2019 Volvo V60 review - is the new V60 estate the best of its kind? - Engine and gearbox

Volvo’s latest V60 is a brilliant estate car, but rather less entertaining to drive than it could be

Evo rating
Price
from £34,385
  • Superb comfort, intelligence, capability. Great to look at, and sit in too
  • Not sporty, and if you’re not into four-pots it might be a problem

Most of Volvo’s range hinges around a mixture of 2-litre petrol and diesel power plants, and the same applies to the V60. Currently, there are four engines available: D3 and D4 diesels, plus two petrols, T4 and T5, all sending their power to the front wheels alone. A T8 hybrid will top the range with 394bhp to rival cars such as the S4 Avant and AMG C43 Estate, but with an eco-twist. A tweaked Engineered by Polestar package, with bigger brakes, a slight boost in horsepower and various chassis tweaks will also join the range in the near future.

We drove the D4, which feels more than capable of achieving its quoted performance figures, but is otherwise typical of four-cylinder diesel engines in this class – that is to say relatively unobtrusive and entirely devoid of character. It’s audible at higher revs but not noisy, and it pairs well with either transmission, though in the manual it’s easy to be caught below the 1750rpm torque peak, at which point acceleration is glacial.

It feels better paired with the automatic. You don’t get steering wheel-mounted paddles for manual changes (which feels odd now they’re so commonplace, but not out of character for a Volvo product), but knocking the selector lever to the left allows you to change up or down by pushing forward and pulling backward respectively. When you do, the engine feels much more eager and the changes themselves are smooth and swift, and left in auto it’s as relaxing as you’d expect. 

T8 models have yet to arrive in the UK, although from prior experience in larger models with the same powertrain, the extra weight accrued from the plug-in powertrain means it never quite feels its full horsepower figure, although we’ll reserve judgement until we drive the T8.

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