Safety, Performance and Comfort Define the 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon


My family and I have an unwritten love affair with Volvos. We have never owned one (apart from when I was about 6 years old), but we have always wanted one. Volvo has always been known as a safe car, and over the years, the quality and comfort has grown to be part of the mix. With the 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon  I can now throw “performance” into the mix of adjectives describing Volvo.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - AutoNation

The 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design, in my opinion, is all about conquering the various aspects of engineering: design, features, comfort, performance and safety. The model that I tested for about a weeks was a flashy red, actually, Volvo calls it “Passion Red.” It’s bright and loud and racy, and it stands out in the crowd (quick warning, when you race down the road, it’s easy to see to watch those speeds.)

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Side Profile

But it doesn’t look like a sports car. It’s got a lot of round edges and is a bit bulbous in the back. Since it is a wagon, it doesn’t have that sports coupe look to change the aerodynamic look. But on further inspection, it does have a few items signifying its R-Design nature:

  • Sport seats with leather surfaces
  • 18” Alloy Wheels (mine were upgraded to 19” IXION Wheels & summer tires)
  • Rear diffuser with polished tailpipes
  • Aluminum inlays and sport pedals
  • Leather sport steering wheel

The R-Design branding is hidden away as well, on the doorwell and the steering wheel were the most obvious places.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - R-Design Emblem on Door

Before I go into more of what I liked about the 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design wagon, I produced a 20-minute video where I run through some of the things that stood out to me (the video is also directly available on YouTube).


If you don’t have 20 minutes to watch the video, here are some quick highlights:

  • Seats 5 people very comfortably (with lots of luggage room in the back
  • Very comfortable programmable seats with many adjustments
  • No perceived lag with the turbo
  • Decent gas mileage (19 City, 28 Highway, 22 Combined – I averaged 21.4 MPG)
  • Rear seats can be folded down for additional storage
  • Button to fold down rear headrests (see the video above for a demo at about 12:00 in)
  • Parking assist sensors to prevent you from bumping into objects and alerting you when there is cross traffic
  • Bluetooth pairing for smartphones and audio streaming
  • Satellite radio AND HD Radio with a 160W audio system with 8 speakers with nice sound
  • Easy to use center console controls
  • Blind spot indicator to prevent you from turning into a car you can’t see
  • Shaded moonroof adds to the airy-ness of the car
  • Internet connected apps which don’t use your mobile device for data
  • A “polite” GPS

The engine is a 3.0 liter, twin-turbo, 6 cylinder, ultra-low emission motor that puts out 325 horsepower at 5400 RPM with 354 pounds of torque at 3000 RPM. It’s quick with no real noticable turbo lag when you punch the pedal.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Engine

It’s responsive, especially when you use either the sport shifting mode with the paddle shifters. Only late into my test drive did I realize that the gearshift nob could be moved to put the V60 into sport mode which had much closer revs between shifting and definitely much peppier than driving in the “normal” mode.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Center Console

It’s a 6-speed automatic with all-wheel drive, a definite must if you are driving in slick or slippery conditions. But for those environments, it also has anti-lock brakes with brake distribution and corner traction control. This all goes toward the safety aspect.

Talking about safety here, the V60 has something called “city safety” which is a low speed collision avoidance system. It has inflatable curtain head impact protection air bags, a side impact protection with dual chamber side impact airbags and obviously dual stage front impact airbags. Also present are the whiplash protection headrests for the front seats. There are daytime running lights as well. The headlights pivot based on the direction you are turning and lights on the side that light up automatically as you turn in that direction.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Headlight

Unfortunately the model that I tested did not have a rear-view camera (something that will be required on US cars moving in the future and a feature that I always recommend having) but it does have parking assist. Driven by sensors on the front and rear bumpers, as you park, the Volvo will sense how close you are getting to objects in front or behind you, as well as any cross-traffic as you are backing out.

The instrument cluster is entirely digital which I actually liked. You can change the theme (I prefered to match the red of the paint with the instrument panels). There is a nice indicator to let you know if any seatbelts are unbuckled, even in the back seat which senses if there is weight in the seat to know if an alert should be given.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Instrument Cluster

My family actually really liked the “old school” phone keypad in the center console. While many people now probably don’t actually dial numbers, the number keypad allows you to easily dial numbers. Also, for the climate controls, there is an icon of a human sitting and you press on the head, torso and/or legs to direct airflow. It’s quite easy to use and understand. There are headed front seats and dual climate controls as well.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Center Console controls

I was surprised to find that this Volvo actually had Internet connectivity built in. This is used to power a variety of Internet-enabled apps like Finding Fuel, Pandora, Local Search, Rdio, Stitcher and others. I actually decided to test out how the Internet-connected Local Search function worked. I was in the San Francisco South Bay area and wanted to find the closest AutoNation dealership. So I used the Local Search to find a AutoNation Volvo dealership nearest to me. (You can see how this process works in the video review above around the 13:45 minute mark.)

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Internet Apps

Once I located the AutoNation dealer, it automatically fed the GPS with the address. As you drive, you see a full screen of the map, and when it nears a turn, it even says “please” and goes into a split-screen mode…very polite!

The V60 seats 5 people extremely comfortably.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Rear Seats

While it doesn’t have the “tailgunner” seat that some other Volvo’s have had in the past, there is plenty of room for luggage in the back of the wagon.

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - Hatch Open

There are many more photos of the 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon on my Flickr album so be sure to check those out.

The 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon has an MSRP of $45,150. Price as tested was $48,225 which included the 19” IXION Wheels with the summer tires ($750), the Blind Spot Information System which includes the cross traffic alert, lane change merge aid and the front and rear park assist ($900), and the heated front seat option ($500).

2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design Wagon - In Front of AutoNation Dealership

Sponsored: This is a sponsored review, brought to you by AutoNation’s Volvo of San Jose and AutoNation  America’s Largest Auto Retailer. Buying a new car? There are over 20,000 AutoNation Associates at 250 new vehicle franchises across 15 states. Looking for a used auto? Get CARFAX history report, 135-point safety inspection, 3-day/150 mile money-back guarantee and more.

Disclosure Text: Apart from the loan of the vehicle (which also included a tank of gas and insurance), I have no material connection to the manufacturer. As noted, this is a sponsored review but all opinions within this article, unless otherwise noted, are my own and are not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. More information can be found in my About page.

HTD says: Volvo continues to receive high-marks from my family – the 2015.5 Volvo V60 T6 R-Design wagon is no exception.

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Disclosure: This is a global disclosure for product review articles on HighTechDad. It does not apply to Automobile reviews and there are other exceptions. Therefore, it may or may not be applicable to this particular article. I may have a material connection because I may have received a sample of a product for consideration in preparing to review the product and write this or other content. I was/am not expected to return the item after my review period. All opinions within this and other articles are my own and are typically not subject to the editorial review from any 3rd party. Also, some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate” or “advertising” links. These may be automatically created or placed by me manually. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item (sometimes but not necessarily the product or service being reviewed), I will receive a small affiliate or advertising commission. More information can be found on my About page.

About HighTechDad

Michael Sheehan (“HighTechDad”) is an avid technologist, writer, journalist, content marketer, blogger, tech influencer, social media pundit, loving husband and father of 3 beautiful girls living in the San Francisco Bay Area. This site covers technology, consumer electronics, Parent Tech, SmartHomes, cloud computing, gadgets, software, hardware, parenting “hacks,” and other tips & tricks.

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