Hey wagon lovers! Take a look in our garage this week. This is the entirely new-from-the-ground-up 2019 Volvo V60 in top-line Inscription T6 AWD trim, which means that it looks fabulous, comes filled…

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Volvo has completely redesigned its V60 sport wagon for 2019, making it one of the brand’s best looking wagons ever. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Hey wagon lovers! Take a look in our garage this week. This is the entirely new-from-the-ground-up 2019 Volvo V60 in top-line Inscription T6 AWD trim, which means that it looks fabulous, comes filled with all of Volvo’s latest non-plug-in tech, and is one luxurious family hauler. 

It’s also really roomy. In fact, we think the new V60 is targeting previous V70 customers just as much as those who loved the outgoing V60, thanks to a substantive 124-mm (4.9-inch) greater length overall, plus a 9.6-mm (3.8-inch) longer wheelbase that results in the most spacious rear seating area in the luxury D-segment. The new model is 51 mm (2.0 inches) lower than its predecessor too, which adds to its long, sleek visual stance, but nevertheless it provides ample headroom and legroom for a six-foot passenger behind a six-foot driver, or so reports claim, while the new V60 also boasts 20 percent more cargo room than the outgoing car. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
The V60’s sharp new styling might have some S60 sedan fans contemplating life with a wagon. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

The new V60 sits atop the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) chassis architecture that underpins the larger V90 sport wagon, not to mention everything else in today’s Volvo lineup other than the compact XC40 crossover that utilizes the brand’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, which incidentally will support a new 40 series line of cars in the near future. SPA and the models built upon it have been widely praised by auto critics like us and Volvo customers alike, while sales of new Volvo products have been skyrocketing since the brand’s transformation that started with the second-generation XC90 SUV back in 2015. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
The V60 boasts a new take on Volvo’s crested grilled design. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

We’re not expecting this V60 sport wagon to sell anywhere near as well as that XC90 mid-size SUV or the more recently introduced XC60 compact crossover SUV, or for that matter the new V60 Cross Country that adds a little more off-road flair via the way of a raised suspension and rugged looking matte black body cladding, but the regular V60 should provide more road-hugging handling prowess, which we’ll report on later in our upcoming road test review. Big sales or not, the V60 supplies a major dose of Volvo DNA to the entire brand. 

After all, Volvo has had a wagon in its lineup longer than most people can remember, and now that the larger V90 has been slated for cancellation in Canada (it was only ever available via special order in the U.S.), availability of this V60 is critical for keeping up the Swedish brand’s pragmatic image. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Of course, Volvo’s trademark “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights come standard. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Pragmatic yes, but sitting down inside replaces any such practical thoughts with feelings of pampering hedonism, being that the 2019 V60 continues Volvo’s new brand ethos of providing more luxury than any rival. We won’t tell you all of our experiences yet because we’ve only taken delivery of the car and haven’t even written our notes down, but being that it looks much like everything else from the Swedish carmaker we’re expecting to find more soft-touch surfaces, satin-silver trim, jewellery-like detailing, and genuine hardwood inlays than rivals from Germany, Japan or the U.S., while Volvo’s electronic interfaces are some of the best in the business, from its standard 8.0-inch digital driver display within the gauge cluster to the optional 12.3-inch version of those same primary instruments, not to mention its standard 9.0-inch tablet-style Sensus centre-stack touchscreen. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Top-line Inscription trim gets its own set of 19-inch alloy wheels. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Volvo’s Sensus touchscreen has become our go-to example of how to do infotainment systems correctly, thanks to incorporating one of the most user-friendly and feature-filled interfaces in the auto industry. The new V60’s boasts 50 percent faster processing speeds than previous iterations used in other models resulting in quicker startup, faster response from the backup camera, much improved voice activation, and speedier navigation route calculation. The standard backup camera includes dynamic guidelines and graphics for the standard rear parking sensors, while other standard functions include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, a 10-speaker 330-watt audio system, satellite radio, a four-year subscription to Volvo On-Call that features remote start and vehicle tracking, and lastly two standard USB charging ports. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
This powered panoramic sunroof even comes in base Momentum trim. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

The base 2019 V60 Momentum T5 FWD starts at just $43,900 plus freight and fees, which is only $50 above than last year’s base V60 despite its all-new design and upgraded everything, including those aforementioned “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlamps. Additional standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, metal door sill treadplates, rain-sensing wipers, a powered panoramic glass sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control with a Clean Zone Air Quality system and a humidity sensor, unique Iron Ore decor inlays, Moritz leather upholstery, power-adjustable heated front seats with two-way powered lumbar support and driver’s memory, a 120-volt household-style power outlet in the rear console, a powered liftgate, power-folding rear seat headrests, power-folding rear seatbacks with controls in the cargo compartment, a semi-automatic cargo cover that conveniently slides up and out of the way when opening the tailgate, a metal cargo scuff plate, black integrated roof rails, dual chromed tailpipes, and more. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
These L-shaped LED taillights really help the V60 stand apart from anything else on the road. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

This being a Volvo means plenty of safety gear comes standard too, so therefore all 2019 V60 trims get City Safety automatic front collision warning with full low- and high-speed autonomous emergency braking, plus Driver Alert Control, steering support, Run-Off Road Mitigation, Lane Keeping Aid and Oncoming Lane Mitigation, as well as all the usual active and passive safety features including an airbag for the driver’s knees, front seat whiplash protection, and pyrotechnical seatbelt pretensioners in all positions front to rear. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Step inside an Inscription trimmed V60 and you’ll be entering one of the most luxuriously appointed cars in the luxury D-segment. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Of special note, the 2019 V60 introduces a new Oncoming Braking system to the entire Volvo lineup, which if sensing an imminent head-on collision will automatically actuate maximum braking force two-tenths of a second before impact. This is said to reduce vehicle speed by 10 km/h ahead of an impact, which could potentially be a lifesaver and certainly help to minimize life-altering injury. 

Momentum trim is available with the choice of two powertrains, the first being the T5 FWD that consists of Volvo’s well-proven 2.0-litre direct-injected and turbocharged engine, good for 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and the second the T6 AWD that costs an additional $4,000 for a total of $48,900 yet adds a supercharger to the turbocharged four-cylinder resulting in 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The former allows for a zero to 100km/h sprint of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph), whereas the latter cuts standstill acceleration runs down to 5.7 seconds and ups maximum velocity to 249 km/h (155 mph). 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Performance is important, but comfort is king in the new V60. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Both use a quick-shifting and highly efficient eight-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission with manual mode to transfer power to the drive wheels. The new V60 can also be had with available Drive Mode Select that includes Comfort, Eco, Dynamic sport, and Individual driving modes, while fuel-saving and emissions-reducing automatic start/stop, that shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, comes standard. The V60’s official Transport Canada fuel economy rating are 10.2 L/100km in the city, 6.8 on the highway and 8.7 combined for the T5 FWD, or 10.9 city, 7.7 highway and 9.5 with the T6 AWD, which puts it right in the hunt for top efficiency within the ultra-narrow niche known as the compact luxury D-segment wagon category. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Check out the navigation system’s 3D-building graphics found within the gauge cluster’s multi-info display. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

To be clear, the V60 is only up against the BMW 3 Series Touring, the least efficient 2018 model of which bested the most economical V60 by a very slight margin, while turbo-diesel and plug-in hybrid variants were even thriftier, for a price (most expect the 2019 3 Series to be even more of a fuel miser, although they haven’t shown a Touring version yet), whereas the all-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon only comes with one engine and driveline so far with no fuel economy specifics yet announced. 

The V60’s Dynamic Chassis is comprised of aluminum double wishbones up front and an exclusive integral link rear suspension design featuring a transverse lightweight composite leaf spring, Volvo promising both a comfortable ride and sporty handling from this fully independent setup that we’ll report on in our upcoming review. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Volvo’s tablet-style infotainment touchscreen is one of the best in the business. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Being a niche model within a shrinking non-crossover/SUV category there aren’t any adaptive suspension options, but those choosing base Momentum trim can swap out the standard Charcoal (black) or Blond (beige) leather upholstery with sharp looking $400 City Weave plaid textile inserts in either colour, while standard Black Stone or Ice White exterior paints can be upgraded to one of nine $900 metallic finishes. Additionally, a set of $1,000 18-inch five Y-spoke diamond cut alloy wheels can be added too, while individual options include a $250 Charcoal headliner, $1,150 graphical head-up display unit, and $1,200 14-speaker, 600-watt Harmon/Kardon audio system. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Those are matte finished hardwood scrolling lids next to the 8-speed automatic’s shift lever. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Momentum buyers can also add a $1,250 Climate Package that includes heated Aquablades windshield wipers, a heatable steering wheel, and heated rear seats; a $1,500 Convenience Package with Volvo’s advanced Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive system featuring Adaptive Cruise Control, plus a Homelink garage door opener and a compass integrated into the rearview mirror; an $1,800 Vision Package with a 360-degree surround parking camera, Park Assist Pilot semi-autonomous self parking, front parking sensors, auto-dimming power-retractable side mirrors, and blindspot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert; and lastly a $3,400 Momentum Plus Package incorporating dynamic cornering headlamps, headlight washers, fog lamps, proximity-sensing keyless access with a hands-free tailgate function that lets you open the liftgate by waving a foot below the rear bumper, the aforementioned 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Drive Mode Select, four-zone automatic climate control, navigation (that lets the cruise control access map data for adjusting vehicle speed through corners when appropriate), Road Sign Information, and more. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Twist this bit of eye-catching jewelry and V60’s advanced engine comes to life. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

If you opt for the T6 AWD, all of the same standalone options and packages remain, except for wheels that start with a unique set of open-spoke 18-inch alloys as standard equipment and can be upgradable to a set of $1,000 19-inch alloys, while special Amber caramel brown leather becomes an interior option. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Just how comfortable are the V60’s front seats? Come back for the full review to find out… (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Moving up to $55,400 Inscription trim adds the T6 AWD powertrain as standard equipment, plus a unique chromed waterfall grille, bright metal integrated roof rails, unique 10-spoke 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, fog lamps, cornering headlights, a special leather-wrapped and metal edged Inscription key fob, low, medium or high steering assistance via Power Steering Personal Settings, Driftwood decor inlays, the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, perforated Nappa leather upholstery, four-way powered lumbar support, ventilated front seats, and more. 

Option out a V60 Inscription T6 AWD and you can have special $1,000 19-inch multi-spoke alloys, the aforementioned Charcoal headliner and graphical head-up display, as well as a $3,750 19-speaker 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio upgrade, and $1,300 massaging front seats. The Momentum Plus Package is no longer offered due to most of it being standard in Inscription trim, but the three remaining Climate, Convenience and Vision packages are still available. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Here’s another view of that expansive glass sunroof. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

And by the way, all 2019 Volvo V60 pricing was sourced from CarCostCanada, where you can find detailed pricing on trims, packages and standalone options for every other new vehicle sold in Canada, plus otherwise hard to get rebate information and dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
How’s the room back here? Check out our upcoming review to learn more… (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

While Momentum and Inscription are the only two trims currently available, we’d like to think that a sportier V60 R-Design will arrive at some point in the near future, which we’d hope would add special 18-inch alloy wheels with the option of unique 19s, plus steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and slightly edgier interior and exterior design, while it would incorporate most of the same features offered in the Inscription. Likewise, we hope the V60 will also be available with Volvo’s T8 Twin-Engine powertrain that uses a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to increase engine output to 400 horsepower while reducing fuel consumption considerably. Additionally, the outgoing V60 was also available in factory-built Polestar trim, a car we covered in 2017 guise right here. This was a fabulous performance, so needless to say we’d love to see something similar recreated for this all-new V60. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription T6 AWD
Need cargo space? (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

For now we’ll enjoy a double dose of our more luxury-oriented 2019 V60 Inscription for two weeks no less, much thanks to Volvo that provided an extra week of pampering comfort over the holidays. This will give us plenty of time to experience all of its goodness while doing our best to suss out any weaknesses (sorry Volvo). So until our full road test review arrives make sure to peruse our photo gallery above…

Polestar is Volvo’s new plug-in electric division that will soon bring its own Polestar 1 sports coupe to market in 2019, but it was previously just known for providing performance-tuned versions of…

Latest Polestar Optimization improves rear-wheel bias in Volvo models with AWD

Polestar 1
The Polestar 1, scheduled to arrive next year, wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the latest Polestar Optimization software upgrade due to being a plug-in hybrid. (Photo: Volvo)

Polestar is Volvo’s new plug-in electric division that will soon bring its own Polestar 1 sports coupe to market in 2019, but it was previously just known for providing performance-tuned versions of the icon Swedish brand’s luxury models as well as dealer-installed Polestar Optimization software upgrades for enhancing the performance of otherwise stock models. 

While we all await the beautiful new 100-percent electric two-door model just mentioned, the performance tuning division just came out with a new version of its Polestar Optimization software upgrade to remind us just how capable it is at fine-tuning stock Volvos. 

2019 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD
Volvo models like this 2019 Volvo XC60 T6 AWD can get a performance boost if their owners opt for the dealer-installed Polestar Optimization upgrade. (Photo: Volvo)

This new upgrade to the upgrade is said to increase torque distribution to the rear wheels of Volvo vehicles equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD), resulting in better high-speed driving dynamics. 

This latest Polestar Optimization software upgrade “increases the amount and frequency of torque distributed to the rear wheels,” says Volvo in a press release, helping to enhance steering turn-in to provide greater control and more enjoyable driver engagement during cornering, while also improving traction when taking off from a standstill. 

2019 Volvo S60 Inscription
Both new 2019 Volvo crossover SUVs and the Swedish brand’s latest cars, like this 2019 S60, can benefit from the Polestar upgrade. (Photo: Volvo)

“We are always fine-tuning the driving experience of Volvo cars and this upgrade makes the all-wheel drive both smoother and more dynamic,” said Henrik Green, senior vice president of research and development at Volvo Cars. 

After having the Polestar Optimization software upgrade installed, owners simply need to select their car’s sportiest Dynamic drive setting in order to engage the new optimized AWD system. Likewise, the optimized AWD system also engages if they disengage electronic stability control. 

2019 Volvo V60 Cross Country
More rear-wheel bias would make rally crossing this 2019 V60 Cross Country through a muddy backroad a lot more fun. (Photo: Volvo)

This rear-wheel torque distribution feature gets added to a whole host of optimization functions already part of the Polestar software upgrade, with the five existing improvements being sharpened throttle response, quicker off-throttle response, faster gear changes, performance-enhanced transmission shift points with in-corner gear holding, plus stronger engine output. 

2019 Volvo XC40
The latest Polestar Optimization software upgrade is available for 2019 SPA- and CMA-based models, this new XC40 the only Volvo to use the latter chassis architecture so far in North America. (Photo: Volvo)

The updated Polestar AWD optimization is now available for all non-hybrid Volvo models with AWD that are built on SPA and CMA architectures from model year 2019 onward. 

Of note, plug-in hybrid models already incorporate Volvo’s electric rear axle drive (ERAD) system that adds a similar rear-wheel bias, so therefore don’t need the upgrade. 

Also important, Polestar optimization upgrades are manufacturer approved and therefore don’t interfere with Volvo factory warranties. 

Contact your local Volvo dealer if you’d like to find out more.

Volvo is enjoying a major upswing in popularity this year, all because of its fully renewed lineup of attractive, efficient, fun to drive, luxurious, and always safe new models.  While year-over-year…

Volvo unveils Canada’s first vehicle subscription service

CARE BY VOLVO
Volvo has just introduced its new “CARE BY VOLVO” subscription service that takes the hassle out of owning a car. (Photo: Volvo)

Volvo is enjoying a major upswing in popularity this year, all because of its fully renewed lineup of attractive, efficient, fun to drive, luxurious, and always safe new models. 

While year-over-year sales have been strong, up 3.8 percent in October alone, representing 37 consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth for the brand, not to mention 38 percent sales growth year-to-date, it’s always better to be proactive about finding new customers than merely reactive. 

Therefore, rather than have its salespeople sit and wait for new business to pick up the phone and call or walk in through the dealership doors, a new Care By Volvo initiative hopes to lure in luxury buyers looking for a totally different kind of ownership experience. 

2019 Volvo S60 R-Design
The new made-in-the-USA 2019 Volvo S60 R-Design is one of two new models available in the Care By Volvo subscription program. (Photo: Volvo)

Care By Volvo is Canada’s first subscription-based car ownership program. All it takes is a few clicks on a smartphone, says Volvo, and Canadians can order a new Volvo in less than 10 minutes. 

The first cars available through the new program include the 2019 Volvo V60 sport wagon and the 2019 Volvo S60 sport sedan, both compact luxury D-segment vehicles priced to go up against industry stalwarts like the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class. 

Where the Care By Volvo subscription service differs from anything offered by these German automakers or any other competitors is that it includes the car as well as all the regular services that go with it, such as winter tire installation and storage, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a concierge service that assists subscribers through every step of the purchasing process including coordinating delivery with their local Volvo retailer. 

2019 Volvo V60 Inscription
Need more cargo space and versatility? Volvo also lets you choose a V60 sport-luxury wagon. (Photo: Volvo)

“Traditional models of ownership need to be challenged and that’s exactly what we’re doing with Care By Volvo,” says Alexander Lvovich, Managing Director, Volvo Car Canada Ltd. “The subscription service combines the benefits of tomorrow’s technology with the everyday needs of people today – more time for the things they love, fewer distractions, and a clearly defined and predictable cost. We’re proud to be the first in Canada to offer consumers a different way to own and enjoy a car.” 

2019 Volvo S60 Inscription
If you’d like to try something new in 12 months, the Care By Volvo subscription service let’s you choose something totally different. (Photo: Volvo)

Subscription pricing starts at $949 plus tax per month, and includes all professional maintenance, 24/7 roadside assistance, winter wheels and tires, winter tire installation and storage, wear-and-tear protection, appearance protection, road hazard protection, concierge services, and the best part, the ability to upgrade to a new model every 12 months.  

Yes, Care By Volvo subscribers get to upgrade to a new Volvo free of charge after a year of use, or they can keep their existing vehicle for the full 24-month subscription. 

Volvo is hoping this new service is the type of lifestyle choice Canadians want, and if so will have another way of attracting new Volvo owners into the fold. If Care By Volvo sounds like your type of program, check it out at the Volvo Canada website.

Wagon lover alert: In case you hadn’t heard, the all-new 2019 Volvo V60 is now available nationwide from just $43,900 plus freight and fees. That’s only a token $50 more than last year’s base V60,…

All-new 2019 Volvo V60 sport wagon available now for $43,900

2019 Volvo V60
The new 2019 Volvo V60 brings a lot of style, size and luxury to the premium sport wagon sector. (Photo: Volvo)

Wagon lover alert: In case you hadn’t heard, the all-new 2019 Volvo V60 is now available nationwide from just $43,900 plus freight and fees. That’s only a token $50 more than last year’s base V60, and it’s an entirely new car from the ground up, not to mention filled with state-of-the-art standard features. 

The new 2019 V60 sport wagon’s value proposition becomes even more appealing when factoring in its larger dimensions and more accommodating interior. This in mind, the new model probably targets previous V70 customers as much as those who loved the outgoing V60, thanks to a substantive 124-mm (4.9-inch) greater length overall, plus a 9.6-mm (3.8-inch) longer wheelbase that results in the most spacious rear seating area in the luxury D-segment. The new model is 51 mm (2.0 inches) lower than its predecessor too, which adds to its long, sleek visual stance, but nevertheless it provides ample headroom and legroom for a six-foot passenger behind a six-foot driver, or so reports claim, while the new V60 also boasts 20 percent more cargo room than the outgoing car. 

2019 Volvo V60
Hello good looking! Premium sport wagon lovers should unite around this great looking five-door. (Photo: Volvo)

The elegant new design sits atop the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) chassis architecture that underpins the larger V90 sport wagon, not to mention everything else in today’s Volvo lineup other than the compact XC40 crossover that utilizes the brand’s new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, which incidentally will support a new 40 series line of cars in the near future. SPA and the models built upon it have been widely praised by auto pundits and Volvo customers alike, while sales of new Volvo products have been skyrocketing since the brand’s transformation that started with the second-generation XC90 SUV back in 2015. 

2019 Volvo V60
The new V60 shares many of its larger V90 sibling’s styling cues, not to mention the rest of the updated Volvo lineup. (Photo: Volvo)

No one expects this V60 wagon to sell anywhere near as successfully as that XC90 mid-size SUV or the more recently introduced XC60 compact crossover SUV, or for that matter the upcoming V60 Cross Country that adds a little more off-road flair, a la raised suspension and tough looking matte black body cladding, to this sport wagon’s road-hugging handling prowess. Still, it supplies a major dose of Volvo DNA to the entire brand. After all, Volvo has had a wagon in its lineup longer than most people can remember, and now that the larger V90 has been slated for cancellation in Canada (it was only ever available via special order in the U.S.), availability of this V60 is critical for keeping up the Swedish brand’s pragmatic image. 

2019 Volvo V60
Unique City Weave plaid textile upholstery is available on Momentum trim. (Photo: Volvo)

Climb inside and any such practical thoughts may at least temporarily be swept away by feelings of pampering hedonism, being that the 2019 V60 continues Volvo’s new brand ethos of providing more luxury than any rival. Expect to find more soft-touch surfaces, satin-silver trim, jewellery-like detailing, and genuine hardwood inlays than rivals from Germany, Japan or the U.S., while electronic interfaces are some of the best in the business, from its standard 8.0-inch digital driver display within the gauge cluster to the optional 12.3-inch version of those same primary instruments, not to mention its standard 9.0-inch tablet-style Sensus centre-stack touchscreen. 

2019 Volvo V60
The V60 cabin is well laid out, highlighted by one of the best infotainment touchscreens in the industry. (Photo: Volvo)

Sensus boasts one of the auto industry’s most user-friendly and feature-filled infotainment interfaces that includes 50 percent faster processing speeds than previous iterations used in other models for quicker startup, quicker response from the backup camera, much improved voice activation, and faster navigation route calculation. The standard backup camera includes dynamic guidelines and graphics for the standard rear parking sensors, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, 10-speaker 330-watt audio, satellite radio, a four-year subscription to Volvo On-Call that features remote start and vehicle tracking, plus connects to one of two standard USB charging ports. 

2019 Volvo V60
The V60 boasts a standard panoramic sunroof. (Photo: Volvo)

The base 2019 V60 is dubbed Momentum, and not only includes the aforementioned items but Volvo’s signature “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlamps as well, plus 18-inch alloy wheels, metal door sill treadplates, rain-sensing wipers, a powered panoramic glass sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a three-spoke leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control with a Clean Zone Air Quality system and a humidity sensor, unique Iron Ore decor inlays, Moritz leather upholstery, power-adjustable heated front seats with two-way powered lumbar support and driver’s memory, a 120-volt household-style power outlet in the rear console, a powered liftgate, power-folding rear seat headrests, power-folding rear seatbacks with controls in the cargo compartment, a semi-automatic cargo cover that conveniently slides up and out of the way when opening the tailgate, a metal cargo scuff plate, black integrated roof rails, dual chromed tailpipes, and more. 

2019 Volvo V60
Volvo has made sure the new V60 exceeds all crash test standards, so we should expect stellar safety ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS. (Photo: Volvo)

Of course, this being a Volvo means that safety is of the highest priority, therefore the new V60 features standard City Safety automatic front collision mitigation featuring collision warning, steering support, and full low- and high-speed autonomous braking, plus Driver Alert Control, Run-Off Road Mitigation, Lane Keeping Aid and Oncoming Lane Mitigation, as well as all the usual active and passive safety features including an airbag for the driver’s knees, front seat whiplash protection, and pyrotechnical seatbelt pretensioners in all positions front to rear. 

2019 Volvo V60
LED headlights are standard, as are many of the latest advanced driver assistance systems. (Photo: Volvo)

Of note, the 2019 V60 introduces Volvo’s new Oncoming Braking system, which if sensing an imminent head-on collision will automatically actuate maximum braking force two-tenths of a second before impact. This is said to reduce vehicle speed by 10 km/h (6 mph) before a crash, which could potentially be a lifesaver and certainly help to minimize life-altering injury. 

Momentum trim is available with the choice of two powertrains, the first being the T5 FWD that consists of Volvo’s well-proven 2.0-litre direct-injected and turbocharged engine, good for 250 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, and the second the T6 AWD that costs an additional $4,000 for a total of $48,900 yet adds a supercharger to the turbocharged four-cylinder resulting in 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The former allows for a zero to 100km/h sprint of 6.6 seconds and a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph), whereas the latter cuts standstill acceleration runs down to 5.7 seconds and ups max velocity to 249 km/h (155 mph). 

2019 Volvo V60
A new standard 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster and an optional 12.3-inch version of the same will display the new V60’s performance in full graphical colour. (Photo: Volvo)

Both use a quick-shifting and efficient eight-speed “Geartronic” automatic transmission with manual mode to transfer power to the drive wheels. The new V60 can also be had with available Comfort, Eco, Dynamic sport, and Individual Drive Mode Select driving modes, while fuel-saving and emissions-reducing automatic start/stop, which shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, comes standard. The V60’s official Transport Canada fuel economy rating is still to be determined, but expect it to be one of the segment’s more efficient packages. 

2019 Volvo V60
Sensus infotainment has been improved to perform tasks up to 50 percent faster. (Photo: Volvo)

Volvo’s Dynamic Chassis is made up of aluminum double wishbones up front and an exclusive integral link rear suspension design that features a transverse lightweight composite leaf spring, the fully independent setup reportedly balancing a comfortable ride with sporty handling. 

Those choosing Momentum trim can swap out the standard Charcoal (black) or Blond (beige) leather upholstery with slick $400 City Weave plaid textile inserts in either colour, while standard Black Stone or Ice White exterior paints can be upgraded to one of nine $900 metallic finishes. Additionally, a set of $1,000 18-inch five Y-spoke diamond cut alloy wheels can be added too, while individual options include a $250 Charcoal headliner, $1,150 graphical head-up display unit, and $1,200 14-speaker, 600-watt Harmon/Kardon audio system. 

2019 Volvo V60
Rear seat passenger space is much improved thanks to a significantly longer wheelbase. (Photo: Volvo)

Momentum buyers can also add a $1,250 Climate Package that includes heated Aquablades windshield wipers, a heatable steering wheel, and heated rear seats; a $1,500 Convenience Package with Volvo’s advanced Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive system featuring Adaptive Cruise Control, plus a Homelink garage door opener and a compass integrated into the rearview mirror; an $1,800 Vision Package with a 360-degree surround parking camera, Park Assist Pilot semi-autonomous self parking, front parking sensors, auto-dimming power-retractable side mirrors, and blindspot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert; and lastly a $3,400 Momentum Plus Package incorporating dynamic cornering headlamps, headlight washers, fog lamps, proximity-sensing keyless access with a hands-free tailgate function that lets you open the liftgate by waving a foot below the rear bumper, the aforementioned 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, Drive Mode Select, four-zone automatic climate control, navigation (that lets the cruise control access map data for adjusting vehicle speed through corners when appropriate), Road Sign Information, and more. 

2019 Volvo V60
Cargo carrying capacity is up by 20-percent over the outgoing V60. (Photo: Volvo)

If you opt for the T6 AWD all of the same standalone options and packages remain, except for wheels that start with a unique set of open-spoke 18-inch alloys as standard equipment and can be upgradable to a set of $1,000 19-inch alloys, while special Amber caramel brown leather becomes an interior option. 

Moving up to $55,400 Inscription trim adds the T6 AWD powertrain as standard equipment, plus a unique chromed waterfall grille, bright metal integrated roof rails, unique 10-spoke 18-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, fog lamps, cornering headlights, a special leather-wrapped and metal edged Inscription key fob, low, medium or high steering assistance via Power Steering Personal Settings, Driftwood decor inlays, the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, perforated Nappa leather upholstery, four-way powered lumbar support, ventilated front seats, and more. 

2019 Volvo V60
A 400-hp plug-in hybrid V60 may be on the way. (Photo: Volvo)

Option out a V60 T6 AWD and you can have special $1,000 19-inch multi-spoke alloys, the aforementioned Charcoal headliner and graphical head-up display, as well as a $3,750 19-speaker 1,400-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio upgrade, and $1,300 massaging front seats. The Momentum Plus Package is no longer offered due to most of it being standard in Inscription trim, but the three remaining Climate, Convenience and Vision packages remain available. 

2019 Volvo V60
Wagon lovers will want to see the new V60 parked in their driveway. (Photo: Volvo)

While Momentum and Inscription are the only two trims currently available, a sportier V60 R-Design is expected at some point in the near future, featuring special 18-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and slightly edgier interior and exterior design, while it will incorporate most of the same features offered in the Inscription. Likewise, the V60 will also be available with Volvo’s T8 Twin-Engine powertrain that uses a plug-in hybrid drivetrain to increase engine output to 400 horsepower while reducing fuel consumption considerably. 

As it is, 2019 V60 Momentum and Inscription trims are available across Canada right now, so wagon lovers should make sure they head on down to their local Volvo dealer to partake. It certainly appears like the new V60 delivers a lot for its very reasonable asking price, and therefore should be a minor hit for the upwardly mobile Swedish luxury brand.

You can count the number of luxury sport wagons available to Canadians on one hand. Raised crossovers and low-volume plug-in electrics aside, BMW offers one true wagon, Mercedes-Benz antes up with two,…

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design Road Test

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
Need the practicality of an SUV, but want the performance of a low-slung sport sedan? Look no further than the new Volvo V90. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

You can count the number of luxury sport wagons available to Canadians on one hand. Raised crossovers and low-volume plug-in electrics aside, BMW offers one true wagon, Mercedes-Benz antes up with two, and Volvo gives us the choice of another duo, one of which I recently spent some quality time with. 

I purposely slid the word “quality” into my previous sentence to highlight the incredible lengths the Swedish brand has gone to up its game when it comes to fit, finish, premium materials, attention to detail, technology leadership, powertrain advancements, and just generally providing an awe inspiring sense of occasion that at the very least measures up to its German contemporaries, and often surpasses them. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
The V90 looks sportiest in R-Design trim, plus my tester’s optional 20-inch alloys don’t hurt matters either. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

My tester this time around was the 2018 V90 in T6 R-Design trim, which in Volvo-speak means that I had the sportiest of its three trim levels, showing second on the brand’s rung of aspirational feature sets, yet for the most part on the same level as top-tier V90 Inscription trim. 

To clarify, the V90 is offered in $60,500 base (but by no means basic) Momentum trim, $65,100 R-Design guise, or lastly as the $66,700 Inscription, and make sure you see all prices, including dealer invoice pricing that could save you thousands, at CarCostCanada, where I referenced these. As you can see there’s little price differentiation from R-Design to Inscriptions trims, so both can be considered top of the line. It really comes down to priorities. Personally, I’m more attracted to this sportier R-Design model, but I must admit to really liking the design of this practical five-door sport wagon no matter the trim. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
No matter the angle, the V90 R-Design looks fabulous. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

A quick review of features shows you’ll be getting an impressively outfitted car no matter which version you choose, with the base Momentum including standard 18-inch alloy wheels, auto on/off “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights with active cornering and high-pressure cleaners, fog lamps, proximity access, pushbutton start, an electromechanical parking brake, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, a leather shift knob, rain-sensing wipers, a powered panoramic sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an 8.0-inch digital gauge cluster, Road Sign Information (RSI), adaptive cruise control with Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving capability, dual-zone automatic climate control, a large tablet-style touchscreen filled with one of the best infotainment interfaces in the industry, a clear backup camera with dynamic guidelines, rear parking sensors, accurate navigation with detailed mapping, 224-watt 10-speaker audio, satellite radio, Volvo On-Call featuring remote start and vehicle tracking, active noise control, leather upholstery, heatable power-adjustable front seats including four-way lumbar and driver’s memory, power-folding rear seat headrests that flip down to make seeing rearward easier when no passengers are in back, power release folding rear seatbacks, a hands-free powered liftgate, and more. Whew! That’s a long list, and Momentum is just the base model. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
“Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights come standard. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Volvo never shortchanges its loyal clientele on standard safety features either, so along with Volvo’s usual tire pressure monitoring, hill start assist, electronic brake force distribution, emergency brake assist, ABS, usual collection of airbags including one for the driver’s knees, etcetera, the V90 comes equipped with autonomous front collision mitigation with pedestrian detection as well as a lane keeping aid, and the systems weren’t overly sensitive so they gave off no false alarms, yet came into action each time they were needed. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
These sporty 20-inch alloys on Pirelli P Zeros only cost $1,000 more and really look good while providing better handling. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Autonomous in mind, aforementioned Pilot Assist won’t completely take over the steering wheel, but as a precursor to full autonomous driving it works together with the adaptive cruise control to provide short-duration self-driving in the city and on the highway, so long as road markings are clearly visible. It works quite well too, but for the time being such systems are in their development stage and therefore are more novelties than anything particularly useful. I did find it helpful during bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic, however, where it when about its business quite effectively, allowing me to relax a bit more than I would normally. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
That’s one very big vertical LED taillight, ideal for grabbing the attention of cars behind when slamming on the brakes. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

R-Design trim enhances styling with unique diamond-cut 19-inch alloys framing an upgraded sport suspension, a special blackened grille and trim, matte silver side mirror caps, and silk metal side window trim, while inside it gets an even nicer perforated leather sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, metal foot pedals, a full 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster that’s beautifully detailed and filled with functions, four-zone auto climate control that includes a panel with controls in back, a subwoofer for the stereo, richer Nubuck leather upholstery, ultra-comfortable contoured sport seats with added side bolstering and a driver’s cushion extension that nicely cups under the knees for added support, unique Metal Mesh décor inlays, a black headliner, rear side sunshades, and plenty of R-Design branding. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
Come on in! It’s very comfortable and wonderfully luxurious in here. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

I won’t go into too much detail regarding Inscription trim, but as noted before its feature set is much the same as with the R-Design other than the latter model’s sportier theme getting replaced by a unique chromed waterfall grille and ritzier chrome elements on the outside, whereas the interior is pure class due to beautiful Linear Walnut trim and stunning perforated Fine Nappa leather. Also, take note the Inscription includes ventilated front seats, front passenger seat memory, and more. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
The quality of materials and artisanship is as good as this class gets and better than most. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

No matter the trim specified, everything comes together within a cabin that’s not only beautifully finished as noted earlier, but also supremely comfortable and ergonomically ideal. Finding the perfect driving position is easy, and that’s a big bonus for me as my shorter torso and longer legs don’t always fit within Volvo’s competitors. The V90 offers ample telescopic steering wheel reach and plenty of rake, while the seat adjustments provide more than enough flexibility for most any body type to find a good position. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
The V90’s digital gauge cluster looks great and is highly functional. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

The outboard rear seats are comfortable too, and especially supportive at the lower back while wonderfully sculpted with thick side bolsters similar to those up front, plus the flip-down armrest is wide and filled with pop-out cupholders as well as a handy lidded storage compartment. The large panoramic sunroof overhead offers an open and airy environment, while Volvo also provides real air via an excellent rear ventilation system that includes outlets on the backside of the front centre console plus additional vents on the B-pillars. Lastly, the three-way heatable outboard cushions noted earlier add rear passenger comfort on cold winter mornings. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
That’s one serious bird’s eye view, taken from the V90’s optional surround camera. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Those rear seat heaters will be appreciated when traveling home from a day on the slopes too, and thanks to ultra-useful 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatbacks they can be put to use while everyone’s skis are placed down the middle. Volvo also finishes the V90’s cargo area off beautifully, with a stylish metal cargo door protection plate that sits above another similar metal guard atop the bumper (this one a $155 option from the accessories catalogue), two of the nicest chromed tie-down hooks available from any luxury manufacturer, high quality yet durable carpeting most everywhere, and lastly a $215 reversible cargo mat from the accessories catalogue. What’s more, V90’s cargo cover is a technological marvel all on its own, automatically moving up and out of the way when the powered liftgate is opened, while below the strut-mounted load floor is a shallow but useful carpeted tray that sits above the compact spare tire and tools. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
With all of the unusual gear selector’s these days, the V90’s elegant yet straightforward lever connecting to an 8-speed auto is refreshing. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

If you’re getting the idea that Volvo goes above and beyond to provide a new level of luxury to its fortunate followers, I’m glad. That’s what I’m trying to convey, and it gets even better when factoring in the driving experience. It starts with the most advanced 2.0-litre engine available today, the Swedish brand’s direct-injected four-cylinder benefiting from turbocharging as well as supercharging in order to make a stellar 316 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. That’s real V6 power from a fuel-efficient four, the Transport Canada numbers coming in at 10.6 L/100km city, 7.6 highway and 9.3 combined, which is excellent considering the performance available. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
These upgraded R-Design sport seats are superb. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

Aiding the powertrain is an efficient eight-speed automatic with auto start-stop that shuts the engine off when it would otherwise be idling, reducing fuel consumption and emissions, but to just comment on this highly responsive transmission’s wallet and environmentally friendly attributes wouldn’t be doing it full justice, as, together with the aforementioned paddle shifters, it provides engaging hands-on performance that really ups the entire driving experience. 

Improving handling and stability in both dry and slippery conditions is standard all-wheel drive, but my favourite V90 attribute is its incredible ride quality. Together with the previously noted seats, the V90’s cushioning ride is best in class, and that’s even after factoring in my tester’s $1,000 optional 20-inch eight-spoke silver diamond-cut alloys on 255/35 Pirelli P Zero performance rubber. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
Now that’s a sunroof! It’s powered too, and makes the cabin feel like a convertible. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

My test car didn’t include the $2,350 available Four-C Active Chassis and rear air suspension however, which would have made it even smoother, while upping performance by automatically maintaining a constant ride height. The Four-C system utilizes the standard Drive Mode settings, which include Comfort mode, Eco mode, and Dynamic sport mode, but specifically enhances the suspension calibration of each, while the standard Drive Mode system enhances powertrain and steering characteristics, plus climate control in Eco mode. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
Rear seating is roomy and comfortable, with excellent side bolstering and lumbar support. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

While we’re on the subject of options, my tester also included deep, rich $900 Onyx Black metallic paint on the outside and $750 worth of sensational carbon fibre inlays inside, plus a $2,000 Vision Package featuring auto-dimming power-retractable side mirrors, Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert, and one of the best 360-degree surround parking cameras in the biz; a $1,500 Convenience Package with a compass integrated into the rearview mirror, front and rear parking sensors, and Park Assist Pilot semi-autonomous self-parking; a $3,000 Leather package featuring Charcoal leather R-Design seats and a tailored leather dash top and door uppers; a $1,250 Climate package with heated wiper blades, a heatable steering wheel, and those heatable rear outboard seats noted earlier; an outrageously good $3,250 Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system with a 12-channel amplifier, 1400 watts of output and 19 separate speakers including a tweeter on top of the centre speaker that minimizes acoustic reflection from the windshield; and lastly a $1,150 Graphical Heads-Up Display that projects speed, speed limit info, navigation directions and more onto the windshield ahead of the driver, with everything listed pushing my V90 R-Design tester’s list price up to $80,270 before freight and fees. 

2018 Volvo V90 T6 AWD R-Design
Need to stow gear? Look no further than the V90’s accommodating cargo compartment. (Photo: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press)

There were a few other options available, like rear entertainment, dual two-stage child booster seats integrated within the rear outboard seats, and the aforementioned suspension upgrade, but for the most part this is a fully loaded mid-size Volvo sport wagon. 

Getting back to the competition, the V90 truly only really competes with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Wagon being that both are mid-size E-segment vehicles, whereas the others are based on compact D-segment models. So if you happen to appreciate the practicality of a larger five-door body style yet want the low-slung performance of a luxury sport sedan, the V90 is an excellent choice.