REVIEW: 2022 Volvo V60 - It Is THE Volvo To Own!Reviews
Volvo Car Malaysia had a bumper year in 2021, selling in excess of 2000 cars (their best sales year in Malaysia) despite battling with a pandemic, is the reintroduction of a wagon in the form of the V60 going to help VCM have another record-breaking year?
It was during a dinner with new Volvo MD, Charles Frump in early January that VCM confirmed the arrival of the V60 and that too in CKD form. That took me by surprise because it was definitely a bold move on the part of the new MD, to CKD a body form that is not popular among Malaysians, even more so now with SUV-ganza taking over.
The Volvo V90 was launched in Malaysia in March 24, 2017.
The last time Volvo launched a wagon or estate in Malaysia was back in 2017 with the introduction of the V90 - anecdotal yes, but how many of those do you see on our roads today?
The wagon or estate body form has always been more of an enthusiast's want, sure many will gawk and awe at the silhouette of the V60 but will that translate into sales? I certainly hope so because the V60 is the best of the Volvo '60' range and if that doesn't at least make you curious enough to turn your gaze away from the Swede's German neighbours to the south then odds are, nothing will.
The Volvo V60 only comes in one variant in Malaysia, in T8 Inscription form. It retails for RM287k which is only an additional RM4k premium over its sedan sibling, the S60 R-Design. The SUV XC60 T8 Inscription Plus retails for RM325k.
Some other top-line specifications:
- Engine: 4-cylinder turbocharged, supercharged with an 11.6kWh lithium-ion battery
- Power: 407 hp
- Torque: 640 Nm
- Transmission: 8-speed Geartronic
- Safety: City Safety - Collision Avoidance & Mitigation with Intersection Support Pedestrian, Cyclist & Large Animal Detection, City Safety with Steering Support and Braking, Front & Rear Collision Warning & Mitigation Support, Driver Alert Control (DAC), Lane Keeping Aid (LKA), Run-Off Road Mitigation with Road Edge Detection, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Steer Assist, Cross Traffic Alert (CTA) with Auto Brake, Seat Belt Detection with Graphical Indicator for All Seats, Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Pre-Prepared Restraints (PRS), Run-Off Road Protection, Dual Stage Driver & Front Passenger Airbags, Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) with Dual Chamber SIPS Airbags, Full-Length Inflatable Curtains (IC), Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) for Front Seats, Post-Collision Auto Braking & Unlocking, Collapsible Steering Column, Brake Pedal Release, Energy Absorbing Seat Cushions (it is a VOLVO)
Drop Dead Gorgeous
When you stand and stare at the Volvo V60, you can almost imagine that the Volvo '60' range was first conceived in wagon form before then being adapted to a sedan and SUV. The way it flows from the front grille to the rear haunches is sublime. It is a symmetry of angularity and rounded edges at its finest. I am hard-pressed at time of writing to name a better-looking car that I have had the pleasure of driving. Do yourself a favor and park the car nose first every chance you get because that rear is a view to appreciate, gawk at, even bask in.
I am not a big fan of the chrome Inscription grille upfront, much preferring instead the R-Design black grille but that is me nitpicking. From all angles, corners, the 2022 Volvo V60 is quite simply a stunning car. I dare say it takes home the mantle of Most Gorgeous Volvo - at present, at least in Malaysia.
The Driver's Seat
Now, this just might be me but I definitely felt the breadth and width of the V60 a lot more acutely than the S60 (it is the same dimensionally except for a 2mm height increase in the V60). That didn't make it more difficult to maneuver or drive, it just made me more conscious, especially around tight parking and spiral parking ramps but fret not. This is where the Park Assist Front & Rear and the Park Assist Pilot, Parallel Parking & Perpendicular Parking come in handy. Not to mention the 360-degree Surround View Camera. While I'm not yet a big proponent of tech replacing the human eye, I will admit having all of the above on the V60 did help me return the car without any dings or scrapes.
One must situate oneself in a Volvo to come to appreciate the simplicity of the 9-inch central touchscreen that means most if not all functions are only a swipe away for the driver. I especially appreciate that all the available active safety options are displayed clearly on the screen and I can simply click to enable to disable it, not having to fiddle with the signal stalks and guessing my way through the myriad of options available.
For the driver looking ahead, the 12.3-inch display is clear and crisp. All the relevant information you require is in front of you. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard which makes navigation and music a lot more seamless.
I appreciate music when I'm driving, and I like my music loud. The Harmon Kardon 600W 16-speaker beams clean crisp audio all around the car and because I have a young child, I was even able to set the music delivery to be more driver-focused so it was quieter in the rear. I currently have Dermot Kennedy's After Rain on loop and it does sound so much richer in the V60 even to my uninformed ears.
What I don't care for, however, in the cabin of the V60 and many other Volvo's is the chrome surfaces that reflect sunlight into your face, the Orrefors crystal gear lever while a very nice premium touch is also a bit of an annoyance especially when it catches the light - especially given how harsh Malaysian sunlight can be.
The Rear Passengers
Because the V60 is quite low-slung to the ground, the ingress point for the rear passengers is also quite low. This is where the convenience of stepping into your seat when in an SUV is unrivaled by a sedan or wagon. If you're thinking of ferrying your parents, grandparents, or people with limited mobility then this is a point of consideration.
The space in the rear though is a very comfortable place to be in, I had a baby seat and my wife in the rear and besides the ingress, she was very content to be driven around.
The panoramic sunroof is a highlight especially if you have a child, driving in the rain or under a bright night sky just adds a bit more to the occasion. I often found myself driving at night with the cover fully retracted.
Step On It!
The V60 has a 0-100 km/h time of 4.6 seconds - the benefits of being supercharged, turbocharged and electrified.
And it drives as spiritedly or as sedately as you want it to. It is more than happy to amble along in Hybrid mode as you go about your day, the 19-inch wheels on 235/40 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres soak up undulations, potholes and uneven surfaces with grace, rarely ever do you feel the car unsettled. It is a very capable/ comfortable city or even highway cruiser.
If you're feeling a little cheeky though, put it in Power mode and the accelerator pedal response gets sharper, the gear shifts get quicker, the steering is faster and you're giggling like you've just had a dose of nitrous oxide. Gosh, it is exhilarating! There's a limited number of cars on Malaysian roads that will be able to beat you in a traffic light to traffic light drag race (not that we're encouraging you to do so).
One omission that you will notice is how the Drive mode selector scroll switch is no longer placed behind the gear lever. Access to Drive modes is now through the Sensus central touchscreen. A rather glaring omission of convenience if you ask me.
If you are expecting the aural experience that comes with an inline-6, V8, or its other equally delicious sounding NA brethren then you will be sorely disappointed, the V60 sounds more like a kitty cat than a puma but here I contend in an everyday car, would you rather the roar of an exhaust note or the adrenaline rush from that almost instantaneous acceleration? I find myself leaning to the latter. I'm beginning to believe that unless it is a track-focused sports car or supercar I don't mind a quieter car for the day to day especially one with the explosive acceleration of a PHEV or BEV.
Oh dear, is that a sign of aging or evolution?
Push the V60 around the corners and it never feels unsettled, the AWD making sure the car remains composed and you the driver always in control. There was definitely more car than I was able to handle with my driving skills.
I had the engine charge the 11.6kWh battery each time I drove the V60, I always wanted some juice on tap for that 'nasty' acceleration. This of course affects fuel consumption but that was not an immediate worry for me for the duration of time I had the V60. I would recommend installing a wallbox charger at home to fully utilise and enjoy the benefits of a PHEV, the battery is rated for a full electric range of 49 kilometres but that also depends on how you drive, especially if like me you get addicted to the rush of speed!
The Boot Or Bed?
In the V60 you get 529 litres of boot space that expands into 1441 litres with the split 60:40 rear seats folded down. That in effect means that you could stretch out your 175cm frame and make the V60 a very capable camper-car. Of course in Malaysia, it might be too hot for sleeping in your car sans air-conditioning but if you were up in Fraser's Hill, Cameron Highlands, or even Genting Highlands you could camp out of your car if you were so inclined. Fitting two people of an average build should pose no problem.
If sleeping in your car however is not your jam, the expansive 529 litres mean that you'll rarely ever be short of space for your groceries, kids, baggage, IKEA bookshelves, or whatever really the moment requires.
If you were considering the S60, XC60 or V60, then my recommendation is the V60 - it offers you all the space of the SUV but with the driving dynamics of the sedan. As cliche as this sounds, it is the best of both worlds packaged in Swedish premium splendor! If you are however a little hard of mobility then the XC60 would suit you better. For fathers that might want that little bit of fun, the V60 will give it to you, for mothers that want the convenience of a larger boot, the V60 has it.
As Volvo PHEVs go, the V60 should help propel VCM in the direction they are aiming for. With the coming introduction of the XC40 Recharge P8 and potentially C40 Recharge later in the year, the V60 joins an already very impressive range in Malaysia. I only hope Malaysians will take to the body form of a wagon because it would be a blinding shame if we had to wait another five years for another Volvo wagon!