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Volvo V60 (2010-2018) Review logo

Volvo V60 (2010-2018) Review

Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60
Volvo V60

1/10

Volvo V60

2/10

Volvo V60

3/10

Volvo V60

4/10

Volvo V60

5/10

Volvo V60

6/10

Volvo V60

7/10

Volvo V60

8/10

Volvo V60

9/10

Volvo V60

10/10

1 / 10

  • Launched in 2010
  • Estate
  • Petrol, Diesel, PHEV
  • Launch year
    2010
  • Body type
    Estate
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, Diesel, PHEV

Interested in buying a Volvo V60?

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heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Oddly compromised yet appealing estate

Best bits

  • Extremely safe
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Newer D4 diesel engine is excellent

Not so great

  • Curiously impractical for a Volvo estate
  • Not very sporting for a ‘sports wagon’
  • Interior is ageing badly

Read by

Volvo V60 Right Side View

Overall verdict

Volvo V60 Driver's Seat

On the inside

Volvo V60 Rear Side View

Driving

Volvo V60 Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volvo V60 Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Volvo V60 is not a capacious estate car, but it is a sound choice overall. It’s comfortable, very safe and offers an excellent D4 diesel engine. Now at affordable used prices, it’s an intriguing, better-value alternative to a premium German estate."

Volvo V60 Right Side View

Tradition has it that a Volvo estate car should be a big, boxy thing. Its design would be made up solely of straight lines, mirroring the grandfather clock its antique dealer owners will often load into the back. That was old Volvo, though. The V60, launched in 2010, is one of the new breed. Boxiness was out, sleekness was in.


Volvo didn’t even want us to refer to the V60 as an estate when it was new. This was a ‘sports wagon’. Forget grandfather clocks, get your surfboard. The age of the target market seemed to have been halved overnight, with the V60 heralding a new era for the Swedish firm.


What happens in the minds of marketeers, of course, doesn’t always transfer into reality. Rather than celebrating its new, youthful focus, many at the car’s 2010 launch wondered where all the space in the back had gone. A Mercedes-Benz C-Class was bigger. Even an Audi A4 Avant was bigger. The Volvo estate car was a tradition the firm seemed intent on breaking, by giving us a car that wasn’t very good at being an estate.


Luckily, the rest of it bore scrutiny. The sister car to the Volvo S60 saloon, this really was a bit of a transformation for Volvo. Its older small cars had felt like big cars with the ends chopped off. The V60 was much more lithe and agile, engaging in a way previous Volvos had not. 


While not a car that could quite eyeball premium alternatives such as the Audi, Mercedes and BMW 3 Series Touring, it helped Volvo on the way to its current, genuinely premium status. Maybe intentionally being the ‘anti-estate’ was a clever long-term marketing ploy after all.


The 2010 cars are fine, but we’re concentrating here on later, facelifted versions. The first set of updates came in 2013, with another batch of upgrades in 2016. If you’re browsing the classifieds, you’ll pick these cars out by their bigger, bolder chrome-framed grille, complete with enlarged Volvo logo in the middle. If you want something more rugged, there is also the Volvo V60 Cross Country.


The big news was the introduction of a Volvo-designed diesel engine called D4. This replaced earlier Ford-sourced motors, and was a huge step on. The D4 is powerful, smooth, quiet and extremely economical. Even today, it still stands up, and is an excellent second-hand choice.


Indeed, a facelifted Volvo V60 is now very affordable for such a safe and comfortable car. Few cars of this era pay such close attention to safety, both protecting you during a crash and helping avoid one in the first place. And in terms of overall cabin ambience and seat comfort, it’s still a top-notch car: far more welcoming than the family hatchback alternatives.


It’s far from perfect, this era of Volvo V60. There are niggles you need to be aware of, and the sheer compactness of the boot is still amusing for famed estate car specialist Volvo. But there’s plenty to draw you to a V60, even more so if you choose the right engine and spec. Let us be your guide.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Volvo V60 (2018-) review.

Is the Volvo V60 right for you?

The Volvo V60 won’t be right for you if you’re after a super-practical load-lugger. It’s the anti-Volvo-estate, with restricted space and a sporty rake to the rear window (which will shatter if you slam it against anything remotely box-shaped). Buy a Volkswagen Passat Estate if you need a car of this size to serve as a genuinely practical estate.


In other respects, it’s more interesting. More than any of its predecessors, this was a car that you could imagine people switching from an Audi or a BMW into. Particularly in facelift guise, it’s a car that’s nice to drive, with powerful and smooth engines, plus a good haul of luxury-level interior options.


Think of it as a modern Volvo and try to ignore the nagging voice in your head saying it should be the world’s best mid-size estate car. It’s not. But as a sporty wagon, it’s actually not half bad. Maybe the marketing people were onto something.

What’s the best Volvo V60 model/engine to choose?

No question, the best engine is the 2.0-litre D4 turbodiesel. This was the first of the modern range of engines that now dominate Volvo’s range. It punches well above its weight and is a key part of the V60’s gradual ascendancy to near-premium status throughout its lifetime.


Volvo fiddled around with the model line endlessly during the V60’s lifetime, but one consistent aspect was the R-Design trim grade. That’s the one we’d go for, as it looks smart and has a stylish interior – including a brilliant set of seats. You can even have it in a vivid blue, so it looks not unlike a high-performance Polestar Volvo. In our eyes, an R-Design D4 in Rebel Blue really is ‘peak V60’.


What other cars are similar to the Volvo V60?

Premium alternatives to the Volvo V60 include the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate. A semi-premium but similarly convincing (and much more commodious) alternative is the Volkswagen Passat Estate, and there are more mainstream options in the form of the Ford Mondeo Estate, Vauxhall Insignia Sport Tourer, Skoda Octavia Estate and Peugeot 508 SW.


Inevitably, many looking at an estate car will also be lured by an SUV. Options include the related Volvo XC60, as well as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.

Learn more

Volvo V60 Driver's Seat

On the inside

Volvo V60 Rear Side View

Driving

Volvo V60 Right Side View

How much does it cost to run

Volvo V60 Rear Side View

Prices, versions and specification

Interested in buying a Volvo V60?

View Volvo V60 cars for sale