Wagons often get lost in the shuffle due to the popularity of SUVs and crossovers. And it’s a shame because wagons offer the practicality and versatility of SUVs but drive more like sedans. Here in the U.S., the vast majority of wagons are made by Subaru, while upscale models are available from Audi and Volvo.
Volvo makes two wagons: the V60 and V90. The V60 got a makeover for the 2019 model year and gets some additional changes for 2020 including two new trims, Cross Country and Polestar Engineered, which is a plug-in hybrid.
The five-passenger V60 is available in five total trims: Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription in addition to the two new trims. Starting prices range from $39,650 to $45,400. Front-wheel-drive is standard on the three lower trims, and all-wheel drive is standard on the two upper trims.
Two engines are available. The base powertrain is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 250 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. If you’ve driven Volvos before, you’ll recognize this as the same engine that powers many other Volvo models.
The other powertrain is a plug-in hybrid with a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor that produce a total of 415 horsepower, also paired with the eight-speed automatic.
The V60 drives, well, like a Volvo. It’s sure-footed with enough power for most driving situations. It’s not particularly exciting but the ride is composed and the V60 feels stable and planted. It’s enjoyable to drive, if you don’t expect super-athletic performance, and it shines as a highway cruiser.
EPA mileage estimates for my tester are 22 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for a combined rating of 25. I got 25 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior has a clean design with a modern look. Materials are upscale and every stitch is in place. Seats are very comfortable and supportive. Even taller adults in both rows will enjoy plenty of leg- and headroom.
Standard features include rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth or leather upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, nine-inch touch-screen infotainment system, 10-speaker stereo, satellite radio, two USB ports, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and panoramic sunroof.
Standard driver assistance technologies include lane departure warning, lane keep assist, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, oncoming collision mitigation, traffic sign recognition, pedestrian detection, and road departure mitigation.
Available features include a head-up display, quad-zone automatic climate control, Nappa leather upholstery, front sport seats, heated front seats, ventilated and massaging front seats, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, power-adjustable side bolsters, passenger seat memory settings, four-way power front-seat lumbar support, power front-seat thigh extenders, navigation, 14-speaker Harman Kardon premium audio system, 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, universal garage door opener, surround-view parking camera, adaptive headlights, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Optional driver assistance technologies include blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, reverse automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, automatic parking assist, and the Pilot Assist driver assistance system which controls the vehicle’s speed based on the speed of other vehicles around you and helps with steering so that the vehicle stays centered in the lane.
The Sensus infotainment system is much like a tablet with its 9-inch vertical screen that dominates the center stack. Like a tablet, you touch and swipe for commands. The system takes getting used to and can be quite distracting. It can be frustrating because you sometimes have to go through multiple menus and submenus for some controls. At least the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands.
The V60 has average cargo space for a wagon with 23.2 cubic feet of storage with all seats in place and 50.9 cubes with the second row folded. A power liftgate is standard and a hands-free liftgate is available. Since this is a wagon, the floor is relatively low making it easy to load and unload cargo.
Shines as a highway cruiser
Available as a plug-in hybrid
Comfortable and supportive seats
Upscale, modern interior
Long list of standard and available features and driver assistance technologies
Good value for the money
Starting price is higher than average for a wagon
Distracting tablet-like infotainment system
My tester starts at $45,100. The Advanced Package is $2,500 and adds LED front fog lights, headlight high pressure cleaning, graphical head-up display, Pilot Assist Driver Assistance System with Adaptive Cruise Control, 360-degree surround view camera, full LED headlights with active bending lights. The Cross Country Pro Package is $2,800 and adds an exterior styling kit, four-zone automatic climate control and CleanZone, four-way power lumbar front seats, linear lime deco inlays, grocery bag holder, power passenger seat memory, interior high level illumination, 19-inch alloy wheels, tailored dashboard and front seat power cushion extensions. Heated rear seats and heated steering wheel are $750. Metallic paint is $645. Bowers and Wilkins Premium audio system is $4,000. Park Assist Pilot is $200. Destination charge is $995 bringing the grand total to $56,990.
Want the versatility and practicality of an SUV in an upscale wagon? With the 2020 Volvo V60, you’ll be behind the wheel of something different than the SUVs and crossovers everyone else is driving. The V60 also has a long list of standard and available features and offers good value for the money. But you have to put up with that frustrating and distracting infotainment system.