Incoming first world problem alert: during my initial drive from Volvo’s Richmond Hill headquarters to downtown Toronto, the heated seats and heated steering wheel were making things altogether too toasty—and traffic was flowing so well that I couldn’t hunt for the temperature controls on the panel.
Good traffic flow? In Toronto? In the winter? I know, I know. Crazy, right?
Anyway, a slightly too comfortable drive is Volvo’s 2015 V60 T5 Drive-E in a nutshell. Accelerating and decelerating is gentle, gradual—like you’re driving a cloud. No, it won’t make you feel like a badass—but it will get you from point A to point B comfortably and safely, especially if those points happen to be in the city.
Driving in a busy downtown like Toronto sort of requires that you keep your head on a swivel. Even in February, you’re sharing the streets with cyclists, pedestrians, construction, haphazard delivery trucks, streetcars, and drivers bafflingly unfamiliar to the concept of sharing the road. And Volvo has all that in mind—you have a sensor that alerts you whenever anyone or anything gets a touch too close to your front bumper. Aside from the alarm and the visual representation on your digital display, the V60 actually turns down your music with the alarm. Hey man—pay attention.
It’s the little details that make a Volvo such an easy car to drive. The digital display informs you of the speed limit, even giving a little indicator right on the speedometer. Start going about 10 kilometres over, and it starts flashing. There’s a keyless start. And a rear-camera parking assist. The side mirrors retract once you park and lock your door. See? Details.
Since the V60 is a station wagon, no test drive would be complete without hauling around some groceries or furniture. With that in mind, I took it to Costco and Lowe’s with a friend and bought altogether too much stuff. The back seats fold down, no problem (although they do lock—yet another handy feature), but I still ended up without access to my left side blind spot. Enter my favourite feature: indicator lights on the V60’s side mirrors that light up when something’s occupying your blind spot. Extremely handy. Perhaps they’ll be standard in every vehicle in about ten years.
For the record, my second favourite thing: like most cars, the media system can sync to your phone through Bluetooth. Unlike most cars, it automatically starts up with the same song, same playlist when you get back in your car. Get in and go—no more screwing around on your smartphone.
Like I said, this is a car for your safety-conscious, technology-friendly urbanite. It isn’t going to win any races, haul any freight, or conquer any off-road trails. It doesn’t pretend to be any of that—and it’s for people who aren’t pretending to need any of those things either.
2015 Volvo V60 T5 Drive-E
2.0L, Direct-Injected Turbocharged, I-4 Engine
240hp, 258 lb. ft. torque
8-Speed Geartronic Automatic Transmission with Start/Stop & Adaptive Shift
9.7 City / 6.6 Highway / 8.3 Combined
Price As Tested: $49,650