VOLVO V60 T5 REVIEW
Vehicle Style: Prestige Wagon
Fuel Economy (claimed): 8.7 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 11.4 l/100km
While it continues the focus on safety that Volvo is synonymous with, the V60 T5 also comes with a hefty dollop of power from the turbocharged 2.0 litre four-cylinder up front and the handling performance to match.
- Quality: Inside the V60 there’s plenty of charm, from its elegant Scandinavian-influenced centre console through to soft-trimmed doors and dash.
Supple leather and flawless construction add to the quality impression inside.
- Comfort: Settling into the V60 is a breeze, front or rear, with only the centre rear seat feeling awkward. The V60 also offers additional headroom over the swoopy sedan, making it the better option for rear passengers.
- Equipment: Standard fare includes trip computer, dual-zone climate-control, powered driver’s seat, leather trim, integrated rear booster seats, steering wheel audio and cruise controls, an eight-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with aux-in, Bluetooth and audio streaming.
- Storage: With a 40:20:40 folding rear seat and flat folding front passenger seat, the V60 offers a range of options to extend the 692 litre cargo bay. There’s also a sizeable glovebox, deep console, lidded centre storage and deep door-pockets
ON THE ROAD
- Driveability: On the open road, the T5’s willing engine and powershift transmission is an almost faultless combination, with an effortless 177kW and 320Nm of torque on tap and well-matched ratios.
It is a very swift and nimble tourer, with the kind of performance and balanced handling that qualifies it as a sports wagon.
In town however, the V60 is less at home. The transmission mapping is designed to restrict torque in first gear, stunting acceleration from rest, only to then kick freely into second gear resulting in jerky take-offs. On uphill inclines, it’s worse.
- Refinement: At any speed the interior remains hushed. The V60 excels as a relaxed and comfortable mile-eating tourer.
- Suspension: The firmly tuned suspension can get a little terse over pockmarked roads. Mostly though it feels well set up and offers decent handling for spirited driving. Steering is responsive and well weighted, but lacking in feedback.
- Braking: Brakes are more than capable in hauling the slightly heavy V60 to a stop. The pedal is a little sensitive at low speeds but feels more fluent out of town.
- ANCAP rating: Not yet tested
- Safety features: The V60 comes with six airbags, anti-whiplash front seats, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control and stability control. Volvo’s low-speed crash avoidance system City Safety is also standard.
Optional blind-spot monitoring, radar cruise control, pedestrian detection and lane departure warning are also available.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
- Warranty: 3 years/unlimited kilometres
- Service costs: Service intervals are set for every 15,000km/12 months. Service costs are not provided by Volvo Australia. Before purchase, check with your Volvo dealer.
HOW IT COMPARES | VALUE FOR MONEY
- Saab 9-3 Vector wagon ($58,400) – Saab’s 9-3 is showing its age, with a lack of features, less interior room, and an outclassed engine. Still a gallant performer though, but falls short of the Volvo in too many areas.
- Citroen C5 HDi Exlusive Estate ($60,990) – For stand-out style the C5 is impossible to ignore. Its 2.0 litre diesel engine may lack power, but delivers plenty of torque and superior fuel economy with a plush interior.
- Audi A4 2.0T Avant ($61,990) – A smooth CVT drivetrain, plenty of load space and smart interior, but the high cost of entry lets the otherwise excellent A4 down slightly.
Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
Volvo’s extensive, but sometimes optional, safety equipment is hard to beat. Inside the V60 is a fresh and comfortable place to be, the only contention being the T5’s sometimes irritating transmission mapping.
On the open road however, the stylish and appealing T5 excels. Against some stiff opposition from German (and other European rivals), Volvo’s V60 T5 is a compelling value-for-money contender.
It’s a little bit different, and very easy on the eye. We like it a lot.