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Volvo V60 2015 Review

2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
EXPERT RATING
7
Joshua Dowling road tests and reviews the Volvo V60 Polestar in Sweden.

The name Volvo doesn't normally end up in the same sentence as a fast car. The brand that built its reputation on safety is known for its practical designs. But when you do too good a job at being responsible it can start to feel a bit boring after a while.
 
Which is why the Swedish car maker that gave the world the three-point seatbelt -- and hasn't charged one cent for any other brand to use its patented design -- is throwing caution to the wind and dabbling in vehicles with a bit of extra oomph and some styling pizzazz.
 
This is the V60 Polestar. The V60 part, in Volvo speak, tells you it's the family wagon of the range. Polestar means it's been tuned by the same outfit that represents Volvo in the Swedish motor racing series.
 
Australia was one of the first countries in the Volvo world to experiment with a racy model to try to peel away the brand's dowdy image. It was so successful other countries have followed.
 
A little more than one year later Volvo has made some subtle changes to the Polestar sedan and wagon, while leaving the same less-than-subtle blue paint on the colour chart.

  • 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar
  • 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar 2014 Volvo V60 Polestar

DESIGN
 

Power is unchanged from the previous Polestar upgrade and it still comes with race-ready brakes. The biggest difference is the step up to bigger wheels and tyres: from 19-inch to 20-inch rims.
 
This may not seem like much difference but when it comes to bragging rights, every bit counts.
 
The problem is that, when it comes to cars, it's often a flawed logic. Making the wheel rim bigger means a lower profile tyre must be fitted.
 
And tyres are a big part of what takes the thud out of big pot holes. Chiropractors love it when people make this kind of upgrade.
 
In Volvo's case, it also means the already poor turning circle is made even bigger. Volvo fits special "stops" on the steering rack so the bigger wheels don't scrape when you turn them on full lock.
 
So it is with great trepidation that we embark on a four-hour drive from Volvo's home town of Gothenburg to the Swedish capital of Stockholm during the recent launch of Volvo's new XC90 seven-seat SUV.

DRIVING
 
The purpose of the exercise was the show us how much the handling had improved after feedback that the first Polestar edition wasn't quite up to the hype.
 
Usually, demonstrating handling prowess would involve pointing the car at some corners. Unfortunately, it's a rather direct route between the two big cities. And so, apart from a roundabout and one junction, I really didn't get to turn the wheel that much.
 
The one or two corners encountered did leave me with the impression that's there is no radical improvement in the steering (it's a bit too heavy and the feeling changes more than normal as you turn the wheel).
 
So it left me a little skeptical about the wheel and tyre upgrade.
 
You see, although the perfectly manicured freeway was billiard table smooth, the bigger wheels and tyres did exaggerate any bumps in the road. We drove over a cigarette butt and I could feel it.
 
Once we got into town, helpfully, we had to cross a stone cobbled street. Agreed, there aren't many of those in Australia, but it was enough to confirm my suspicions.
 
The 20-inch wheels may look stunning but they come at a price: comfort. Call them the high heels of the car industry, then.
 
Unfortunately, after four hours of driving in a straight line on a smooth road for most of the time, there's not a lot I can add other than to say we will reserve judgment until we test the car locally. And the paint looks nice, but if you want to protect your resale value go with a conservative colour like black, silver or dark grey.

Pricing Guides

$42,900
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$24,310
Highest Price
$61,490

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
D4 Kinetic 2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $24,420 – 30,140 2015 Volvo V60 2015 D4 Kinetic Pricing and Specs
D4 Luxury 2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $24,310 – 30,030 2015 Volvo V60 2015 D4 Luxury Pricing and Specs
D4 Luxury Cross Country 2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $24,530 – 30,250 2015 Volvo V60 2015 D4 Luxury Cross Country Pricing and Specs
Polestar 3.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $53,460 – 61,490 2015 Volvo V60 2015 Polestar Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$53,460

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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