The 2024 Volvo V60 T8 eAWD Polestar Engineered is a vehicle that requires quite a lot of explanation. Breaking apart its ridiculously long name helps: Volvo you know, V60 means the small wagon, T8 eAWD because it’s the plug-in-hybrid powertrain with electric all-wheel drive, and Polestar Engineered because it’s surprisingly fast. In keeping with Volvo tradition, this car is completely unthreatening when parked next to an overly aggressive BMW M or Mercedes-AMG. It might as well be wearing a cardigan. But it’s a beast.
The 2024 version of the V60 also brings its performance to the table in a way that’s completely different from its German rivals. Mercedes, BMW, and Audi all have motorsports divisions, but Volvo left the track long ago. Thus, while something like an M4 is pitched as a “racecar for the road,” the V60 is simply the latest link in a lineage of Volvo wagons bred for real-world agility rather than track days.
Thus, the V60 Polestar Engineered is rapid without being tiring, agile without a jouncy ride, and so pleasant to drive in most environments that you tend to forget it’s perfectly capable of unleashing Ragnarok on the tarmac. It’s not clear how much longer the Volvo wagon will hang on in a world of luxury crossovers, but for someone shopping for a practical daily driver absolutely crammed full of Vikings, the 2024 V60 might just be the best fast Swedish wagon yet.
The big change for this year’s Volvo V60 is an increase in battery size thanks to an extra row of cells. Total pack capacity grows from 9.1 kWh to 14.9 kWh, which benefits both range and power output.
The combustion engine also benefits from the added electrical oomph by simplifying its supercharged-and-turbocharged layout to just plain turbocharging. Volvo was one of the earliest adoptees of turbocharging, and this less complex engine setup will be less stressed as well.
Peak power is up to an eyebrow-raising 455 horsepower, with peak torque at 523 pound-feet. Plug in range is up to 64 kilometres, ideal for a gasoline-free school- or errand run.
Families have long turned to Volvo wagons for deeply practical reasons, but it’s a weirdly emotional purchasing choice in this crossover-dominated era. Still, the V60 is still very practical: compared to a XC60, the maximum 658 litres of cargo space behind the rear seats is actually 70 litres larger. The V60 can also carry 75 kg of gear on its roof, and it’s a great deal easier to hoist a bike onto a wagon than onto a crossover. The rear hatch of a wagon also has a lower load height if you’re having your dog ride along.
The tradeoff is a little less legroom and width compared to a larger crossover. A V60 is perfectly roomy for families with grade-school kids, but a rear-facing car seat is a little easier to load and unload with a higher hip-point crossover. And if you’re hauling around gangly teenagers, then Volvo will happily point you in the direction of one of its longer 90-series wagons or crossovers.
BMW doesn’t offer a wagon trim for its 3 Series in Canada, but one possible rival to the V60 is Mercedes-AMG’s C43 wagon, which was available here until the 2021 model year. The C43 is a little smaller than the V60 in both cargo- and passenger-carrying capacity, but it offered a great deal of performance at a lower cost.
As for front-seat ergonomics, note that a subset of Volvo people have been buying Swedish cars for the seats alone for decades. The V60’s front seats are just fantastic, really well bolstered but nothing like the too-firm sport seats you can get in track-oriented German cars. The rest of the cabin is nicely laid out – the crystal shift knob makes for a special touch – and the controls are sensibly laid out apart from some quibbles with the infotainment.
Volvo’s infotainment is also upgraded for the 2024 model year, with plenty of Google functions now available, including Google maps. Even so, it’s not quite as intuitive as some of the offerings from rivals.
Pop the hood on the 2024 Volvo V60 T8 eAWD Polestar Engineered , and you’ll find something seemingly at odds with the cars high-tech ethos: manually adjustable dampers. Built by Swedish manufacture Öhlins, these are roughly equivalent to wearing a Rolex dive watch that’s water resistant to over a thousand metres – but you never even take it swimming. The adjustable rebound is entirely functional, but you’d likely just leave it in factory setting most of the time. Looks cool though.
In factory mode, the V60 is firm but not harsh, and really good fun the more you push it. This is a heavy car, tipping the scales at more than 2,000kg, but all that weight has a low centre of gravity because it’s at car height, not crossover height. The V60 corners flat and doesn’t get knocked out of shape by rapid transitions. It’s not quite as nimble as a lighter car would be, but there is an agility to it.
As to how the powertrain delivers torque, this is one strong-like-tractor wagon. Volvos have long been about turbocharged torque rather than outright horsepower, and the addition of extra battery power here provides a near-seamless surge of grunt. For real-world driving, when you need to slot into the right-hand lane to make your exit right-now -fast, the V60’s responsiveness is a boon.
The chunky Polestar/Brembo brakes rein in the V60 well, and as a package, this is a very rapid road car. The fact that it’s also a plug-in hybrid capable of guilt-free electron-only school runs just adds to the appeal
Let’s break down the hybrid systems capabilities from an efficiency standpoint rather than a performance one. As mentioned, the new 14.9-kWh battery pack is good for a claimed 64 km of EV range, or just let it function as a normal hybrid during the week to see excellent fuel economy. Official ratings are 8.0 L/100 km in the city, 7.2 L/100 km on the highway, and 7.6 L/100 km combined — figures it easily matches.
The one issue is that while the battery pack has been upgraded for the 2024 Volvo V60 , the charging port remains the same. Getting a full charge requires overnight charging, and there’s no ability to pop in to a quick charger for a top off, apart from relatively slow Level 2 chargers. Not a deal-breaker for those charging at home, but not very useful for accessing the public charging network.
On reliability, Volvos are not quite the stolid and unsophisticated durability icons that the likes of the 240 once were, and the brand now falls toward average in industry reliability indices. Still, the simplified drivetrain should be less stressed and see a bump in longterm reliability.
No examination of a Volvo would be complete without looking at its safety record, and it’s no surprise that the V60 has earned excellent ratings. The 2024 V60 comes with a full suite of driver aids from lane-departure warning to collision mitigation, seven individual airbags, an around-view camera system, and blind-spot detection. It’s had top marks in crash testing for the past four model years.
The V60 is in a fairly unique position as it doesn’t really have any direct rivals. As a performance wagon, the larger E-Class and Audi RS6 offer more speed and space, but they are also much more expensive. The Audi is also far less subtle, with its flared wheelarches and aggressive styling. Further, neither of those cars are proper hybrids, though some mild hybridization was available with the previous E53 wagon’s inline-six.
The C43 wagon was probably the best to cross-shop against the V60, with prices that started at $59,900. The V60 T8 Polestar Engineered demands quite a premium at a Canadian MSRP of $80,120 after PDI. But again, the hot little C43 is stone-cold dead in Canada. Smart move if you snapped one up when they were available, but that particular wagon has left the showroom.
As it turns out, the real plug-in performance rival to the 2024 V60 is the XC60 T8, which also can be optioned with the Polestar Engineered package. So-equipped, it’s more than $90,000. The V60 is not a bargain by any measure, but at least you aren’t paying that crossover premium.
In a league of its own, the 2024 Volvo V60 T8 Polestar Engineered has all the elements to be a confusing jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none mishmash. In practice, this car is just Volvo doing what it has always done: infuse a practical wagon with a hefty dose of performance, then install great seats. BYOLabradoodle.
Now that practicality includes a plug-in factor, making this car a performance choice that leaves a smaller footprint behind. The V60 can tear up a backroad like a berserker, but also waft home with a load of furniture without burning any fuel. How very Scandinavian.
✔ Subtle, handsome styling
✔ P ractical interior with fantastic seats
✔ Even quicker than before
✘ Slow charging options
✘ Sky-high pricetag
✘ Only one powertrain available2023-11-30T12:38:26Z dg43tfdfdgfd