Volvo V60 T8 – Polestar engineering, hybrid drive, and clean styling make this station wagon a winner. This may seem to go against the corporate grain, but the V60 Polestar provides the typical family-oriented, safety-conscious, solid-as-a-rock characteristics we expect from Volvo.
But under the hood of this cleanly-styled hybrid station wagon lies a 2.0-liter engine with both a supercharger and a turbocharger. Adding to this is an electric motor and the combined power plants can produce 415 horsepower and 494 lb-ft of torque.
So with this car you can have both worlds – eco-friendly driving on the lithium-ion batteries for about 40 kms before a charge is needed, and spirited road driving in what you would expect from an Audi or BMW sedan.
Polestar is the electric performance car brand jointly owned by Volvo Car Group and Zhejiang Geely Holding, launched in 2017 for the design, development and production of separately-branded, electric performance cars. The V60 is a part of this program.
LIKES: The V60 T8 is very solid, solid in its makeup, character, and entire DNA. Volvo is known for tight, well-built cars and this wagon continues that tradition. The T8 exudes confidence. Even with its stiff, performance-oriented suspension, the car rides well, thanks in part to the excellent seats.
WHAT’S BEST: Aside from the T8’s performance aspects, the heated seats and steering wheel in this car are the best in the business. The sophisticated suspension can be tweaked to suit individual tastes. The windshield washers are on the wiper blades and provide excellent coverage. The car is low, but the cabin is large and useful, and offers excellent sight-lines. And in today’s world of boxy-shaped vehicles, this station wagon is one of the best-looking cars.
WHAT’S WORST: The large, vertical 12.3-inch driver display reminds one of an I-Pad. There are too many functions which work only through this display, including all the air conditioning controls. To get at some functions the user must drill down through menus, which is not only frustrating but results in taking their eyes off the road.
Volvo’s blind-spot system works well with cross-traffic indicators lighting up in the door mirrors, but the crescent-shaped displays are not bright enough, and cannot be seen in certain lighting conditions.
OVERALL: The Volvo V60 T8 is a winner on many fronts. It has gobs of power with braking and road-handling capabilities to match. And it all comes with a very clean and restrained styling package. There are quirks one must get used to, such as the starter button on the console rather than the dashboard, and the remote key fob which has its functions on the side rather than the flat of the fob. Expect about 40 kms of driving on the motors before the engine is needed, and with a car of this weight, expect about 10-15 L/100 kms using high-octane fuel.
DETAILS: Price as tested: $84,350, base: $82,300
Engine: 2.0-liter inline four, turbocharged, supercharged, 16 valves
Power/Torque: 328 horsepower/ 317 lb-ft
Electric motors: 46 horsepower and 87 horsepower, providing combined 415 horsepower and 415 lb-ft with engine
Fuel Mileage: 10-15 liters/100 km
Drivetrain: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive, engine drives front wheels with a motor for front and rear axles, suspension comprised of double wishbone in front and tuned transverse composite leaf spring in rear, Öhlins adjustable shock absorbers on both axles, brakes are 370.84-mm vented and grooved discs front and 320.04-mm vented rears, 235/40R-19 tires
Specifications: Wheelbase, 2872 mm (113.1 inches), weight, 2048 kg (4522 lbs), fuel tank 60 liters, cargo area with rear seats in place 658 liters (23.2 cubic feet), 898 liters (31.7 cubic feet) with rear seat folded.