RE: Volvo V60 Polestar | PH Used Review

RE: Volvo V60 Polestar | PH Used Review

Sunday 20th October

Volvo V60 Polestar | PH Used Review

Rare, good looking and genuinely practical, the V60 Polestar had plenty going for it... it still does



Back then...

Before Polestar had launched its first purebred product in the hybrid 1, the Swedish performance brand was known best for racing and its tuning work with Volvos. It was, of course, only two years ago that the performance division delivered another example of the latter, the V60 Polestar, which lost the characterful 3.0-litre six-pot of its predecessor for a turbo and supercharged four-cylinder. Not even a product with motorsport pedigree could escape the effects of downsizing.

This V60 was, as we now know, also to be the last product to come from Polestar in its previous arrangement, with the sporting arm's separation from Volvo having followed soon after the model reached roads. While the restructure wasn't exactly the end of an era, since more Polestar-badged Volvos would follow, it did represent the last example of a proper motorsport-enhanced Volvo road car.

Even before we knew this, pressure was high - partly because of the easy association between the tuned-up estate and Polestar's touring car racers, but also because the segment was already stuffed full of talent to go up against. Most closely aligned to the Swede were the Audi S4 Avant and AMG C43 Estate, which both came with all-wheel drive and outputs close to the 2.0-litre Volvo's 367hp. Actually, the Merc produced exactly the same from its V6. But the Volvo had more boot space and looked exotic from a technical standpoint, thanks to manually adjustable Ohlins dampers and the racing links of the Polestar brand.

It did, however, leave the Volvo looking pricey. A starting figure of Β£49,665 meant it was around five grand pricier than those aforementioned alternatives, and while the suspension helped justify the premium, the rest of the car did not. The interior was clearly tied to the restrictions of a then decade-old Ford platform, while the car's design - although purposeful and unquestionably cool in many ways - lacked the LED-related chintz of the Germans. To your average punter, it was just a spruced-up Volvo.


Nowadays...

Handily, it's exactly that those 'drawbacks' that might help make a used example of Polestar's creation more desirable. The exterior, even when finished in Polestar's gorgeous shade of Rebel Blue (or Swedish Racing Green as Polestar jokingly calls it), is understated, with muscle only added in useful areas; there's a carbon fibre front lip, large wheels that house big brakes and slash-cut twin-exit tailpipes at the back. The interior, meanwhile, now feels tough and functional, with solid buttons surrounding the small infotainment screen, so it feels ready to stand the test of time - but also very much an example of noughties technology.

Mind you, there's a digital screen on the instrument cluster and the pair of brilliantly supportive sports seats trimmed with blue stitching look and feel the part. It all feels well matched to the toughness of the Polestar's personality, which is immediately clear from the moment you get going. It treads over city roads with the inherent firmness but rubberised edges of a proper performance machine on sweetly set up passive suspension - which is no coincidence, of course. And the motor has lots of low-down torque. Go for it and the eight-speed automatic gearbox gives the powertrain a wonderful elasticity, although the speed of gear changes and a slight hesitancy in auto mode mean it can't quite match the more decisive 'boxes from its rivals.

It works best when in manual mode, when, with your right foot down the exhaust projects a lovely, purposeful tone that's gruff and textured, with gargles on the overrun that make the crackles and bangs of rivals sound all the more fake. Better still, there's an audible supercharger whine from under the bonnet, meaning this four-pot, while not as sweet as the old six, has genuine character. Not surprising when you note that it was given new internals by Polestar.

It's rapid, too, hauling the V60 out of bends and pulling hard beyond 6,000rpm, progress building in line with those evermore exciting sounds. The lighter 2.0-litre up front (compared with the old six at least) also allowed Polestar to retune the front suspension and geometry, giving the V60 a pointier front end in the most natural, rewarding way - not requiring any fandangled all-wheel steering or torque vectoring to achieve it. Our test car's dampers are set pretty soft for the road, yet body control is brilliant, with lateral control at the back end so good that the tail willingly helps to tighten the line on turn in. The chassis feels completely natural in this scenario, although the numbness of the steering robs you of the full plethora of information and - more significantly - you can't switch off the stability control, so the fun is measured and concise.


Should you?

Chances are if you've read this far, you'd like the Volvo V60 Polestar. The fact you clicked on the review in the first place suggests you favour something a little left field. It's very clearly a car for those in the know, those who like the brand values of Volvo and its former performance division. It's also likely that you haven't seen a V60 Polestar on the road for some time - if ever. They're genuinely rare - just 145 of the four-pots are registered on UK roads at the time of writing (there are only 83 six-pots!) so there's a specialness that comes with that. It looks brilliant, too, turning heads - probably as people try to figure out what it is - and bringing a smile to its driver every time a shop window reflection appears.

Due to its passive suspension the V60 cannot rival the breadth of performance on offer from its rivals, nor does its 2.0-litre have the vocals to take on AMG's 43 unit or the S4's V6. But unlike most of the shouty, crackly four-cylinders on sale in performance cars today, it sounds genuinely racy and muscular as a result. And with used cars up for around Β£25k - Β£10k less than the equivalent C43 Estate - it feels like great value for money now.

The biggest catch in choosing the Volvo, actually, is sourcing one. Very few are for sale at any one time. Do find one, however, and the V60 Polestar's uniquely butch character will wrap itself around you like a warm blanket. One that's been fine-tuned by a true motor racing icon - and one day, when all the Polestars are electric and air suspended, perhaps this muscular, coil-sprung estate might even become a classic.


SPECIFICATION - VOLVO V60 POLESTAR

Engine: 1,998cc turbocharged and supercharged four-cyl
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 367@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 347@3,100-5,100rpm
0-62mph: 4.8sec
Top speed: 155mph (limited)
Weight: 1,834kg
MPG: 34.9 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 186g/km
Price new: Β£49,665
Price now: circa Β£25,000

Search for a Volvo V60 here.











Author
Discussion

gigglebug

Original Poster:

1,382 posts

69 months

Sunday 20th October
quotequote all
I thought these were pretty desirable, in the original 6 pot guise at least, and I really don't subscribe to the notion that 'estate cars are the coolest' either. I'm sure that a few folks managed to pick up some very good deals on them too, we're talking nearer to 35K in the end as oppose to 50K, when the originals weren't flying out the showrooms and at that price they were a bit of a bargain too.

Edited by gigglebug on Sunday 20th October 10:10

bangerturner

135 posts

169 months

Sunday 20th October
quotequote all
I've got one and would just like to point out that the turbocharger whine is actually the supercharger that it has as well as a turbo smile

Love mine but the mpg is awful and having spoken to other owners no better than the 3.0 six cylinder

Edited to correct engine configuration smile



Edited by bangerturner on Monday 21st October 20:22

ocrx8

772 posts

143 months

Sunday 20th October
quotequote all
Superb looking wagon. Has to be in that blue (and the 6-cyl variant).

kett

47 posts

142 months

Sunday 20th October
quotequote all
bangerturner said:
ILove mine but the mpg is awful and having spoken to other owners no better than the 3.0 V6

Isn’t VED is massively different between 6-pot and 4-pot versions? irked


Krise

435 posts

157 months

Sunday 20th October
quotequote all


Just moved mine on after 2 years and about 18k miles, averaged 17.6 mpg over the time I owned it but I do live in central London

Such a sleeper, no one knows what they are or have never seen one, aside from the Volvo meets I have only seen one on the road ever.

Tight knit group of owners who are all good guys and active on the Facebook groups.

My car is actually the sister car to the one in the photos, the 1st press car, mine was drove by VBH around Anglesey for 5th gear

There a cracking car, make an awesome noise



Heavy old barge mind.

https://youtu.be/n9dVsS2XaHE

ZX10R NIN

15,560 posts

72 months

Sunday 20th October
quotequote all
I've provided two of these to clients & both are happy, the performance is phenomenal & they can sound very good with some pipe work.

monzaxjr

251 posts

93 months

Sunday 20th October
quotequote all
These are under consideration as my next daily. Need an estate for chucking the dogs in. From what I've read the 3.0 has a 6 speed auto. The 2.0 an 8 speed which is supposedly much much better. 2.0 is also cheaper to tax. The 3.0 is £555 annually from what I can remember. No idea which is actually the better of the two. Will have to do some digging.

Bladedancer

997 posts

143 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Still expensive and that geartronic gearbox...

FN2TypeR

6,373 posts

40 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Absolutely love these but an ideal world would see the six pot engine mated to the later eight speed gearbox

I'd have mine in black for maximum sleeper points biggrin

S100HP

10,331 posts

114 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Have adored these since they first came out. I've spent many an hour working out how I can afford 30k to blow on a car. I've not worked it out yet. If I do, I'd go and get one immediately.

gigglebug

Original Poster:

1,382 posts

69 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
ZX10R NIN said:
I've provided two of these to clients & both are happy, the performance is phenomenal & they can sound very good with some pipe work.
Is that referring to the 6 or 4 pot? Or both?

BJM1

5 posts

57 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Have had one of the 3.0’s since new and my wife won’t let it go. She loves it, fast when needed and comfortable seats. Wonderful noise and practical enough for most. Does drink heavily and tyre noise on poor surfaces can be wearing on longer runs. VED annoying but not the end of the world compared to depreciation on something else. It is a keeper.

Ninja59

2,190 posts

59 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Dad has one as a retirement pressie, in 2.0 litre form.

It was this or an xc90. After much persuasion he went down this route, it is a lovely thing. On cold start it is erm anti social.

The supercharger whine is wonderful, I think the inline 6 probably sounds better high up the rev range though.

The gearbox is good generally never an issue. The EPB hates our drive on a slight slope though and highly unpredictable sometimes releasing by itself sometimes not.

MPG is useless everywhere though, but hey he does bugger all miles and instead choose to drive my mum's xc40 more....

Feirny

1,702 posts

94 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Properly love these, have been on the wish list for a while. Definitely will be getting one when they become a little cheaper and I save a little more.

Once got mullered by one in my Meg R26, saw the guy a few days later and he was giggling at me. I was jealous.

Hub

4,396 posts

145 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Shhhhh! I'd love one of these but need them to depreciate a little more!

bangerturner

135 posts

169 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
kett said:
bangerturner said:
ILove mine but the mpg is awful and having spoken to other owners no better than the 3.0 V6

Isn’t VED is massively different between 6-pot and 4-pot versions? irked
VED is bloody awful due to having an RRP above £40,000, goes down to £140-£150ish after 5 years

Onehp

1,120 posts

230 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
"But the Volvo had more boot space"

Bit suprised at this, the V60 i known to have a small boot, only 430l, for a heavy estate. It suprises me every time it's not bigger... but it's practical i shape at least.

dukebox9reg

1,282 posts

95 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
Onehp said:
"But the Volvo had more boot space"

Bit suprised at this, the V60 i known to have a small boot, only 430l, for a heavy estate. It suprises me every time it's not bigger... but it's practical i shape at least.
Yeah, boot was small. Had a V60 Cross Country awd. Have a Seat Leon ST now and it dwarfs it.

Agree ref steering feeling, In the wet you had no clue what the fronts were doing when driving quickly and what have to feel any under-steer though your rearend.

Had the optional sports seats and really comfy and hold you in firmly even when driven in anger on a sprint circuit....

Baldchap

1,655 posts

39 months

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
It's a shame Polestar/Volvo don't do (or at least advertise) an RS4 competitor, because I secretly have a thing for Volvo estates ever since borrowing a 2.0T V70 a decade or so back...

Matt Bird

1,124 posts

152 months

PH Reportery Lad

Monday 21st October
quotequote all
bangerturner said:
I've got one and would just like to point out that the turbocharger whine is actually the supercharger that it has as well as a turbo smile

Love mine but the mpg is awful and having spoken to other owners no better than the 3.0 V6

Thanks for the correction! We'll make amends now. And ensure Sam reads the spec sheet in future wink