2019 Volvo V60 Wagon Review: Why a Luxury Wagon Might Be Your Next Car

Volvo V60

Don’t you love a station wagon?

There was a time when there was one of these in every driveway. They are the original family car with room for the kids, the dog and the groceries. The station wagon was the perfect suburban American car.

Then they were replaced by minivans and SUVs and even 4 wheel drives, hybrids, and EVs. But really, there’s no better car for a family than the station wagon. Even if your definition of family is a stylish couple, a close-knit tribe or parents of fur babies.

Related: This may be Volvo’s most popular car ever, the XC90 3-row SUV

Volvo V60

The Volvo V60 wagon interior. Photo: Volvo

Who the Volvo V60 Wagon is For

  • Singles, couples or small families
  • Families with dogs
  • Drivers who appreciate the space and flexibility of an SUV but want the size and scale of a sedan
  • Drivers who need all-wheel drive
  • Drivers who want a chic and stylish car
Volvo V60

The ignition dial in the Volvo V60 lets you stop and start the car; a drive mode selector toggle lets you pick your drive settings–Pure, Power and AWD. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What This Car Costs

  • V60 T5 Momentum, nicely outfitted with 8” infotainment system, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, drive mode settings, panoramic sunroof, power tailgate, rain sensing wipers, interior air quality system, road sign reader and lane keep assist, starts at $38,900
  • V60 R Design, which adds navigation, bending headlights (they ‘bend’ in the direction you’ve turned the steering wheel), lane keep assist, blind spot monitors and R Design details including a unique front grille, wheels and a black leather interior, starts at $43,900
  • V60 Inscription, which adds many premium features including 12.3” display, navigation, Harman Kardon premium sound, blind spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert and T6 engine with AWD and the option of luxury seats with massaging ($2,200) and park assist pilot ($200) which selects a parking spot and steers the car into the spot while you control the car’s speed, starts at  $49,400
  • Upgrade to the T6 engine with 316 horsepower, turbo and all wheel drive, $4,500
  • The T6 Momentum model we drove had the Advanced package, which adds a 360 degree surround view camera, adaptive cruise control, and active bending lights and the Multimedia package ($2,500), which adds the larger 12.3” display, head up display and navigation, and the heated steering wheel and heated rear seat package ($750), was priced about $52,840, including $995 delivery charge.

We shared our experience in the Volvo V60 on Facebook:

Ta-ta Frumpy Wagon, Hello Chic Car for the City!

The V60 just got a huge makeover and I must say, it’s quite nicely done. The week I drove the V60 I got comments from everyone. People loved the overall style of the V60, the color, the lines and inside, the luxurious details. 

The new design includes more muscular and defined exterior lines that give this wagon a cleaner, more refined look. The front end has toned and slimmed headlights and a more chiseled look. And the frame of the car is a bit longer and a little bit lower than the last model. 

The model I test drove was finished in blonde leather and City Weave plaid upholstery, giving it the feeling of an inner sanctum or the lounge and fitting room a Ralph Lauren store: Every detail comes together for an elegant, refined feel, even if you’re in yesterday’s yoga pants and a paint stained polar fleece running the kids (late, of course) to school.

Related: Ever wonder what goes into building a car to perfecting standards? We visited the Volvo factory and found out! 

Luxe Interior Details and a Standard Panoramic Sunroof Make This Car a Must-See

Inside, some of the modern details that make Volvo a favorite with fashionistas are in full force: Leather covers all the surfaces (this is a package or trim-level option), there are wood and chrome details, in the model we drove the blonde leather and the car’s controls are neatly organized in the touch screen and the entire interior is illuminated by the panoramic sunroof, a standard feature, and alone might make this car worthy of your must-see list.

Volvo V60

The new Volvo V60 at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show press conference. Photo: Volvo

A Great Wagon for Wagon Fans

You know who the wagon fans are: the guys. Guys like wagons for their low center of gravity and long wheelbase that make them fun to drive. They also love the size and space, especially the cargo space. Add a bit more power and vroom, and they’re smitten.

Here’s the station wagon back story: In the days when wealthy landowners shuttled out to their estates for the weekend to hunt fox or shoot quail, they needed someplace to put their guns. Someplace accessible and not compromising. So they bumped out the boot on the saloon, somewhere between a lorry and a carriage, the shooting brake was born. Fast forward a hundred years and today, we call this the station wagon. [Translation: they bumped out the trunk on the car, somewhere between a truck and a passenger car, and the station wagon was born.]

The V60 carries that tradition on nicely. It was perfect for our week-long test drive in wintery Connecticut, handling the curving, hilly roads nicely and providing plenty of comfort for driving friends around. The cargo area is perfect for snuggling under a wool blanket with a thermos of coffee spiked with a healthy splash of chocolate for an afternoon of watching dressage practice, and when the wind gets too cutting, the heated seats in both the front and back seat take the edge off the winter chill.

Related: Yes, adventure wagons are a thing!


All the Perks of an SUV Without the Towering Height

The reason women love station wagons, however, can be summed up in one word: Accessibility. You can easily get things in and out of the cargo area. Kids can climb in and out easily on their own. The rear seat should have plenty of leg room for full-sized passengers or installing child passenger car seats (in this case, rear legroom was ample). Dogs, even ones with short legs, can access the back seat or the cargo area with ease. And for those of you who haul kayaks, bikes or paddle boards, they can be easily tied to the rooftop.

But then there’s the best perk: being able to easily clear the snow off the roof. There’s nothing worse, or more dangerous, on the highway than driving around with a huge lump of frozen snow on your roof. Eventually, it will loosen and fly off and could cause an accident, or worse, a pileup, behind you. Many states have made this illegal, but alas, if you can’t see the top of your car, much less reach it, how can you clear it before you hit the road? The V60’s height solves this problem.

Volvo V60

The view of the front seat with the City Weave interior upholstery. Photo: Volvo

That Interior. That interior!!!

I have to come back to this because Volvo’s interiors are so integral to the appeal of these cars. In this case, we drove the entry-level trim, the Momentum, outfitted with the larger T6 engine and all-wheel drive. It was immediately striking for its interior, upholstered in City Weave, a charcoal and cream plaid fabric surrounded by blonde leather and underpinned with charcoal carpets. I normally dislike fabric seating but in this case, I’m convinced. It was simply sublime and with leather trim surrounding the fabric, it was comfortable. Everywhere I went, people remarked how beautiful it was. Men loved it, so did women. Accented by the panoramic sunroof and set off by the beautiful Birch Metallic exterior paint, these design options are an elegant backdrop to any life, whether it’s filled with kids, dogs, daily trips to school and the office or coveted jaunts to the beach. Whatever your life, this is an elegant way to live it.

Volvo V60

The infotainment screen in the Volvo V60 Wagon. Photo: Volvo

The Volvo Infotainment Display: Tons of Tech, Simple and Human-Friendly

This feature is universal to all Volvo models and one that I’ve become a huge fan of The infotainment system. If you buy a Volvo I recommend upgrading to the 12.3” display; it’s easier to use and easier to see. Here is what I love about this system:

  • The system is segmented in 3 screens: the main screen, which has four areas: Navigation, entertainment, weather, and phone;
  • A fifth area, climate, is static at the bottom of the screen; no matter what you have displayed in the main section the climate control and heated and cooled seat setting options remain on display;
  • Just under the screen is a home button; any time you want to return to the main screen just tap the home button;
  • At the top of the button is an icon consisting of two small lines; click these lines for settings; you can access the owners manual, set up the sound system to your liking, set up climate, communication, and phone settings;
  • Swipe to left and you get system controls such as rear and surround view camera settings, controls to turn on and off blind spot monitors, active bending lights, head up display, corner illumination (which activates a light on the side of the car when making a turn), and semi-autonomous Park Assist with park in and park out options— just tap this to activate the system and
  • Swipe right to access music sources and apps, including Apple Car Play, Google, Spotify, Pandora, and Volvo’s app
  • Just underneath the infotainment screen is a static button bar; you can turn on or off the radio and adjust volume (if you have a teen driver you know how important this is!), select defrost and emergency flashers.
Volvo V60

Buttons on the steering wheel let you set your driver information, which shows the distance to the car ahead of you and the speed limit. Photo: Scotty Reiss

Pick your V60 Trim Level: Define Your Style and Add Luxury to Fit Your Life

So here’s the thing about Volvo: Every model offers tons of luxury features, even at the starting price. Basically, pick the interior you want and work from there. With few exceptions (massaging seats, for instance) most upgrades can be added on. Or, move up to the next trim level and many of those features are added as standard equipment.

And, you get the choice of a station wagon. This is something that many car brands no longer offer, and that many car buyers have even forgotten is an option. Until you get into one and are reminded, you can have all the perks of an SUV, the style of a sedan and all the space for your tribe.

Volvo V60

The head-up display projects key driver information on the windshield in front of you. Photo: Scotty Reiss

What We Loved

  • The gorgeous interior
  • A fun drive experience thanks to the 316 horsepower twin turbo
  • The Birch Metallic color of the model we test drove
  • The panoramic sunroof, which is standard
  • Handsfree motion activated the tailgate
  • The nicely designed and organized touch screen
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto which activates when you plug in your phone
  • The upgraded 12.3” infotainment display
  • Multiple drive modes, selectable via the drive mode dial next to the ignition toggle
  • Buttons located in the cargo area put the center seats down for you
  • Capless fuel tank

What You Need to Know

  • Uses regular fuel
  • The T6 engine with 316 horsepower and all-wheel drive is estimated to get about 21 MPG city/31 highway; we experienced about 20 MPG during our test drive
  • Does not have a jump seat third row, which many wagons are known for
  • Seats 5 but more comfortable for 4
  • Has Isofix child passenger safety seat anchors
  • 4 year/50,000 mile basic warrant

What We Listened to in the Volvo V60 Wagon

Every great car needs a great soundtrack! This is what sounded really great on the premium Harman Kardon sound system.

Disclosure: The Volvo V60 wagon was provided for this review; all opinions are my own.

This Is Not The Wagon Of Your Childhood. It'S Chic And Stylish, Filled With Features And Its Lower Height Means All Those Comforts Are Accessible.

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss