This year has finally brought the conventional Swedish wagon back to North America.
Based on S60 architecture, the all-new 2015 Volvo V60 adds a practical and sexy alternative to the regular three-box sedan. Available with three different engines, two transmissions and two drivetrains, the V60 offers a lot of choice.
But for those who want it all, there is the R-Design T6 AWD that adds more performance, style and price to the regular V60. On the outside, the R-Design features a unique front end treatment with a matte black grille and LED daytime running lights. In the back there’s a rear diffuser with aero fins surrounded by oval shaped R-Design tailpipes.
To see what our general consumer reviewer thinks of the reemergence of a luxury Swedish wagon, we borrowed one from Volvo and put her behind the wheel for a week.
The V60 R-Design T6 AWD comes powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 that has received the Polestar tune to make 325 hp and 354 lb-ft. of torque. That is quite a bit of power, even with the 3,790-lb. all-wheel drive R-Design weighing 250 lbs. more than the base V60. Despite the generous power and weight, the R-Design is still rated to achieve 19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. During her time with the car, our reviewer Amanda achieved an average of 22.2 MPG.
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The V60 is capable of towing upwards of 3,300 lbs. like many crossovers and that should cover a small boat or tent trailer. Starting at a base price of $36,225 after destination charges, our fully loaded, V60 R-Design T6 AWD came in at $51,775.
How Does it Drive?
The V60 R-Design comes standard with a sport chassis that is designed to enhance handling at the expense of ride comfort. Despite this, Amanda did not find the ride comfort overly harsh and praised the Volvo’s sophisticated driving dynamics.
The refined drive was secondary though to the power. Although the first few stop signs may have been left with the tires squealing, she quickly adjusted to the ample levels of instantaneous torque and fell in love with the off-the-line grunt the V60 provided.
The View from Inside
The Volvo’s interior matches its price tag in terms of fit and finish. Amanda liked the layout of the dashboard and found all the controls easy to find. The highly contoured seat didn’t fit her small frame well and she found her optimal driving position had the seat too close to the steering wheel, even when telescoped all the way in.
Being a wagon, sight lines all around are good and shed like the rear seat headrests that can be folded electrically with the touch of a button on the center console.
Amanda, like most of us, likes the look of the V60. The overall space inside the car, including a maximum cargo capacity of 43.8 cubic feet, is also much appreciated. The load and step-in height of the wagon versus a crossover also garnered praise as she is not the tallest of drivers and could easily access all aspects of the V60.
SEE ALSO: 2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E Review
Of course, the overall driving experience of the R-Design has to be mentioned again, as well as the ample power. The V60 is also easy to park for its size thanks to a clear, crisp backup camera monitor and the front parking sensors.
What She Didn’t Like
The navigation system drew ire from Amanda as she found using the dial to select numbers and letters to be slow and tedious. The keyless entry, one-touch entry system didn’t always work for her properly either, even though the key was in her purse when she approached the car.
Her biggest complaint has to do with the front seat. Aside from not being able to reach an optimal driving position, she is also not a fan of the aggressive side bolsters. Since she sunk so deep into the seat, Amanda found the only comfortable driving position was with her hands always at 10 and 2 position because 9 and 3 is obstructed by her elbows hitting the bolster.
Although she wasn’t initially wowed by the V60, it’s one of those cars that grew on her, even after she gave it back. The more she drove her car, the more she realized just how refined and powerful the V60 is. Even with a price tag of $50,000+, the V60 is an all-year, all-around practical luxury vehicles worth its price.
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6, 325 hp and 354 lb-ft. Transmission: Six-speed automatic Fuel economy: 19 MPG city, 28 MPG highway. We averaged 22.2 MPG Price: V60 starts at $36,225 after destination charges, our fully loaded V60 R-Design T6 AWD came in at $51,775
GALLERY: 2015 Volvo V60 R-Design T6 AWD
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