2017 Volvo V60 Performance

#4 out of 5 in 2017 Wagons

$19,795 - $33,883

2017 Volvo V60 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Volvo V60 was new.


Performance: 8.1

The 2017 Volvo V60 is a versatile wagon. Its balanced ride make it a smooth cruiser on the highway, and its nimble handling is good on twisty roads. The base power plant provides decent acceleration when you need it, but the optional turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder engines are more eager. Volvo’s use of smaller engines and forced induction – the use of turbochargers and/or superchargers – yields great fuel economy and impressive power.

  • "The 2016 Volvo V60 wagon feels as comfortable on winding mountain roads as it does on long stretches of open highway." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "Volvo is taking a big gamble with small engines for its entire product lineup, but our experience with the V60 Wagon with Drive-E shows us the Swedish brand may really be on to something. Stout power, combined with impressive fuel economy, will go a long way in helping Volvo prove that four equals more." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "The V60 won't shock you with one specific driving attribute, but the entire package is solid and honest." -- Motor Trend (2015)

Acceleration and Power

Powering the V60 T5 is a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an eight-speed automatic with manual shift and sport modes. It returns an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which are great estimates for the class.

With the T6 AWD R-Design trim, horsepower increases to 302, using a 2.0-liter turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder engine. For a wagon with some muscle, the performance-oriented Polestar trim comes with a 362-horsepower, twin-charged four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift and sport modes.

Power with the base engine is sufficient for most driving situations, and it doesn’t have a problem passing and merging on the highway. Fortunately, none of the V60’s engines suffer from turbo lag – the initial delay in acceleration due to the turbocharger’s need to gather up power. The T6 AWD R-Design and Polestar trims deliver truly snappy acceleration. The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts so smoothly, you may not even feel it.

  • "With Volvo's history of building wagons long on utility and safety but short on verve, you might be skeptical about the V60's performance. But the T5's turbocharged four-cylinder serves up strong acceleration without undue hesitation or racket, and the eight-speed automatic delivers quick, almost imperceptible shifts right when you want them. If you want more than just adequate acceleration, the T6 AWD R-Design delivers a strong punch that makes it feel more like a sport sedan." -- Edmunds
  • "Delivering excellent power throughout the rev band, the 2.0-liter turbocharged Drive-E is the best engine in the Volvo lineup, and the 8-speed automatic transmission complements it perfectly." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "While the 2.0-liter won't provoke oohs and ahs at the drag strip, it's smooth and responsive on the road, making reasonably short work of tight passing situations. The eight-speed auto is more responsive than many in normal automatic mode, and the optional paddle shifters add an element of additional control when the driver gets into decreasing radii and switchbacks. The driver can choose between Normal and Sport modes, but the transmission will upshift on its own when approaching redline in either." -- Car and Driver (2015)

Handling and Braking

While not particularly sporty, the V60 strikes a great balance between ride comfort and confident handling. It handles rough patches in the road with ease, and it suppresses noise from the outside quite well. Because of its quiet and comfortable ride, it makes a great road-tripper. Front-wheel drive comes standard, but all-wheel drive is optional.

V60s with the Sport Package have steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a sport chassis, larger wheels, and customizable steering profiles. Though handling is sharper and more responsive with this package, the ride gets to be a little firm. Still, critics say it’s more fun to drive than the Subaru Outback, which is one of the better-performing wagons.

  • "Through turns, the V60's responsive steering delivers a reassuring amount of effort. We wouldn't call it a sport wagon, but the V60 isn't a sleepy, kid-carrying grocery-getter either. Overall, we like its balanced approach to ride and handling. The T5's available Sport package further sharpens the base model's handling, but what started as a big, soft comfortable ride can end up a little too stiff for some because of the firmer suspension and bigger wheels." -- Edmunds
  • "The available Sport package is a must, adding a stiffer suspension that controls body lean in sharp corners while retaining the ability to soak up nasty road imperfections. Although not as precise as a BMW 328i, the V60's steering, brakes and acceleration are all what we'd consider performance-oriented, and certainly make it much more fun to drive than a Subaru Outback." -- Kelley Blue Book (2016)
  • "… the V60 feels exceptionally solid, even over broken pavement. It's quiet and comfortable around town and on the freeway; definitely something I could see doing a long trip in." -- AutoWeek (2015)

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