Volvo’s V60 equipped with the now well-known T8 motor has been in my sights for a long time. When I wrote about the Mercedes-AMG E53 I called it a ‘sleeper’, but this Volvo V60 definitely outsleeps the E53. Beautifully designed but unassuming, I had the pleasure of driving the V60 for a week, through cities, country roads, and motorways.
Volvo’s first-generation of V60’s weren’t good looking cars. With the big headlights and awkward brake lights, it was a car that you wouldn’t look twice at. However, this has all changed with the second-generation V60’s, featuring the striking ‘Thor Hammer’ headlights, the current V60 has a much more aggressive stance on the road and demands attention. Volvo’s designers have done an incredible job transforming this car into a sleek, sexy wagon. The rear taillights are also beautifully made, and run up the rear pillars of car to increase visibility as this car sits quite low compared to most other cars on the roads here.
Continuing Volvo’s new design theme, the inside of the car features a beautiful Tesla-esque screen in the middle of the cabin, whereby you can control all the features this Volvo has to offer. The Inscription model features a sparkling glass gear-knob by Orrefors Sweden. The dash cluster is now a screen, customizable to your personal preference. The Volvo seats are great, as they always have been. They give the look and feel of a racing bucket seat, but you still feel very comfortable and snug. Another notable feature is the Harmon Kardon sound system, and it really is great. From the steering wheel, you can control your media, cruise control and Heads-up display. The cruise control has 3 settings: Cruise Control without adaptation, Cruise Control with adaptation, and Pilot Assist. Without adaptation basically means the car will not slow down when there is a car in front, with adaptation means the car will brake for you and maintain the speed of the car in front (depending on what the control speed is set to). Pilot Assist adapts and assists in steering, but let go of the wheel for too long and you’ll get a stern warning to put your hands back! I think these are great features and being able to pick and choose which one you want for each situation is a big plus. If I was to nitpick, I’d say the Cruise Control with adaptation is slightly heavy on the brakes when it senses a car in front. The Pilot Assist works best when the lanes are very clearly marked, when they aren’t the vehicle sits a bit too far to the left for comfort.
Now to get to my favourite part, and the reason I’ve been eyeing up this V60: the T8 Twin Engine. Although it’s just a 2 litre, it is equipped with BOTH supercharging and turbocharging, meaning it churns out 320hp. Add 87hp from the electric motor and you get an astonishing 407hp, from a Volvo! I didn’t really believe the figures at first, but after trying it I was smitten. Great power delivery, and a great sound from the inline 4. The V60 jumps from 0-100 in 4.6 seconds, which is massively impressive for this estate car. This will definitely give the AMG’s a run for their money. However, it’s not all rainbows as the brakes on the V60 leave a little to be desired. The brake pedal is a bit long, and doesn’t have the ‘bite’ that is seen from its high-powered competition. But that’s just me picking up on the small things, this car is a cruiser and for that, it does a perfect job. Perhaps even more impressive than its outright power, is the electrical motor. I could easily get upwards of 40km out of a single charge, meaning I can go to work and run my daily errands without using a drop of fuel. This was a hugely satisfying experience for me, and it truly was impressive how all-rounded this Volvo V60 is. For long distance, depending on how you drive, it can be an economical car – to an extent. From it’s 60 litre tank, I could get around 650-700km if I was careful. When I was less careful about fuel mileage, I’d get about 550km from it.
I had a great time in this car, with the massive amounts of features, this review only scratches the surface of what a brilliant machine this is. But, there are things I didn’t enjoy as much – for example, when you go over those little bridges on Highway 7 down to Pattaya, if you get a little bit too much ‘rise’ on the crest, the belts will intensely tighten. This comes as quite a surprise and although I understand it’s a safety feature, it’s not comfortable, and you’d probably find me trying to unplug that fuse in the ECU!
When you consider the price point, starting at 2.2mil THB for 407hp, how can you complain? It’s the best value for money in Thailand by long and far. It’s no surprise that you see so many Volvo’s in Bangkok now, and that has to be thanks to the stunning design, very fair pricing, and all that horsepower. Anybody would be lucky to have a T8 motor, and the week I shared with this car went by all too quickly – I absolutely loved it! For that, this car receives a 10/10 for me.
Engine – 2.0L 4cyl Supercharged & Turbocharged
Power – 407hp (from battery ca. 87hp)
Torque – 640Nm
Drivetrain – AWD
Vehicle Weight – ca. 2,090 kg
Thank you Volvo Cars Thailand