V90 over V60

The Volvo V60 debuted today and already my wagon allegiance is being tested: is it me or is the new midsize Volvo wagon more wagon-ey than the fullsize V90 that came out a while back? I tried my best to compare them and, honestly, I think my initial impression is right.

Look at how much more upright the V60 is compared to the V90.

V60 over V90

Volvo is interesting here because I think of it being the same company that brought us both the most upright, vertical, practical wagons and the most laid-back, stylish, non-practical wagons as well. Cars like the Volvo 240 through even the Volvo V70 represent the former. Cars like the V40 and the previous V60s represent the latter. Those newer cars very much fit the “Sportback” kind of wagon that’s certainly roomier than a sedan, but not as roomy as a wagon could be, trading room for looks.

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V60 over V90

Volvo even put together a photo showing this back-aging when the V90 came out:

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The V90, annoyingly, seems to follow this trend pretty hard. It is more about looking like a wagon than hauling a bunch of pine boughs down from the mountains, as my dad did every year for Sukkot in our mustard yellow 240. That’s fine. The 240 wagon was intended to be a normal person’s car. The new V90 is a luxury vehicle. Certainly the last S90 I drove, complete with white leather interior, was not intended for carrying pine about.

V60 over V90

The V60, though, is more like the older Volvo wagons than the V90 is. Look at how much more vertical that rear is. Look at how much more glass you can see on the V90 from top-down.

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V60 over V90

That said, both of these cars do suffer from the space deficiencies of modern cars. Look at how thick the V60's pillars are, designed to withstand the toughest crash tests. The old 240 that my parents used to stuff me into in the back-back seats had super thin pillars, making for a lovely view of all the cars staring at me on the highway, but probably wouldn’t have been great if my dad got distracted, stopped short, and we got rear-ended. Dad did get distracted, but not while driving.

V60 over V90

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In any case, I went and dug up the specs for the two wagons, as published by Volvo when the V90 came out in 2016 and today for the V60.

Here’s the V60:

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Here’s the V90:

Since those specs don’t perfectly align, I thought it’d be useful to compare the dimension drawings for the two cars.

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Here’s the V60:

Here’s the V90:

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All in, it seems like the V90 will give you more space just by being bigger, but it looks like the V60 is more efficient with the platform that it has. Though The V90 may be more spacious technically, I still hold to the idea that the V60 is closer to the wagon ideal.

Not that I’ve got a problem with either. Bring on the wagons, America is waiting for ‘em.