For those of us who have fond memories of getting hauled around the suburbs in a Volvo station wagon, today’s announcement that Volvo is bringing the V60 sports wagon back to North American shores is welcome news indeed. Sly, sporty, and altogether beautiful to behold, the V60 will significantly improve the family-car landscape immediately upon arrival.
This won’t be the archetypal boxy beast of our childhoods, smelling of cigarette smoke and practical dullness. For years, Volvo has featured excellent integrated adjustable rear child seats in its family European models. When those pop up, the V60 can still hold a reasonably-sized grandma in the middle rear. The trunk, while a bit low-lying, can hold a stroller and then some.
This new Volvo will also come with safety features unimaginable for people who remember bouncing around spacious 1980s backseats without a seatbelt or airbag in sight. Their “autobrake” technology is state-of-the-art, and a new cyclist detection system, demonstrated at the New York Auto Show, looks like something out of John Carpenter’s "They Live."
Volvo said nothing about engines or fuel economy at the show, but it did show a V60 R-Design edition that may hold 325 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque getting bandied about, as well as the welcome phrase “paddle shift with sport mode.” This gives us hope that the car will serve as a fast, sporty weekend parental escape vehicle as well as a reliable family hauler. The Volvo station wagon has returned to create a new generation of family memories. The adults of 2040 will be talking about it as nostalgically as we talk about our parents’ Volvos.
Only they won’t have memories of cigarettes.