The 2018 Volvo V60 is among the last of its breed: a compact luxury station wagon. It’s available in a variety of flavors that prioritize comfort, performance, and even off-road ability.
Although the V60 is among the oldest designs in its class, it retains an upmarket feel let down by some cumbersome controls and an interior that can be tight for a full load of passengers.
Overall, it’s 7.2 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
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The 2018 V60 is available in Dynamic, R-Design, Polestar, and Cross Country configurations, each with its own unique take on family and gear-hauling. Its only change of note for 2018 is a standard cold weather package with heated seats and heated steering wheel. What else would you expect from the Swedes?
Overall, the V60 is starting to show its age, especially since Volvo’s crossovers and its larger wagon and sedan are far more modern in every way. Still, the V60 is a compelling choice partly because of its limited competition. Want a small wagon with an upmarket feel? Your shopping list will be short and the V60 makes a good case for itself.
Available with either front- or all-wheel drive, the V60 Dynamic uses a 2.0-liter turbo-4 engine rated at 240 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which Volvo brands T5. The V60 Cross Country splits the difference between wagons and crossovers with its taller ride height and chunky looks. It shares the Dynamic’s 240-hp engine.
From there, the lineup gets a little sportier. The V60 R-Design has a firmer suspension, larger alloy wheels, and a version of the 2.0-liter that’s both turbo- and supercharged for 302 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque called T6 in Volvo-speak.
Topping the lineup is the pricey but unrivaled V60 Polestar, the only high-performance compact luxury wagon on the market. That’s admittedly a small market, but those who do plunk down upward of $60,000 for one will be rewarded with an Ohlins race-derived suspension and an uprated engine with 362 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque—impressive figures for a small displacement inline-4.
The V60 Dynamic’s personality is serene, with a comfortable ride and good performance. Dynamics are as peppy as most of us will need, while the V60 Polestar does a good job impersonating a sports car on a twisty road. With an additional 2 inches of ground clearance, the V60 Cross Country is Volvo’s take on the Subaru Outback. It’s tighter but dressier inside, which helps justify a price tag that climbs to nearly $50,000 with a few options selected.
Most V60 buyers pick the wagon over the related S60 sedan for its cargo capacity: about 25 cubic feet, which swells to nearly 44 cubes when the second row is folded forward. Otherwise, the wagon mirrors the sedan’s comfortable front seats and good, but not exceptional, rear seat room. The long-wheelbase version of the S60 sedan isn’t available in a wagon configuration.
Safety, always a Volvo hallmark, is delivered in spades in the V60—with one odd exception: a rearview camera is optional on the base wagon. Otherwise, all versions come with automatic emergency braking and have performed well in crash-testing.