2020 Volvo V60 Polestar Engineered
This week we are reviewing the Volvo V60 Polestar Engineered. Our vehicle was assembled at the Torslanda plant in Sweden and has an MSRP of $82300 CAD.
Fun Factor: 10
Can it Family: 9
City Cruising: 9
Growing up in Europe, the vehicle of choice for families has always been the station wagon, mainly due to large cargo found in the back. In a way, Volvo has mastered the design; it has always kept it fresh and is almost a symbol for Volvo. This week we are reviewing the Volvo V60 Polestar Engineered; the driving enjoyment is unparalleled for a car this size; its handling can only be compared to certain sports cars with double or triple its price tag. Under the hood of the V60, you'll find a 2.0L engine that is both turbo & supercharged to drive the front wheels. The rear wheels are propelled by an electric engine that produces 87hp and an astonishing 177 lb-ft of torque. This engine can drive the V60 comfortably even at HWY speeds while not using a drop of fuel. The combined output of both engines is 415hp and 494 lb-ft of torque, respectively. Similar to the S60 we tested last winter, we achieved our real-life acceleration from 0-100km/h in 5.95 seconds, this time with all-season tires. Volvo announces the V60 Polestar Engineered to be capable of doing this in 4.5 seconds. While our tires may not have been performance-oriented to achieve the announced figure, they provided excellent grip and a good compromise for fuel and electric efficiency. The gears change under heavy acceleration has greatly improved overall compared to other Volvo's we've tested and has been integrated to work more in parallel with the electric engine.
The seating position in the V60 Polestar Engineered felt even sportier compared to the S60. The distinctive golden seat belts accentuate this racing look. The rest of the interior has a Swedish minimalist look and feels roomy. Our 3 kids found the rear seating comfortable the only mention is that the central transmission tunnel is quite high. Although there isn't any transmission going to the rear wheels, Volvo has repurposed this area to add additional battery capacity. The rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 fashion, giving you flexibility on the number of passengers/cargo space required. When all seats are folded, the increase in cargo is quite substantial, making it excellent to consolidate your work and family responsibilities. You will have no difficulty fitting a large stroller in the trunk, and getting it in the vehicle will be easy even for smaller adults as the cargo floor's height is much lower than an SUV.
Each time we get to test plug-in hybrid's, we are baffled by our low fuel economy. We had no choice to mix it up a little. When we suggest plug-in hybrid to certain of our followers, there is often a misconception that these vehicles consume more than their non-hybrid counterparts. So we were quite happy that the battery was depleted entirely when we picked it up. It was the perfect occasion to see how efficient the hybrid system would be during rush hour in traffic; we drove 50km and observed an average fuel economy of 9.5L/100km. Otherwise, the 40km announced for the all-electric range more than sufficed during our daily commute. We were even able to achieve 52km without the A/C in the city. On the HWY, we reached 40km without the climate controls and 32-35km with them on at a constant speed of 110km/h. On our HWY test, we decided to look at the average fuel economy on a 450km journey with a battery charged to 35km upon departure from Montreal and 35km when returning from Ottawa; we used 7.2L/100km travelling at 120km/h. At the end of our week testing the V60 Polestar Engineered, we averaged 5.2L/100km with a total distance travelled of 960km. Volvo announces the following fuel economy for the V60 Polestar Engineered 11.1 City / 7.3 Highway / 9.4 Combined. You can expect recharging from 0% to 100% to take roughly 6.5 hours on a regular charging outlet and about 2.5 on a level 2 charger.
The only aspect that disappointed us regarding the V60 Polestar Engineered was the amount of road noise getting inside the cabin at HWY speeds, something we fault on the tires chosen for this vehicle, on the rear cargo area letting in lots of road noise and the low ground clearance of the V60. If this is an issue, the XC60 Polestar fixes these issues. On the other hand, the driving aspect is quite comfortable and sporty. You're sitting quite low to the ground, almost sports-car-like. The driving assistance system removes some of the fatigue involved when driving long distances as the vehicle can steer and slow down in traffic to a still stand as long as you keep your hands on the wheels. In certain instances, we would have liked the system to engage in breaking earlier or even notify us that it had recognized the vehicle merging to give us a sense of security and allow us to anticipate how the car would react.
The Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound System might very well be the best sound system in the industry found in a consumer vehicle. It sounds better yet in the V60; the form factor helps improve the overall acoustic compared to the S60 or the XC60. As for the infotainment, the Sensus system didn't disappoint in the V60; in our opinion, it's one of the easiest infotainment to use. We would like to see two improvements; Apple Car Play and Android Auto connected remotely without using a USB cable and wireless charging. We'd expect additional technology as this nears 6 figures. It may not take long if we look at the technology being implemented in Polestar vehicles.
Installation of car seats is effortless; the ISOFIX ports are covered with a latch cover, as you can see in the photo below, and you lift it to access. The ISOFIX ports themselves are easily accessible, and attaching the car seat is straight forward. The only hiccup we saw was that when connecting the child seat using the anchor hook, it needs to go over the headrest as space under the headrest is too small. The door handle is easy enough for younger children to open it like big kids. The golden seat belt buckles were attention seeker with my kids and were the first thing to touch and show their friends when entering the V60.
In the city, the V60 is a dream to drive, driving quietly along with more than enough range for the daily commute. Any of the V60 plug-in hybrids are great for anyone hesitant to go fully electric. Getting 40km of fully electric range each morning when leaving the house is a definite plus, reducing your emissions in certain cases by 100%. That's if we consider the average commute is 23km. On the weekend, this gives you the freedom to drive away to your cabin without having to rely on the charging infrastructure. Once the battery is empty, the engine turns on seamlessly, making it barely noticeable. Parking was quite simple as steering becomes light at slow speeds, and if you need a helping hand, the V60 will do it for you.
Why would we buy the 2020 Volvo V60 Polestar Engineered, or what we liked about it? Its styling, its real-life electric range, how practical and spacious the cargo area is. Sport driving experience without ruining your bank account in fuel expense. Sporty seating position in addition to excellent handling.
Why would we not buy the 2020 Volvo V60 Polestar or what we did not like about it? The road noise is quite high on the Hwy; the central transmission tunnel eats away on legroom for the person sitting in the middle, the seating position is relatively low and may not be to the liking of everyone.
Volvo has lent us this vehicle one week as a press vehicle. We have no affiliation with Volvo Canada. The above is a recollection of our personal opinion of the car referred above.
Here are additional picture take by us, Can Car Photos and by Hugo P. Fontaine