Volvo is steadily modernizing its entire lineup, and the results have been excellent so far – cars like the XC60 have been winning awards right and left. The V60 is next to the chopping block, which means that 2018 is the final year for this generation. Lucky for us, the 2018 Volvo V60 is no slouch itself. The powertrains and feature sets show their age, but the V60 is a polished and practical vehicle with surprisingly few competitors. With plenty of customizability and Volvo’s immaculate safety record, the V60 makes a strong case.

Best Value

The V60’s trim levels have a lot to offer – the Cross Country is a versatile take on an upscale Outback, and the Polestar does an excellent sports-car impression. But the best value is still the base Dynamic trim. Volvo’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine pumps out 240 horsepower and 265 pound-feet of torque, which is plenty of oomph for most buyers. With judicious package selections, the V60 is a luxurious and high-tech wagon at a competitive price.

The first package we’d add would be the Vision Package, which adds the safety technologies we wish were standard: blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alerts, rear parking assist, and a rearview camera. The Technology Package adds the rest of the high-tech goodies: adaptive cruise control, intelligent wipers and high beams, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking. Top if off with a cold-weather package, and you have a wagon that'll make you feel like a king.

Even after destination fees and all those packages (plus all-wheel drive), our V60 rings up at less than you’d pay for a bone-stock BMW 3-Series wagon. Not bad.

  • Model: 2018 Volvo V60 Dynamic
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • Output: 240 hp / 258 lb-ft
  • Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • MPG: 22 City / 33 Hwy
  • Options: All-wheel drive ($2,000), Vision Package ($1,950, Homelink, push-button start, adaptable instrument display, blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic alerts, rearview camera, rear parking assist), Technology Package ($1,500, adaptive cruise control, rain sensor, intelligent high beams, drowsiness alerts, lane keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, distance alerts, road sign information), Heated Seats/Heated Steering Wheel Package ($750).
  • Base Price: $39,245 (including a $995 destination fee)
  • Best Value Price: $45,445

Performance

Volvo V60

The V60 lineup includes three engines. After the base 2.0-liter (which powers both the Dynamic and Cross Country trims), the next step up is a turbo- and supercharged inline four producing 302 hp in the V60 R-Design. But if you want performance, the one to have is the Polestar, which tweaks the engine up to a full 362 hp. All three are capable and friendly, especially in combination with a comfortable chassis. Fuel economy is also excellent – in front-wheel-drive form, the V60 gets an EPA-estimated 29 miles per gallon combined, which is excellent for the class.

None of the engine iterations are quite as refined as those powering the German offerings. The suspension on the R-Design is also too firm for our tastes (the setup on the Polestar is much better). The softer suspension on the Dynamic and Cross Country trims is forgiving, but lacks the athleticism of some small wagons.

Style

Volvo has quietly built an identity around clean, smart-looking cars. The V60 eschews traditional wagon boxiness for a smooth and curvy figure. Utility is plentiful, with about 25 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the seats and 44 with them lowered. That’s as much as many small crossovers. The V60 Cross Country adds even more versatility, with two inches of extra clearance and rugged unpainted fender flares. Making practicality look stylish is no easy feat, but Volvo seems to have it down. It’s also worth mentioning the V60’s safety credentials – its S60 sister sedan was an IIHS Top Safety Pick, and the V60 has aced every crash test it’s taken.

On the interior, the V60’s age shows more. The center stack is filled with clusters of buttons, which feels dated next to the high-tech systems on display elsewhere. The infotainment system itself is cumbersome and lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. As a minor annoyance, some of Volvo’s option decisions are irksome. On a car in this price range, a rearview camera should be standard.

The Best and Worst Things

The V60 nails a recipe that few cars do – utility and luxury in a small and stylish package. Its only real downfalls are the dated powertrains and infotainment system.

Right For? Wrong For?

Volvo V60

The V60 is just the car for buyers who need the practicality of a crossover but don’t want the bloat. It drives better than small SUVs, and it’s much more attractive than most. The Polestar is a niche vehicle, but for those who want a performance wagon, it’s one of the best options available.

For families who need the extra space and size, Volvo’s own XC60 is a hard car to turn down. It’s priced only slightly above the V60, and it offers SUV capability in a more modern package.

The Bottom Line

Next year’s redesign should bring some welcome changes, but the 2018 Volvo V60 is nothing to sneeze at. It’s a competent and alluring luxury wagon, with enough variety to suit most buyers. Volvo’s traditional fortes of style, practicality, and safety are well suited to wagons, and the V60 nails all three.