The Volvo V60 and V60 Cross Country are the nerds of the automobile kingdom. What do you need to know before you buy a Volvo V60? Don’t worry, we’ll tell you everything right here in the Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
If the Volvo V60 were a person, it would be a pocket protector-wearing, graphing calculator-carrying, masking tape on glasses-having nerd. But that’s not a bad thing. Nerds are awesome.
Volvo’s have been like this for a while; how would you describe that Volvo 240 you had in high school? You probably wouldn’t use words like fast or sexy. Maybe you’d say things like: safe, comfortable, high quality, handsome, practical, “built like a tank,” quirky.
Fast forward 25 years and those descriptors are still well suited for Volvo’s wagon, now called the V60. As Patrick George mentioned in his review, Volvo’s wagon has plenty of space behind the rear seats, the interior is built with top-notch materials, fit and finish are excellent, comfort is second to none, and it’s as safe as a nuclear bunker.
But it’s no 3 Series. The 3 Series is the jock that woos all the buyers with its athleticism. The V60 is the math club president. It’s not as popular, but it still attracts those looking for something a bit more sophisticated, mature and safe.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
What It’s Like To Drive
The 345 horsepower V60 Polestar is a bit of a nerd gone wild. It’s a riot, but it’s sold in ridiculously low quantities, so let’s focus on the T6. That’s the one we got to get behind the wheel of, and we thought it was great. It gets a supercharged and turbocharged inline-four making 302 hp and bolted to an eight-speed automatic, sending the power to all four wheels.
It’s extremely well built and rides beautifully, but it certainly wasn’t designed to chase anybody in the canyons. Instead, it’s a great tourer and a pretty fast thing on the highway. If you need to cannonball, the V60 is the most comfortable tool for the job.
The automatic shifts smoothly, the cabin is very well isolated and that leather steering wheel is just something you wouldn’t want to let go, ever. You would expect a Volvo to be a nice car to drive, and the V60 delivers, big time, despite being five years old now. Hell, it will be probably be equally nice five years from now.
V60 Cross Country
The V60 Cross Country is much the same as the regular V60, just a little higher, and a little more rugged. The 2.5-inch higher ride height lends itself, oddly enough, to what feels like a slightly firmer suspension, but the tradeoff isn’t terrible. The all-wheel-drive system is featured on the Cross Country as well and has a strong bias towards understeer. Not that most people will be trying to drift their tall Swedish wagon, mind you, but don’t expect to effortlessly slide through your next blizzard.
The Cross Country also adds Volvo’s hill descent control system, which stops you from rolling the wrong way down a hill, but don’t expect to be tromping through Moab. It’s still a soft-roader that’s been adapted from a regular car. That being said, it is probably one of the more capable wagons out there, if you’re just trying to get where you’re going.
Oh, and don’t forget the big, comfy seats.
What’s New About The 2016 Volvo V60
The Volvo V60 is an S60 with a roof over the rear trunk. Like it’s sedan sibling, it’s built on the Ford EUCD (European D-Class) platform, bones shared with the Range Rover Evoque and Volvo’s crossover cousin, the XC60.
The Volvo V60 launched in the U.S. for the first time as a 2015 model, proving to the world that wagons are still very cool . The then-all-new-to-the-U.S. V60 (it’s been available in Europe since the ‘11 model year), which was accompanied by a crossover version of itself called the V60 Cross Country, came in three main trims: V60 T5 Drive-E, V60 T5 AWD and V60 T6 AWD. The first came with a 240 horsepower 2.0-liter inline-four with an eight-speed automatic, the second got a 250 horsepower 2.5-liter inline-five and six-speed automatic, and the third offered a 325 horsepower 3.0-liter turbo inline-six and six-speed auto.
The V60 Cross Country was basically a T5 AWD with a lift kit. It got 7.9 inches of ground clearance—about 2.5 inches more than the standard V60 wagon—and came only with a 2.5-liter inline-four, six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. It also got bigger 18-inch wheels and hill descent control as standard.
A more powerful, more agile Polestar wagon was available as a limited edition model, though not many were offered in the U.S. The Polestar had 80% stiffer springs, Ohlins performance shock absorbers, upgraded six-piston Brembo front brakes, a new twin-scroll turbo and intercooler helping the 3.0-liter inline-six produce 350 horsepower and a tweaked six-speed automatic transmission. The rocket-wagon shot to 62 MPH in 4.9 seconds and was limited to 155 MPH. It was excellent in so many ways. But alas, Volvo decided to limit production numbers to about 100 in the U.S. for ‘15.
The non-Polestar V60 wagon saw changes to standard and optional content in the middle of 2015. For 2016, a 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged inline four replaces the T6 R-Design’s 3.0-liter I6 mid model year, new wheels become standard, the digital compass is nixed, new exterior color options become available, and Volvo sends a few more V60 Polestars to the U.S. The V60 Cross Country remains largely unchanged since its debut.
Volvo’s transverse-mounted inline engines put out plenty of power for the 3,500 pound wagon. The base 2.0-liter turbo inline-four powering the T5 Drive-E model makes a respectable 240 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent through and eight-speed automatic to the front wheels, and gets the car to 60 MPH in 6.1 seconds.
The 2.5-liter in the T5 AWD wagon and Cross Country models makes 250 horses and 266 lb-ft. Combined with a six-speed auto and all-wheel drive, it gets the wagon to 60 in 6.8 ticks and the Cross Country crossover there in seven seconds flat.
The T6 R-Design’s previous engine, a 325 horsepower 3.0-liter I6, coupled with its six-speed auto and all wheel drive, got the car to 60 in 5.5 seconds. New acceleration specs for the R-Design, now equipped with a 302 horsepower, 295 lb-ft 2.0-liter turbocharged and supercharged I4 and an eight-speed auto, haven’t been released, but expect them to be in the same ballpark.
Then there’s the Polestar, which keeps the 3.0-liter I6 and cranks out 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, enough to rocket the car to 60 MPH in a Holy Crap This Is A Volvo 4.8 seconds.
But no matter which V60 trim you choose, you’ll end up with a quick little wagon, even if it doesn’t feel quick compared to the competition.
2016 Volvo V60 Engine Options
Engine Max Horsepower (hp) Max Torque (lb-ft) 2.0L turbo I4 240 @ 5600 rpm 258 @ 1500 rpm 2.0L turbo & S/C I4 302 @ 5700 rpm 295 @ 2100 rpm 2.5L turbo I5 250 @ 5400 rpm 266 @ 1800 rpm 3.0L turbo I6 345 @ 5250 rpm 369 @ 3100 rpm
Fuel Economy Breakdown
Unsurprisingly, the T5 Drive-E Volvo V60, with its smaller displacement engine, front-wheel drive and extra two cogs in its transmission, manages significantly better fuel economy than the all-wheel drive T5 and T6.
In fact, the T5 Drive-E is a downright champion in the fuel-sipping department, scoring a highway MPG rating of 37 and a combined fuel economy value of 29 MPG. For a car as practical as the V60, that’s downright impressive.
The 250 horsepower T5 AWD’s 2.5-liter is hampered by its six-speed transmission, managing only 29 MPG highway and 23 combined in wagon form and 28 highway and 23 combined in the Cross Country. Compare that to the more powerful, 302 horsepower T6 all-wheel drive, which gets two MPG better, and you begin to see the benefits of those two extra gears in the transmission.
The 345 horsepower all-wheel Polestar is, no surprise, the thirstiest of the bunch at 21 MPG, but it’s still not a drunkard considering its power output and size.
2016 Volvo V60 Fuel Economy Ratings (City/Highway/Combined)
_ 2.0L turbo I4 2.0L turbo & S/C I4 2.5L turbo I5 3.0L turbo I6 6-speed auto _ _ 20/29/23 (AWD)
18/27/21 (AWD) 8-speed auto 25/37/29 (FWD) 22/31/25 (AWD) _ _
Trim Level Breakdown
The Volvo V60 wagon comes as either a T5 Drive-E model, T5 AWD model, or a T6 Drive-E AWD R-Design. The T5s come in Base, Premier and Platinum trims, while the T6 comes in either a Base or a Platinum trim.
The V60 Cross Country’s trim levels are a little simpler: you either get the base T5 AWD model or the T5 AWD Platinum, both of which are basically a lifted version of the T5 AWD wagon.
Steering is electric on Drive-E models and electro-hydraulic on the T5 AWD and Polestar. Suspension is a MacPherson Strut design up front and a multilink setup in the rear. Brakes on the T5s are 11.8 inch discs in the front and 11.9-inchers in the rear. The performance-oriented T6 R-Design gets bigger 13.2-inch pies in the front and 11.9-inch rotors out back. The Polestar swaps those 13.2-inch front discs for huge 14.6-inch pizzas.
V60 Wagon Trim Level Breakdown:
- T5 Drive-E: Starts at $36,150. Notable standard features: 2.0-liter turbo I4, eight-speed automatic transmission, front-wheel drive, LED daytime running lights, City Safety collision prevention system, rain sensing wipers, electric park brake, T-Tec vinyl seats, eight-way power driver and passenger seat, memory for driver’s seat and mirrors, power heated exterior mirrors, dual-zone climate control, hill launch assist, electric folding rear headrests, dual exhaust, 17-inch alloy wheels, eight-speaker audio system with 160W amplifier, Sensus infotainment system with seven-inch display, power moonroof. Notable options: Blind Spot Information System Package: Blind Spot Information & Cross Traffic Alert, Front & Rear Park Assist, Lane Change Merge Aid ($925); Climate Package w/Heated Rear Seats: Heated front and rear seats, heated windshield wiper nozzles, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, Interior Air Quality System ($1,550); Climate Package w/Dual Two-Stage Child Booster Seats: Dual-two-state child booster seats, heated front seats, power child locks for rear doors, heated windshield wiper nozzles, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, Interior Air Quality System ($1,550); Convenience Package: Homelink remote garage door opener, Keyless Drive, rear park Assist Camera, grocery bag holder, power retractable exterior mirrors ($1,550); Dual two-stage child booster seats ($500); Park Assist Pilot & Blind Spot Information System Package (Park Assist Pilot, Blind Spot Information System & Cross Traffic Alert ($1,425).
- T5 Drive-E Premier: Starts at $38,100. Notable standard features over T5 Drive-E: leather seating surfaces, Navigation, Adaptive Digital TFT Display, auto-dimming rearview mirror, unique exterior trim. Notable options: 19" Sport Package: Sport Chassis (this includes stiffer bushings, underhood strut brace, stiffer monotube dampers, lower ride height), paddle shifters, 19-inch alloy wheels ($1,000); Sport Seats with Charcoal Headliner ($500); Technology Package: Adaptive Cruise control w/Queue Assist & Distance Alert, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information, Active High Beam, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake, Lane Keeping Aid ($1,500); Otherwise same options as base T5 Drive-E.
- T5 Drive-E Platinum: Starts at $41,750. Notable standard features T5 Drive-E Premier: Convenience and Technology Package, Active Dual Xenon Headlights w/headlight washers, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, Harman Kardon Premium Sound System, Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake, unique exterior trim. Similar options as Premier.
- T5 AWD: Starts at $37,650. Notable standard features over base T5 Drive-E: 2.5-liter turbo I5, six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive. Similar optional content as base T5 Drive-E, except no park assist or Lane Keeping Aid available (Lane Departure Warning instead).
- T5 AWD Premier: Starts at $39,600. Notable standard features over T5 Drive-E Premier: 2.5-liter turbo I5, six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive. Similar optional content as T5 Drive-E Premier, except no park assist or Lane Keeping Aid available (Lane Departure Warning instead).
- T5 AWD Platinum: Starts at $43,250. Notable standard features over T5 Drive-E Platinum: 2.5-liter turbo I5, six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive. Similar optional content as base T5 Drive-E Platinum, except no park assist or Lane Keeping Aid available (Lane Departure Warning instead).
- T6 Drive-E AWD R-Design: Starts at $46,050. Notable standard features over T5 Drive-E Premier: 2.0-liter turbo and supercharged I4, eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, Sport Chassis (this includes stiffer bushings, underhood strut brace, stiffer monotube dampers, lower ride height), R-Design leather seating, R-Design exterior styling, 19-inch alloy wheels, R-Design unique interior and exterior trim, R-Design dual exhaust. Similar options as T6 Drive-E Premier.
- T6 Drive-E AWD R-Design Platinum: Starts at $49,450. Notable standard features over T5 Drive-E Platinum: 2.0-liter turbo and supercharged I4, eight-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, Sport Chassis (this includes stiffer bushings, underhood strut brace, stiffer monotube dampers, lower ride height), R-Design leather seating, R-Design exterior styling, R-Design unique interior and exterior trim, R-Design dual exhaust. Similar options as T6 Drive-E Platinum.
- Polestar: Starts at $61,300. Notable standard features over T6 Drive-E R-Design Platinum: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six, six-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, Unique Oehins shocks, performance tires, new twin-scroll turbo over previous T6 inline-six, unique intercooler, active exhaust system, unique transmission calibration, unique all-wheel drive calibration, big six-piston Brembo calipers, 371 mm front brake rotors,. unique interior trim, rear spoiler and diffuser, special 20" Polestar wheels, unique exterior colors, Climate Package w/Heated Rear Seats.
V60 Cross Country Trim Level Breakdown:
- Cross Country T5 AWD: Starts at $41,200. Notable standard features T5 AWD Premier wagon: 18-inch alloy wheels, Hill Descent Control, power retractable outside mirrors, rear park assist, additional ride height, unique exterior styling. Notable options: Blind Spot Information & Cross Traffic Alert, Front Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning ($925); Climate Package w/Heated Rear Seats: Heated front and rear seats, heated windshield wiper nozzles, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, Interior Air Quality System ($1,550); Climate Package w/Dual Two-Stage Child Booster Seats: Dual-two-state child booster seats, heated front seats, power child locks for rear doors, heated windshield wiper nozzles, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, Interior Air Quality System ($1,550); Convenience Package: Homelink remote garage door opener, Keyless Drive, rear park Assist Camera ($1,200).
- Cross Country T5 AWD Platinum: Starts at $44,850. Notable standard features T5 AWD Platinum wagon: 18-inch alloy wheels, Hill Descent Control, rear park assist, additional ride height, unique exterior styling. Notable options: Blind Spot Information & Cross Traffic Alert, Front Park Assist, Lane Departure Warning ($925); Climate Package w/Heated Rear Seats: Heated front and rear seats, heated windshield wiper nozzles, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, Interior Air Quality System ($1,550); Climate Package w/Dual Two-Stage Child Booster Seats: Dual-two-state child booster seats, heated front seats, power child locks for rear doors, heated windshield wiper nozzles, heated windshield, heated steering wheel, Interior Air Quality System ($1,550).
Which One We’d Buy
If we had to choose a V60, we’d go for the T6 R-Design. The one we really want is the Polestar, but those are made in such small quantities, it’s hard to get ahold of them, so R-Design it is.
The R-Design might be on the expensive side, but it’s packed with advanced safety features, and with 306 horsepower, that great new eight-speed gearbox, all-wheel drive and the “sporty” looks, it’s a proper premium experience, with better seats than in any German car.
We don’t think the base wagon would disappoint either, but the V60 feels like a car you would keep for a longer time, and if you plan to do so, you might as well make yours the best Volvo wagon in the neighborhood.
Important Facts At A Glance:
MSRP: $36,150-$61,300 [T5 Drive E-Polestar]
Top Speed: 155 MPH [Polestar]
Acceleration: 4.8-7.0 to 60 [Polestar-Cross Country T5 AWD]
MPG: 18-25 city / 27-37 hwy / 21-29 combined [Polestar-T5 Drive E]
Engines: 2.0L turbo I4, 2.5L turbo I5, 2.0L turbo and S/C I4, 3.0L turbo I6
Horsepower: 240-345 [2.0L-3.0L Polestar]
Torque: 258-369 lb-ft [2.0L-3.0L Polestar]
Curb Weight: ~3,527~4,000 [T5 Drive E-Polestar]
IIHS Safety Rating: Top Safety Pick + (S60)
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, eight-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front Engine, FWD/AWD
Photo credit: Volvo