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2015 Volvo V60 better late than never

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2015 Volvo V60

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The Volvo V60 is a five-door, midsize station wagon based on Volvo's S60 sedan. On sale in Europe since 2011, the V60 has arrived in the U.S. to bolster Volvo's lineup.

During the transition, as Volvo ownership changed from Ford to China's Geely Automotive Group, the base V70 was dropped from its U.S. lineup, then the V70-based Cross Country, and then even the small V50. For the past several years, Volvo, the company known for its station wagons, didn't have a single wagon in its U.S. lineup.

The 2015 Volvo V60 sport wagon is the first model from Volvo with the automaker's new Drive-E powertrain. Volvo's Drive-E strategy is to shift from in-line five- and six-cylinder engines to an all-four-cylinder lineup that offers up to 30 percent better fuel economy and performance that's as good, or better, than that of the engines they replace.

At first, four different engines will be available in the V60. The front-wheel-drive V60 T5 models will get the least powerful version of the new 2.0-liter that uses only a single turbocharger and is rated at 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. T6 models will get the most powerful version that uses both supercharger for low-rpm response and a turbocharger for power at high rpm to deliver 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque.

Until the transition to the new engine lineup is complete, all-wheel-drive V60 wagons will use either a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 (250 hp, 266 lb-ft) or a turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 (325 hp, 354 lb-ft). These engines will use a carryover six-speed automatic.

Vehicles with the new engine also make the switch to electric-assist power steering, which improves efficiency and allows Volvo to offer an active lane-keeping assist system.

The sleek, luxurious interior evokes design cues from contemporary Scandinavian furniture. You can choose from three modes to personalize your Adaptive Digital TFT Display, and use Integrated Bluetooth to enjoy hands-free mobile operation and audio streaming from any connected device.

Front passengers benefit from ergonomic sport seats while the rear has three 40/20/40 sections for maximum flexibility and the choice of integrated two-level child booster cushions.

Clearly, the V60 has a style of its own. A wide new grille and lights make the V60 stand out in a crowd. With its clean and simple body styling, a sleek silhouette and a roof that tapers in the rear, the V60 should eliminate any recollection of Volvo's boxy wagons of the past.

Even though Volvo expects to sell only 4000 V60s in the U.S. each year, there is much optimism that the V60's combination of style and utility can help revive the company's sales. After all, the station wagon is a defining part of Volvo's identity.

On sale now, the 2015 Volvo V60 starts at $35,300 for FWD; $36,800 for AWD; and $44,300 for the more potent "R" design model. The destination charge is $925.

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