Seeing an opportunity to differentiate itself in an auto industry that has wholeheartedly embraced SUVs and crossovers as mainstream utility vehicles, Volvo has turned to its station wagon roots for its newest compact car model, the V60.
Like the S60, the V60 comes in T5 FWD and T6 AWD trims. Both use a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine making 250 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque in the T5, while the T6 adds a supercharger for 316 hp and 295 lb-ft. As that description suggests, the T5 is a front-driver and the T6 comes standard with AWD. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard with both powertrains.
Volvo faces little direct competition with its wagon models, as even German automakers like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz have largely abandoned the station wagon market in favour of more profitable SUVs. The V60 certainly won't sell in huge numbers, but it is a damn fine-looking way to get you and a bunch of your stuff around.
Audi's closest thing to a small wagon is the A4 Allroad, which takes the A4 wagon offered in other markets and adds a lifted suspension and SUV-esque styling cues. There's a BMW 3 Series Touring (wagon) based on that car's outgoing design; the company hasn't confirmed whether the incoming generation will offer a wagon option. Finally, Mercedes-Benz has a C-Class wagon that's also new -- and very good-looking -- for 2019.
The V60's cabin is built around a large touchscreen that houses the Sensus Connect infotainment system. This is where most of the car's secondary controls live, and Volvo says it has boosted the system's processing speeds by 50 per cent to make it easier to live with.
Momentum trim includes automatic engine start/stop, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8.0-inch LCD customizable instrument cluster display, electric front seat adjustments with power lumbar, panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, LED headlights, Apple and Android smartphone integration, 17-inch wheels and power-folding rear headrests.
Standard safety features comprise front collision mitigation support, lane keeping aid and park assist.
At the top of the range, T6 Inscription trim gets comfort front seats with ventilation, fully-digital gauge cluster, navigation, driftwood interior trim and stitched instrument panel.
Volvo's fuel consumption estimates for the S60 are 9.9/6.6 L/100 km (city/highway) for the T5 FWD powertrain and 11.1/7.3 for T6 AWD versions.