Monday, July 15, 2024
Should-you-buyShould You Buy A 2023 Volvo V60?

Should You Buy A 2023 Volvo V60?

Now a rare species in North America.

  • The 2023 Volvo V60 starts at $50,095 in the United States and at $56,120 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • Solid feel, comfortable seats, rugged wagon looks and practicality.

  • Sticky brakes, no Android Auto integration, small on-screen climate controls.

Car shoppers with a preference for station wagons over crossovers don’t have much choice anymore, but there still are a couple of manufacturers that offer some in North America, and the 2023 Volvo V60 is part of that short list.

Volvo actually offers two wagons, the V60 and the Volvo V90, although the latter is only offered in high-riding Cross Country configuration, which blurs the line between wagons and crossover vehicles. The V60 can still be ordered in the conventional wagon body style, as well as in the Cross Country variant.

As it stands, the only direct competitor to the 2023 Volvo V60 is the Audi A4 allroad. Wagons are no longer offered BMW’s North American lineup, and the only one available at Mercedes-Benz in Canada and in the U.S. is the E-Class All Terrain, which competes with the V90.

Volvo is also one of the rare automakers to offer hybrid, plug-in hybrid or fully electric powertrains across its entire lineup. The 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country, which we tested this time around, is equipped with a mild hybrid, turbocharged 2.0L inline-four that develops 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, dubbed the B5. According to the manufacturer, this engine provides 0-60 mph dashes of 6.6 seconds or 0-100 km/h in 6.9, and a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds or 907 kilograms. Meanwhile, city/highway/combined fuel economy numbers are set at 23/30/26 mpg in the U.S., 10.1/7.7/9.0 L/100 km in Canada. During our winter test, we managed 23 mpg or 10.3 L/100 km.

The Canadian market gets the regular V60 with the B6 engine as well, a supercharged, turbocharged and mild hybrid 2.0L four that churns out 295 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. The 0-100 km/h dash is a done deal in 6.0 seconds. Fuel economy is pegged at 10.3/7.6/9.1 L/100 km, so marginally worse than with the B5 engine.

And then there’s the 2023 Volvo V60 T8 Recharge and its plug-in hybrid system. The 2.0L four gets a turbo, an electric motor and an 18.8 kWh battery (14.9 kWh usable), producing 449 horsepower and 523 pound-feet of torque. Not only is the T8 very powerful, allowing for a 0-60 mph sprint of 4.4 seconds or 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6, but it’s also reasonably efficient with a combined fuel economy rating of 31 mpg or 74 mpge in the U.S., 8.0/7.2/7.6 L/100 km or 3.0 Le/100 km in Canada. Driving range is estimated at 40 miles or 64 km, and on a 240V outlet, the battery pack can be fully charged in about 5 hours.

All three powertrains are matched to an eight-speed automatic transmission, which feeds power to an all-wheel drivetrain.

In comparison, the Audi A4 allroad is equipped with a turbo 2.0L four that develops 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. City/highway/combined fuel consumption is set at 23/30/26 mpg or 10.1/7.9/9.1 L/100 km, so pretty much the same as the Volvo’s B5 and B6 engines.

While the U.S. market gets two trim levels for the 2023 Volvo V60 Cross Country—Plus and UItimate—the Canadian market also offers a base Core trim level for the V60 T6 and the Cross Country. The Core variant includes cloth upholstery instead of leather, and a few missing items such as adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system and power child safety locks, in order to keep the base price down. The Ultimate gets a Harman/Kardon Premium Sound system, head-up display, four-zone climate control, 19-inch wheels, Nappa leather seats in a choice of four colors, a crystal gear shift lever from Orrefors as well as ventilated front seats. Heated rear seats and a heated steering wheel are standard on the Canadian Ultimate trim, optional on the U.S.-spec variant, while massaging seats and a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system are available, too. Meanwhile, the V60 Recharge is available in a single Polestar Engineered trim level in both countries.

In the United States, the 2023 Volvo V60 Cross County ranges from $50,095 to $55,395 before options, while the V60 T8 Recharge starts at $71,845. In Canada, pricing ranges from $56,120 and $68,520 for the V60 and Cross Country, while the V60 T8 Recharge starts at $80,120. All prices include freight and delivery charges.

Why You Should Buy a 2023 Volvo V60

  • Subjectively, for those who think wagons are cool, the V60 looks good. The V60 Cross Country cranks up the ruggedness a couple of notches with its elevated ride height, plastic wheel arches and lower-body cladding.
  • The V60 feels safe and solid, even before perusing the list of active and passive safety features. Volvo has long been focused on occupant safety and it shows.
  • As usual in the brand’s vehicles, the 2023 Volvo V60 is equipped with very comfortable and very supportive front seats.

  • The V60’s interior boasts a typically Scandinavian, beauty through simplicity design with an uncluttered dashboard, tasteful wood trimmings and just the right amount of brightwork. Fit and finish is also quite good.
  • On the road, the V60 serves up excellent road manners without being too harsh or sporty, and the Cross Country’s extra suspension height swallows up bumps and cracks with a little more cushiness than with the regular V60.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2023 Volvo V60

  • Apple CarPlay connectivity is standard, but Android Auto isn’t available. The V60 comes standard with Google built-in infotainment, including four years of online services such as Google Assistant, Google Maps and more. After those four years, owners must pay a subscription fee or lose some features. In other words, if you’re an Android user, you’ll eventually have limited connectivity options.
  • Volvo’s infotainment system takes some getting used to, but the small button zones make it distracting to use while driving. It’s especially the case for the climate controls, which are almost all on screen. While we like the dashboard’s minimalistic design, good old rotary dials would be preferable.

  • The V60’s brakes keep the vehicle immobilized even after releasing the pedal, and when we press the accelerator, even gently, the callipers release their grip on the discs with an unrefined feel. It’s mildly irritating, especially with passengers on board who’ll end up thinking that we’re clumsy behind the wheel.
  • The turbo 2.0L engine is powerful enough for the daily commute, even in base B5 form. However, under full-throttle acceleration, it doesn’t sound very good, especially given the V60’s price. It’s also the case for the T6 and T8 Recharge powertrains. As for the latter, it may be powerful and torque-rich, it’s nowhere near as exhilarating and rev-happy as 400-plus-horsepower mills found in performance-focused BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi vehicles.

Final Word

The 2023 Volvo V60 is practical, attractive, comfortable and solid. The Cross Country variant is the choice for those who take an unbeaten path to the cottage, while the T8 Recharge serves up a decent EV-only range and strong straight-line acceleration.

On the other hand, we’d like a better climate control interface, Android Auto integration and less sticky brakes. Nothing here is a dealbreaker, but some improvements would make the ownership experience a little more convincing. On the other hand, it’s not like there are many direct competitors left on the North American market.


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