
Answered by Andrew Brady

What does a Volvo V60 (2018) cost?