12 MONTH CAR REVIEWS: 2015 Volvo V60 T5 - Nostalgia in Nashville

July 18, 2014
2015 Volvo V60 Profile With 740
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Long-Term 2015 Volvo V60 Update - SUMMER 2014 (1 OF 1)
Miles To Date: 6041
When I was growing up in Nashville, TN, Volvo was one of the first brands that made a significant impression on me. It seemed like every other family at school had a Volvo wagon, and I was always jealous of the kids who got to ride in those fun, rear-facing third-row seats. I took our Four Seasons 2015 Volvo V60 on a recent trip home to Tennessee and went Volvo-hunting around a few Nashville neighborhoods to try and find some throwback Swedish long-roofs.
2015 Volvo V60 Front Three Quarters With 240
Fast forward to 2014, and Volvo is once again making a station wagon, the 2015 Volvo V60. It doesn’t have any seats in the cargo area, and it doesn’t look much like the Volvo 240s, 740s, 850s, and 960s of yore, but does still have those great seats, heavy doors, and the same center stack layout that make it feel quintessentially Volvo to me. As I drove around Nashville with a friend in the V60 looking for old Volvos, I found a surprising number, wagons and otherwise (see pictures in the gallery). Almost all of them appeared to still be in use as daily drivers, an impressive testament to the long-term durability of these Swedish sedans and wagons.
What I didn’t see, though, were many Volvos from about 2010 onwards. Volvo sales have been steadily declining in recent years, down from a high of 139,384 cars sold in the U.S. in 2004 all the way to a paltry 61,233 sold in 2013. So what’s the deal? I think part of the problem is that Volvo is now competing in a different price class than it used to. Older Volvos were premium enough for a lawyer or doctor to drive early in his or her career, but weren’t so nice that these lawyers and doctors had any qualms about giving it to their kids as a hand-me-down later on. A few friends said they had always viewed Volvo as a mainstream brand about on par with Honda and Toyota, but with a slightly more interesting, European image. As evidenced by our modestly equipped 2015 Volvo V60’s $40,825 sticker, that’s not the case anymore, and Volvos are now competing with BMW, Audi, and Mercedes. That’s a tough crowd to run in, and Volvo’s sales have suffered accordingly.
2015 Volvo V60 Profile With V70
This is not to say that the new 2015 Volvo V60 isn’t a convincing luxury vehicle, because it is. It looks great inside and out, with clean, modern exterior lines and high-quality interior materials like soft leather on the seats and nicely grained plastic on the dashboard. The V60 is also extremely quiet, and the chassis strikes a near-perfect ride and handling balance. The suspension controls impacts well, giving the car a supple, solid feel, but the steering is accurate and the car doesn’t have much body roll which makes for surprisingly nimble cornering.
I was also impressed by the new Drive-E turbocharged four-cylinder. In my opinion, it compares favorably with BMW’s well-regarded 2.0-liter turbo four, as the Volvo feels punchy and flexible throughout the rev range. My only disappointment was with the Drive-E engine’s fuel economy. I got an average of 32 mpg, according to the trip computer, on my highway trip to Nashville, which would be impressive for a 240-hp luxury wagon if it weren’t for the absurdly high 37-mpg EPA highway rating. To be fair, I had the cruise control set between 75 and 80 mph, so on my way back to Michigan I made more of an efficiency effort. Once I slowed down to 70 mph, I was able to hit an indicated average of 35 mpg. If you really want to hit 37 mpg, some more extreme hyper-miling may be required.
Stay tuned for more updates on our 2015 Volvo V60 T5 as we near the end of a busy summer road trip season and get to know our Swedish wagon a little better.
2015 Volvo V60 Profile With S40s
Body style 4-door hatchback
Accommodation 5-passenger
Construction Steel unibody
Base price (with dest.)$38,775
As tested $40,825
Engine 16-valve DOHC turbocharged I-4
Displacement 2.0 liters (120 cu in)
Power 240 hp @ 5600 rpm
Torque 258 lb-ft @ 1500-4800 rpm
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive Front-wheel
EPA Fuel Economy 25/37/29 (city/hwy/combined)
Steering Electrically assisted
Lock-to-lock 2.6 turns
Turning circle 37.1 ft
Suspension, Front Strut-type, coil springs
Suspension, Rear Multilink, coil springs
Brakes F/R Vented discs/discs
Wheels 18-inch aluminum
Tires Continental ContiProContact
Tire size 235/40R-18 95H
Headroom F/R 38.7/37.6 in
Legroom F/R 41.9/33.5 in
Shoulder room F/R 57.0/55.2 in
Wheelbase 109.3 in
Track F/R 62.1/62.0 in
L x W x H 182.5 x 73.4 x 58.4 in
Passenger capacity 92.0 cu ft
Cargo capacity 43.8 cu ft
Weight 3527 lb
Weight dist. F/R 61.0/39.0%
Fuel capacity 17.8 gal
Est. fuel range 520 miles
Fuel grade 87 octane (regular unleaded)
STANDARD EQUIPMENT Leather-trimmed seats Auto-dimming rearview mirror Power-folding exterior mirrors Keyless entry and ignition 17-inch aluminum wheels Roof rails Rearview camera Grocery-bag holder Halogen headlights LED running lights 12-volt power outlet Cruise control Hill-start assist Bluetooth audio and phone connectivity Auxiliary audio jack USB port Power sunroof Power front seats Power-folding rear head restraints SiriusXM satellite radio w/6-month trial subscription
Flamenco Red metallic paint- $550
Sport package- $1500
Paddle shifters
Dynamic chassis
Beechwood leather-trimmed sport interior
18-inch aluminum wheels

Long-Term 2015 Volvo V60 Reviews to Date:

2015 Volvo V60 T5 - Nostalgia in Nashville
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Photo Gallery

  • I first happened upon this old 240 wagon.
  • These two 960s and one XC90 looked to belong to one household...
  • ...As did these twin 850s.
  • The boxy old 240s show a stark contrast with the sleek V60.
  • Same with this rectangular 740.
  • As we get into more modern wagons, the similarities are more apparent.

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