When people hear the brand Volvo being mentioned, most of them associate it with things like safety, relaxing to drive and not very exciting. Although the Swedish manufacturer doesn’t have a long history of producing more radical vehicles, it is worth remembering that more than 20 years ago it was Volvo of all manufacturers who entered the WTCC, BTCC and DTM racing series with an 850 Wagon. A station wagon race car! Who does that?
Today however we are reviewing a more mildly mannered station wagon. Once again, the people at MOTO PFOHE were kind enough to provide me with a demo car to review. The car in question is the 2019 Volvo V60 D4.
The first thing you notice is how much bigger it is than the previous generation. It is also significantly larger than its main competitor – the Audi A4 Avant. At 4761 mm, it is a whole 23 mm longer than the Stuttgart representative. It is also 8 mm wider, while being 8 mm lower. The wheelbase of the Volvo is a whole 57 mm longer, so on paper you get more car for the money.
As tested our demo car costs nearly 56 000 euro. For this price, you can get the “Inscription” trim level, which is the highest one available. The engine of choice was the 2.0 liter turbocharged diesel in its higher output form, producing 190 horsepower and 400 Nm of torque, coupled to the familiar 8-speed automatic. All wheel drive is optional. Ours was a front wheel drive.
Exterior wise, I have to say I am a fan of Volvo’s new design language. The V60 is by far the most athletic looking station wagon, the brand has ever given us. While the previous generation was a bit too soft, this one is a bit more angular, but without being boxy like the old school Volvos. If I have to summarize the exterior of the car, I would say it’s the best of the older and newer designs of Volvo – an elegant mix of the 1990s boxy design and the fluidity of 21st century.
The interior is very well executed, and has a very premium feel to it. What they say about the “cold Scandinavian design” doesn’t apply here, especially in out two-tone interior. Every element is formed with a minimum amount of curves and looks very tidy and organized. The digital gauge luster is easy to read and the needles have what you would call a trailing effect, which makes them easier to see. It’s also a nice touch. Just like in all new Volvo cars, the center console is dominated by the 9 inch infotainment touchscreen surrounded by two enormous vents. The upper dashboard is nice and soft to the touch, further down we have brushed aluminum, chrome trim and, in our case wooden applications.
Everything is simplistic, yet stylish. A truly nice place to spend time in. The seats are extremely comfortable and well padded. The back seat is good for three people, and head and leg room are plentiful. At 841 liters, the V60 has by the far the most cargo space in the segment. Fold down the rear seats and it becomes 1364 liters.
As with most new cars, we have to talk about the infotainment system. I’m not a fan of any of them, but I have to admit, the idea of controlling most features from a single screen is appealing. Sadly, I don’t think anybody has nailed it yet. That goes for Volvo as well. It’s just not intuitive enough.
Volvo have always offered great alternatives for more individualistic people, and continue the trend up to this day. With the introduction of their new lineup, you have even more reasons to consider them as a viable alternative to the German brands. The V60 doesn’t want to be a jack of all trades. It doesn’t run away from its nature. It was clearly meant to be a very comfortable long distance cruiser, and to deliver a pleasant driving experience. And I have to say, it does so effortlessly.