Enough is enough. T5, T6, Drive-E, Polestar, turbocharged, supercharged and turbocharged, 2.5L, 2.0L, 3.0L, four, five and six cylinders – there are officially too many engines in your lineup.
In the old days, a T5 meant a 2.5L five-cylinder engine, a T6 meant a 3.0L inline-six and a Polestar meant you were about to have the most fun you can in a wagon without a mattress. (Or a pole.)
These days, Drive-E leads Volvo’s marketing and press hype. The concept of a highly intelligent, modular engine with both a turbocharger and a supercharger is an impressive one. But this V60 doesn’t get that.
See, Drive-E doesn’t mean the super-clever 2.0L turbocharged and supercharged engine; it simply means the eco-tuned edition of whatever you’re driving, and that’s confusing. I and many of my colleagues were surprised to learn that only T6 Drive-E vehicles have the good engine, and this tester was a T5. We were even more surprised to learn the T6 Drive-E is not even available for the V60. At launch in 2013, Volvo said the V60 would be getting all three of the new Drive-E engines (European markets get a diesel too) but sadly the V60 only gets the T5 Drive-E here in Canada.
Which means the most impressive engine in the lineup is missing from the best car in the Volvo showroom. Pure madness.
The number of cylinders is no longer relevant either – T5 and T6 are retained as the nomenclature, but a T6 no longer means six cylinders, and a T5 no longer means five cylinders. Well, it does sometimes, but not always.
See, if you get a T6, that’s a turbocharged 3.0L inline-six. A T5? That’s a turbocharged 2.5L inline-five. A T5 Drive-E? That’s a turbocharged four. A T6 Drive E? That’s a four too, but this one has supercharging and turbocharging. Clear as mud.
Oh, but wait, this is the V60. So your options are limited to the T5, T5 Drive-E, or T6. Dizzy yet?
This Volvo V60 is a T5 Drive-E. It has the turbocharged, 2.0L four-cylinder which produces 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed transmission and powering the front wheels only – you can’t get a Drive-E engine and AWD at the moment.
2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E, dashboard. Click image to enlarge
And that’s a shame, because AWD is the only way to really enjoy a Volvo. Our tester felt wrong from the moment I turned down the first on-ramp. The front pushed – a lot – and the car felt less composed on corner exit than AWD models I’ve driven previously. Volvo’s steering, which is direct but perhaps a little vague only felt more vague in this configuration, so much so my driving was noticeably affected [I can confirm that. –Ed.]. The steering effort is a good balance of heft and ease of use, a saving grace given my dissatisfaction with the communication through my hands.
Please don’t think for a moment that I don’t love this car; I do. I love this car as I love all Volvos. With a fawning, puppyish naiveté so flagrant that I have to highlight it myself lest our eagle-eyed forum members call me out on it in a brutal and humiliating public flaying. (#adjectives)
At 1,600 kg the V60 is svelte and nimble. It turns in quickly and remains flat through corners. There is very little body roll and even less pitch and dive. Despite this being the lesser of the engines, the power delivery is strong and confident. The paddle shifters (fitted as an option in the Sport package) are fun, but don’t respond quickly enough to be properly useful. The transmission is unobtrusive and smooth, changing without fuss. The auto stop/start system is among the gentler versions on the market, too, which is pleasing.
2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E. Click image to enlarge