The Volvo V60 T6 R-Design is a 306 horsepower all-wheel drive family hauler that has one big trick up its sleeve: it’s just a damn nice place to be.
[Full disclosure: Volvo Hungary was nice enough to give me a V60 for a couple of days, so I went to see my family with it in the countryside. They liked it.]
While you already know pretty much everything about the V60 T6 R-Design thanks to Patrick’s spot on review, as it turns out, my test car was slightly different despite wearing the same paint.
For starters, instead of the old 325 hp the six-cylinder, it came with Volvo’s latest 2.0 direct-injection four-banger that produces 306 hp and 295 ft-lb of torque, an eight-speed auto instead of the six-speed, plus all the cameras and safety features Patrick was missing from his car.
So yeah, I got less power, but as Volvo switches to using only four cylinders or less, I also got a glimpse at the turbo- and supercharged powertrain that’s here to stay.
Still, I was a bit worried when I first got into this car. The V60 has been on the market since 2011, and this is how its center console looks:
An automaker might be able get away with having number dials and a million other unnecessary buttons on the dash in 2015, but Volvo was foolish enough to show off the sublime interior of the 2016 XC90.
That nine-inch touchscreen or something even better will be in all nine new Volvos we get until the end of 2019, and although the V60’s replacement is only due three years from now, the current system feels very dated in a car that starts at $45,400.
On the other hand, the digital dials with the integrated navigation are very nice and informative, and despite not becoming friends with most of those buttons, my first significant impression of the car was about how safe it made me feel.
There’s a giant black box behind the rear-view mirror and also a blacked out sensor up in the grille, and those really look out for you and everybody around all the time. Lights and audio alerts will let you know when you’re about to hit somebody, and the emergency braking will take care of the situation in case you seem a bit too slow to do something about it.
The big achievement here is that none of this gets annoying. The V60 doesn’t want to interfere with you driving, it only wants you to get to your destination in one piece. Well, don’t we all?
Volvo’s sporty wagon also reads the signs so you know exactly what the speed limit is at any given time. No excuses if you get a ticket driving this.
Blind spot monitoring is constant as well, and the parking assist really came handy as I had no idea where the V60’s nose was most of the time. It’s too high up, and visibility is far from being brilliant. Respray jobs are expensive, so just leave it to the gadgets.
From the outside, I think the R-Design looks quite badass.
Unlike Americans, Europeans do buy wagons, so we still have plenty of options to choose from. But since the V60 was already on the handsome side of family car offerings, all Volvo needed to do is give it the R-Design package to turn it into an attention grabber.
Don’t expect Polestar dynamics from the V60 R-Design. It’s got plenty of power and the eight-speed automatic does its job fairly quickly, but the lack of flappy pedals and buttons to turn this into something angrier should send a clear message to the user. The T6 is fast, but it’s not here to take down the Germans on a twisty road.
On the highway though, it’s really effective in keeping up with any Audi that seems to be glued to the fast lane, and arriving in the middle of the party with a red wagon from Sweden is something I would highly recommend. They don’t expect it to be a player.
I averaged 22.6 mpg, which isn’t bad in exchange for having 305 horses at hand.
The only problem is that everything I told you so far about the V60 R-Design is almost totally irrelevant.
What you should really know instead is that it has the most comfortable leather seats your butt could wish for, the perforated leather steering wheel is a joy to hold in your hands and the cabin is so quiet that most libraries could learn a few things from the Swedish about a relaxed atmosphere.
It also rides beautifully despite having those rims and high-speed Bridgestones, and you realize how well its put together once you hit one of those unavoidable bumps. Nothing rattles in Volvo’s nest. It’s just nice.
I could drive this thing out of the world, and I would probably step out of it looking just a bit younger at the end.
The new Volvo V60 is coming in 2018, so I get it if somebody doesn’t feel like spending this much money on a car that’s sort of a hybrid in terms of still using the old Ford platform and the previous infotainment system despite having Volvo’s latest engine, gearbox and safety technology as well.
But refinement is a very good attribute to note when it comes to choosing a car, and since I never understood those who stand in line in front of Apple stores every time the Chinese workers are finished with the first batch of the latest gadget designed in California, I would never buy the first model year anyway.
It takes quite a while to get those seats this perfect.
Photo credit: Máté Petrány/Jalopnik
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