As regular visitors to CarAdvice may have noted, we’re (un)officially titling 2015 'Year of the wagon'. With myself and associate publisher James Ward self-described 'wagonistas', the remainder of the office are slowly coming around to our way of thinking.
So before I continue on, I’d likely to thoroughly declare my public love for all things wagon. With that in mind, when the kind folks at Volvo were nice enough to hand us the keys to a Volvo V60 T5 in a bright Ice White I couldn’t have been happier.
Volvo for me has long been an underrated badge and I felt this would be the perfect opportunity for me to get a long-term view on things.
I’ve stated my love for the wagon and my interest in the Volvo brand but agree the combination could be seen as the “boring” or “safe” choice of the business executive. So how does this V60 stack up?
Lets start with the aesthetics.
Initially, the Volvo wagon’s looks are stunning, with the car easily one of the best looking wagons in the segment. The car is more angular in its shape than some rivals, perhaps even borderline boxy, but the sharper edges are offset with distinctive window lines, slightly flared guards and a striking rear light combination.
Some members of the CarAdvice team have commented that the Volvo has been re-imagined by a cosmetic surgeon rather than an engineer, given Volvo's truly boxy wagons of the past.
I like the look, the more I drove it, the more it started to feel a bit tired - but I put this down to the white colouring which, if dirty, didn’t do the lines of the car much justice. If I was buying one, I'd go with something more striking; Flamenco Red or Power Blue, perhaps.
Inside, the V60 is very much like every other Volvo - which isn’t bad thing, but it’s overdue for an upgrade (roll on the all-new XC90 large SUV which sets new parameters for the brand's cockpit styling).
Everything is perfectly functional, well put together and befitting of the brand's Luxury tag - but again, in 2015 you can’t help but feel it’s lacking an update. For example the center console has a keypad, at a time when phones don’t have keypads.
This aside it’s a nice place to sit. Stainless steel accents, soft leather seats and functional ergonomics it’s distinctively Swedish.
From a space perspective there is plenty - it’s here that the wagon does what a wagon should. The rear legroom is comfortable carrying rather large adults in the back without complaint, something our rather tall Commercial Director has been subject to on numerous occasions.
The boot has become an actual game of Jenga on many occasions; carrying our luggage and camera equipment on weekdays to children’s prams and surfboards on the weekends. And it has done all of it without a struggle.
Driving the car, however, has been a mixed bag.
Performance has been superb, at times catching a few of the staff here off-guard: that new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine is a punchy thing.
But it’s something that Volvo is distinctly renowned for where the problems arise - safety.
The car is safe, no doubting that (six airbags and a standard auto emergency braking system get the tick), however it’s electronic safety features become intrusive rather than intuitive.
On occasion we've had collision warnings going off on the crest of speed-humps, or lane-change assist warnings going off when turning corners. I’m glad they’re there but when I can’t go the shops to grab the shopping without 2-3 warnings going off it all becomes a bit much, ruining what should be a better experience.
Over the course of our time so far with the Volvo it’s proved itself to be a true all-rounder. I’ve used it as my weekend surf wagon, the family people mover, the long drive speedster and the work commuter. It’s done each job equally as well.
It fit three surfboards and three mates comfortably as we searched for something resembling a wave across the Northern Beaches. It fit the pram, the capsule and the better part of the infant's room as we travelled to the “outlaw's” house. And it was a joy to drive taking a break from it all through the Royal National Park south of Sydney.
But here-in lies the problem, it’s done every job asked of it with ease, but it’s never “wowed” me. And at $60,990 plus on-road costs (and options!) I can’t help but feel like I've been left wanting more, be it a slightly more luxurious interior or just a tad better drive experience (without the false positives of the safety nannies).
2015 Volvo V60 T5 Luxury
Odometer reading this update:
Date acquired: March 2015
Odometer reading: 3012km
Travel since previous update: 2658km
Consumption since previous update: 10.4L/100km
Read our 2015 Volvo V60 T5 Luxury Review : Long-term report one here
Click on the Photos tab for more 2015 Volvo V60 T5 Luxury images by Christian Barbeitos.