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2015 Volvo V60 Sport Wagon has new look and new performance

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2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E Sport Wagon FWD

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Volvo has brought a whole new look and driving experience to North America with the 2015 V60 Sport Wagon which draws solidly from its over 60 years of wagon excellence and then adds its latest styling, engineering and performance to create an all-new wagon in the finest Volvo tradition.

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With the new V60, the old wagon (V70) look is gone, replaced by a new and sleeker wedge (almost coupe-like) shape based on the Volvo S60 that features strikingly bold yet very clean lines that flow from front to rear. With a carefully crafted athletic stance that is both shorter and narrower than its V70 predecessor, the V60 suggests strongly that it has retained its wagon road worthy characteristics that Volvo is known for.

We recently spent a week driving the new 2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E Sport Wagon FWD (Front Wheel Drive) with a base MSRP of $35,300 powered by a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine.

The new 2015 V60 comes also as a T5 AWD (All Wheel Drive) powered by a 2.5L turbocharged 5-cylinder engine with a base MSRP of $36,800 or the top-or-the-line V60 T6 AWD R-Design with its 3.0L turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. The power plants for all models are mated to a standard 8-speed automatic transmission.

Our Test V60
Most of the time, we test drive either a mid-level or top-level model of a new vehicle to get a full range look at the features, functions and capability of the vehicle that may not be available in the base model.

But, in the case of this V60 provided by Volvo, the basic standard equipment, along with a trim level upgrade and several package options, presented a very fair representation of the all-new V60 for us to test.

Standard equipment in our test V60 included the new Drive-E 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission with Advanced Quick Shift, Electronic Power Assist Steering (EPAS), Torque Vectoring Corner Traction Control, Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC), Front McPherson Struts and Rear Multi-link Suspension, Electronic Brake Force Distribution System, Powerglass Moon Roof and LED Daytime Running Lights.

Audio and infotainment includes a Sirius Satellite Radio with HD, Bluetooth hands-free telephone, audio streaming, CD player, AUX and USB inputs and MP3 capability - all operating through a 160-watt amplifier with eight speakers. The Volvo Sensus Information Management System controls it all through the Integrated 7-inch Color Display.

Also included were a 8-way Power Driver Seat and Power Passenger Seat, a 40/20/40 Flat-folding Rear Seat with Power Folding Rear Head Restraints, Shimmer Graphite Aluminum Inlay accents, Leather and Silk Metal Tilt/Telescopic Steering Wheel, Push Button Start/Stop, Dual Zone Electronic Climate Control and Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers.

The Premier Plus Trim Level Package ($2,550) added Leather Seating Surfaces, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Adaptive Digital TFT Instrument Cluster Display, Silver Roof Rails, Rear Park Assist Camera and Power Retractable Mirrors.

The Sport Package ($1,500) included Paddle Shifters, Sport Style Seating, Performance Sport Chassis and upgraded 19-inch BOR Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels.

A Blind Spot Information Package ($900) added Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Spot Warning, Lane Change Merge Aid and Front and Rear Park Assist Pilot for semi-automatic parallel parking.

Other additions were Metallic Paint for $550 and Heated Front Seats for $500.

With delivery, our 2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E Sport Wagon FWD priced at $42,225.

Power Train Performance
Not only is there a new look on the outside, there is also an impressive new performance power train - Volvo calls it Drive-E technology - in our test V60.

The V60 T5 front-wheel-drive model comes with Volvo’s new (and 100 pounds lighter) 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with direct-injection that delivers 240 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. When power-driving our test V60 we were impressed by the Volvo unique overboost function that increases maximum available torque to 280 lbs.-feet for the first 10 seconds of open throttle between gears two through eight.

Volvo calls their new standard eight-speed automatic transmission “Geartronic” and it is well matched to the power profile of the new engine.

They have added a new start/stop feature for 2015 which automatically stops the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop. The engine restarts when the driver releases the brake pedal. This feature is supposed to be imperceptible to the driver. Based on our drive experience, this feature still needs work as it is very noticeable - almost to the level of annoying - especially when comparing it to the seamless operation of many other competitor versions.

Our test V60 included the new ECO+ (introduced with Drive-E) drive technology that enables optimized shift points, engine control and throttle response. Volvo says that use of the ECO+ can improve fuel economy by five percent depending on driving style, temperature and climate.

Except for the not perfect start/stop feature operation, we found this new entry level power train to be very well matched for the new V60 Sport Wagon.

And, in case you need it, the 2015 V60 T5 has a tow capacity of 3,300 pounds which should easily handle towing a small trailer with a couple of watercraft (or other recreational items) loaded.

Fuel economy ratings for our test V60 T5 Drive-E Sport Wagon FWD were 25/37 mpg City/Highway with an expected average of 29 mpg. During our week of driving - given that we drive with a bit heavier foot when we have paddle shifters - we averaged just over 28 mpg.

Interior Features
The new Volvo V60 continues the new look of the Sport Wagon with the very best of Volvo design simplicity and functionality with significant cargo room - even with the sleeker and smaller silhouette.

The front seating is well fitted out with the very supportive Sport Seating adding to the driver's control and appreciation of the vehicle's performance capability.

Center stack controls and instruments are simple, intuitive and easy to use under all circumstances. In particular, the new digital high resolution color instrument cluster is extremely well done.

The sleeker shape (and smaller size) of the new V60 does sacrifice some space in the second row seating with leg and headroom a bit tight for those of us who are in the larger physical categories.

The 40/20/40-split rear seat does increase versatility for transporting cargo with each backrest in the three-piece rear seat is folding to create a flat load floor. An optional folding front passenger seat on the T5 models can fold flat so extra-long cargo can be transported inside the car.

The designated carg0 area has been designed for maximum utility with access via a wide tailgate plus cleverly crafted extra space for smaller items behind the wheel housings and under the load floor. As a result, maximum cargo capacity (rear seats folded flat) is a pretty generous 43.1 cubic feet.

The new 2015 Volvo V60 Sport Wagon began arriving in dealerships in North America in March, 2014.

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