Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
The latest V60 is available exclusively with 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines. Don’t think that means a lack of choice, though, because there are many power variations. The petrols and diesel are mild hybrids, which enhances efficiency, while the plug-in hybrids offer sustained electric-only running.
Let’s begin with the diesel. It has 194bhp and is called the B4 (D). It’s a torquey engine, so it’s able to pull a trailer without too much effort, but it doesn’t feel quite as nippy as the equivalent Audi A4 Avant 40 TDI or Mercedes C220d Estate, even though its claimed 0-62mph time (7.9sec) is competitive. It’s still a good option, though.
If you fancy a plug-in hybrid, the Recharge T6 is a good bet. It has the 247bhp petrol engine plus 86bhp extra from an electric motor driving the rear wheels (so it’s also four-wheel drive). The 0-62mph time is a claimed 5.4sec, but while it doesn’t feel as rapid as you might expect (partly because the eight-speed automatic gearbox takes time to react, as with all V60s), it’s officially faster than the BMW 330e Touring.
Naturally, the T6 is quite a bit slower running in electric mode but will accelerate to 70mph. Reckon on 20-25 miles of electric range in the real world but the official range is 34 miles. That's not far behind the 330e (37 miles) but a fair amount shy of the Skoda Octavia iV Estate (41 miles). That affects the percentage of benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax you'll pay, which you can read more about in the Costs section. There’s a more powerful Polestar Engineered Recharge T8 model that accelerates to 62mph in 4.4sec, but it’s expensive.
The V60 isn’t as agile as the 3 Series, and the plug-in Recharge T6 has weighty batteries that make it feel even less eager to tuck in to corners or change direction. Still, if you’re after something that steers predictably, grips well and feels safe and secure on motorways and A-roads, then the V60 is perfectly fine. It's easy to drive, rather like the Audi A4 Avant.
The performance-oriented T8 we mentioned has a completely different suspension set-up, with expensive Ohlins adjustable dampers. They add more composure down country roads, but if you’re after a performance estate we’d suggest there’s more fun to be had behind the wheel of the excellent BMW M340i xDrive Touring.