2019 Volvo V60 T6 AWD Momentum new car reviews

When word got around several years ago that Volvo was done with regular wagons in the U.S., it was a sad day. Well, wagon-lovers rejoice: Volvo not only course-corrected and reintroduced the non-lifted wagons back into the U.S. in 2014, they've also fully redesigned them, driving them straight into our hearts.

With Subaru now referring to the Outback as an SUV and Buick’s Regal TourX unavailable sans black body cladding, it’s refreshing to see Volvo recommit to not only the versatile wagon, but also to a design language that harkens back to Volvos of yore.

And the wagon is no slouch, either. From Volvo:

“The V60 is powered by Volvo’s Drive-E powertrains. Apart from petrol and diesel variants, the V60 is also available with two plug-in hybrid options: the new T6 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340hp or the T8 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in that delivers 390hp.”

We had a T6 AWD in 310 horsepower, non-hybrid guise and it was plenty quick.

Here’s hoping the Volvo wagon is here to stay.

Other staff views

Tom Suddard Tom Suddard
Director of Marketing & Digital Assets

Nothing warms my heart quite like a Volvo wagon, and I loved my time with the V60. They're the Goldilocks of cars, and this one stayed true to that theme.

Power is ample but not overwhelming, with a quick transmission that makes the car seem faster than it is until you really mash the gas and realize that, no, that really is all it's got. Interior space is just right, too, with a big enough trunk to handle my day-to-day without the excess of most SUVs that would be better served by an occasional truck rental.

Oh, and that infotainment system: Yes, it's like a giant iPad glued to the dash. Yes, it's my favorite interface ever. As soon as I realized "oh, it's like an iPad!" it was quick, easy, and intuitive. Kind of like the rest of the car.

If I could only have one vehicle, it would probably be this Volvo. Perhaps my only gripe about this is the price: Though we sampled the big-motor T6 with some pricey options, I have to wonder if the slower, less-expensive base model that starts at less than $40,000 might be a killer deal.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

Long live the wagon.

See all of those SUVs out there? This is what the masses should be driving. It’s big enough for stuff yet handles like a car. In my world, we call that a win-win.

BMW has, sadly, abandoned this market in the U.S. An E-Class wagon starts at $64,000. That leaves Audi and Volvo to duke it out.

I enjoyed my time with the Volvo. The center control–basically an iPad welded into the center of the dash–is intuitive to use. Yes, it’s not old-school, but it didn’t require much time to figure out. Love the navi display in the center of the gauge cluster.

Driving dynamics are totally on par. Plenty of power. Good steering feel–great wheel, too. Quiet cockpit. Things liven up a bit when the Dynamic drive mode is engaged, although I’d be happier to see the transmission downshift a tad quicker.

I loved the seats. Even after three hours in them I felt fine and fresh. (I even dig the plaid pattern.)

The tie-downs in the way back are much appreciated.

Negatives? It’s not an R-Design, the sportiest version of the V60. I realize that it doesn’t add power, but it does look meaner. Either way, good job, Volvo.

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Comments
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Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/21/19 1:59 p.m.
Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/21/19 2:04 p.m.

My mother has an older V50 and when it was in for service, the dealer gave her a S60 similar to this as a loaner.  She is not a fan.  Hard to say why.  The car feels bigger than her V50. And while she had an iPhone, she had difficulty with the ICE pad.  She is not one to connect her phone to the car and listens to the old fashioned radio.  It took me a few minutes to finally force-dial it to the station she wanted.  

Any ICE screen that requires taking you eyes off the road to make minor changes I am not really a fan of.

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/21/19 3:09 p.m.

In reply to Ian F :

The car feels bigger because it is bigger - this is the 60 series, not the 40/50 series.  They also dispensed with the S60 SWB version and only offer the LWB S60L platform now.

You don't have to poke around on the screen once you have it set up.  You can tune the radio to your preset stations and change volume from the steering wheel, or from the dash buttons immediately below the touchscreen.

The voice command system actually works very well, too.  So you can tap the voice command button on the wheel and say "Play 88.5 FM" and it will tune right to it, even in a car that is not personalized.

 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
8/21/19 4:00 p.m.

I honestly like the look of it, and I don't say that about many cars today.  But beauty as we all know, is but skin deep. 

infinitenexus
infinitenexus Reader
8/22/19 6:37 a.m.

These cars look nice in photos but they look absolutely incredible in person.  My wife saw one and was like "What is THAT?!"

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/22/19 7:33 a.m.

I think they're really pretty and would consider owning one.

That said a lot of the reviews I have seen complain that the active safety systems are absolutely MADDENING on US roads. The comments indicate they probably work great in Europe where people largely know how to drive and exercise proper highway discipline but are a frustrating mess on this side of the pond.

Anyone who has experience with one care to chime in on that point?

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/22/19 7:40 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

I'm sure the systems work fine.  I only had a few minutes to fiddle with it.  But bear in mind, my mother is 71 years old and is not a big "tech" person.  Even some of the features on her V50 took her a number of years to get used to.  And by "feels bigger" I mean it just "feels big" - like no smaller than my Grand Caravan minivan which is a substantially bigger vehicle.  Of course, I'm pushing her to look at a Buick Tour X wagon, which is similarly sized to, if not slightly bigger than, the V60.  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/19 8:58 a.m.
pointofdeparture said:

I think they're really pretty and would consider owning one.

That said a lot of the reviews I have seen complain that the active safety systems are absolutely MADDENING on US roads. The comments indicate they probably work great in Europe where people largely know how to drive and exercise proper highway discipline but are a frustrating mess on this side of the pond.

Anyone who has experience with one care to chime in on that point?

If you're talking about this Jalopnik hatchet job then I am here to say that reviewer could not be farther off base.  First off, he's radically exaggerating the response profile of any of the nannies, and second off, by his own admission he never bothered / was too stupid to make any adjustments to them.

My wife has a 2017 S60 and I have the 2019 V60 I posted here, both with the Advanced package, which includes adaptive cruise control and the full slate of nannies.  Both are AWD.  We live in the metropolitan northeast / midatlantic area, so we're no strangers to crowded roads full of American drivers.

In particular he complains about the cross-traffic alert, and how it slams on the brakes and takes the car out of gear.  In 2 years neither of our cars has ever done anything remotely like that, and we both back out onto a busy cut-through street at least 6 days a week.  Second off, if it really does bother you that much, when the car is in reverse you can turn it off with one tap without taking your hand off the shifter.  It's a dash button on our 2017 and it is a touch screen button on the 2019 that automatically pops up with the backup camera screen as soon as you shift into reverse.

In 2 years / 12,000 miles of daily driving between the 2 cars, the collision alert has popped up maybe 6 times total, and we drive on a variety of very busy commuter streets and freeways.  None of those times did it overreact, and in none of those cases did it "slam on the brakes" as the idiot Jalopnik reviewer claims.  It has tapped the brakes for me with the alert, reacting immediately while I was already moving my foot across anyway, and it is capable of applying full brakes to mitigate a collision if necessary.  They specifically do not claim that it will completely stop the car to avoid a collision; just reduce speed as much as possible.

It is most likely to be triggered by the sudden appearance of a vehicle in your path, particularly when turning, such as when an oncoming car swings wide toward your lane, or you make a lane change into a lane with much slower traffic ahead. That is exactly what it is designed to do.  If it bothers you, you can turn it off or just not get the package in the first place (it is standard on the Inscription trim, I believe).

The collision alert is part of the adaptive cruise control, and uses the same radar system that maintains the following distance.  Your preferred following distance can be set via steering wheel controls, from "my defensive driving instructor would applaud" all the way down to "you probably can't see my front bumper in your mirror".  This same setting adjusts the collision alert's intrusion tolerance before reaction.

The adaptive cruise works great, by the way.  Very smooth, and capable of bringing the car to a full stop in traffic.  To start moving again all you do is touch the throttle.

I have never knowingly triggered the traction or stability control on either of the Volvos under any situation (including putting the V60 in full droop the other day) - unlike both the 325i and the TSX they replaced.  I have felt the ABS kick in once or twice, but it is very unobtrusive as well.

Speaking of brakes - the brakes on both Volvos are excellent.  Smooth, good feel, responsive but not grabby.

 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/22/19 9:01 a.m.
Ian F said:

In reply to Duke :

[B]y "feels bigger" I mean it just "feels big" - like no smaller than my Grand Caravan minivan which is a substantially bigger vehicle.  Of course, I'm pushing her to look at a Buick Tour X wagon, which is similarly sized to, if not slightly bigger than, the V60.  

I have a 2012 Town & Country parked in front of the V60, and the V60 is - and drives - much smaller than the minivan.  I have no trouble hustling the Volvo around narrow back roads.

I like the Tour X a lot, too.  I just wish it came in the lower, un-plasticked version they originally showed us.

 

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
8/22/19 9:20 a.m.

I saw one of these in the flesh yesterday and they look like crisp. 

 

pointofdeparture
pointofdeparture PowerDork
8/22/19 10:15 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

That is good to hear. I don't recall that Jalopnik reviewer being the only one to complain - I believe C&D had some more muted criticism as well - but it is nice to know that there is a large swath of adjustability in the system if present.

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
8/22/19 10:33 a.m.

In reply to Duke :

I'm sure once you get used to it the V60 is fine.  Just initial impressions were not good for her.  My guess is the seat wasn't adjusted for her well enough - dealers have a tendency to leave them in loaner cars low and back.  And she would probably do well to raise the base as high as it can go for better visibility.  Right now, she's the proverbial "gray haired old lady who can barely see over the steering wheel" which does not give her confidence behind the wheel. A Tour X would be no different.  Much of this I blame on the dealer who really didn't show her much about the car - just handed her the key and sent her on her way.  Not what you should do if you're hoping to get someone with an aging V50 with continuing issues to fall in love with the newer version of that car.   Especially if that someone could write a check for a new car tomorrow if she did fall in love with it.  Hopefully the dealer can fix the persistent sunroof drain leak and she can have her car back.

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