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Volvo V60 Wagon 2011 Review

The humble station wagon seems to be making a comeback.

More and more car makers are reintroducing wagons into their lineups, but not the wagon as we remember it. These are "sports wagons", much more exciting carry alls that sacrifice some practicality to style. A prime examaple of this is Holden's stylish Sportwagon with its smaller luggage area.

The latest manufacturer to add its name to the list is Swedish car maker Volvo, which has just unveiled a wagon version of its mid-sized S60 sedan, called the V60 (the V is for versatility).

VALUE

Priced from $54,950, it has the looks and performance to put the German big three on notice.

TECHNOLOGY

The S60/V60 are all the more interesting because one of the engines offered by Volvo will soon power the Ford Falcon. The GTDI 2.0-litre turbcharged, direct injection four cylinder petrol engine is known to Ford as the EcoBoost engine and is set to replace the long serving straight six in the Falcon in the months to come.

In the Volvo, it generates 177kW of power and 320Nm of torque and is paired with a six-speed double-clutch robotised manual.

We've driven quite a few of these so called "manumatics" in the past couple of years and this one is the smoothest and most responsive so far.

Fuel consumption for the entry level V60 T5 model with this engine is 8.7 litres/100km and the car accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 7.7 seconds. Not bad.

The V60 is also offered with a 2.5-litre five cylinder turbo diesel and a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol six which powers the top of the line model. The diesel is good for 151kW and 420Nm of torque while the six produces 224kW and 440Nm.

The cars are designated T5, D5 and T6 respectively.

DRIVING

We got to drive the T5 and T6 this week at the launch in Albury. Although the T6 hits harder, its sports suspension, larger 18 inch wheels and low profile rubber contribute to a much harsher ride.

The ride in the T5 with 17s on the other hand is impressive, but smaller wheels are always a harder sell.

The 2.0-litre turbo produces a satisfying amount of power. It's quiet and comfy, with a smooth ride and plenty of grip. The suspension did an outstanding job of soaking up potholes and undulations that we encountered on country roads.

SAFETY

As a Volvo the V60 is of course choc-o-block with safety equipment including the City Safety system which is standard across the range.

The car is fitted with a number of cameras and radar sensors and will automatically brake at speeds of up to 30km/h to prevent rear enders in traffic. We were however disappointed to learn that a reversing camera is not standard nor is the pedestrian detection and braking system. The latter is parcelled as an option with Active Cruise Control.

Audible reversing sensors are standard and Volvo argues they are more useful than a camera. If you want Active Cruise Control it will cost you another $4175 or you can take the whole Driver Support Pack for $4990 which includes lane departure warning and the BLISS blind spot awarness system. Interestingly, the NRMA offers a discount on insurance premiums for Volvos fitted with City Safe.

The D5 diesel model carries a $6000 premium while the T6 with the flashy R Design goodies tops out at $72,150.

VERDICT

The V60 gets a big thumbs up from us.

VOLVO V60

T5/T5-R D5 T6/T6-R
Engine: 4-cyl, 16 valve DOHC Gas Turbocharged Direct Inject 5-cyl, 20 valve DOHC twin-turbocharged diesel 6-cyl, 24 valve DOHC turbocharged petrol
Power: 177kW@5500rpm 151kW@4000rpm 224kW@5600rpm
Torque: 320Nm@1800-5000rpm 420Nm@1500-3250rpm 440Nm@2100-4200rpm
Top speed: 230 km/h 225 km/h 250 km/h
Fuel economy: 8.7 l/100km 7.1 l/100km 10.3 l/100km
Fuel tank: 67.5 litres    
CO2: 205 g/km 188 g/km 247 g/km
Weight: from 1860 kg    
Transmission: 6-speed automatic    

Pricing guides

$13,850
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$9,000
Highest Price
$18,700

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
T6 3.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $11,400 – 16,720 2011 Volvo V60 2011 T6 Pricing and Specs
T5 R-Design 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,600 – 14,520 2011 Volvo V60 2011 T5 R-Design Pricing and Specs
T6 R-Design 3.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $12,200 – 17,710 2011 Volvo V60 2011 T6 R-Design Pricing and Specs
T5 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,000 – 13,530 2011 Volvo V60 2011 T5 Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$9,000

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.