Boasting the style and finesse of a coupe but with the added appeal of space and versatility, the V60 is the ideal car for anyone who loves the active lifestyle. And with a choice of engine styles, trim levels and fuel types there is a V60 to suit all tastes and requirements.
The goodThe perfect alternative to an SUV
The badCompeting against premium German marques
Volvo V60 D4 AWD Cross Country
The motoring world may have gone SUV-mad in recent years, but if proof were ever needed that the estate sector is bubbling over with quality vehicles, then look no further than the Volvo V60.
Volvo has made it very clear that it considers itself a worthy contender in the premium sector and the V60 certainly has all the vital ingredients to successfully challenge the big guns.
It is the latest in the Swedish marque’s impressive assortment of recent launch models and while the V60 was initially introduced in Momentum and Inscription trim levels, Volvo recently added sporty R-Design and muscular Cross Country versions to the mix.
Our test model was in Cross Country guise and this 4×4 version of the estate car looked truly impressive without being too imposing. And, as one would expect, it was fully kitted out with all the latest on-board technology that we demand from manufacturers these days.
First impressions matter and the V60 is an instant attention-grabber thanks to its streamlined body, charcoal protective cladding and wheel arch trims, dark tinted windows, Pine Grey metallic paint, retractable tow-bar and 19-inch black alloys.
Step inside and it’s impossible not to be impressed by the upmarket build quality with lots of soft-touch surfaces and smart inlays. The interior has a minimalist layout, but there is a wealth of technology to be explored.
There are leather-faced charcoal-coloured seats that can be heated, a powered driver’s seat with memory settings, full smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated rear seats, plus one of the neatest infotainment screens in the business. It’s called Sensus and is a nine-inch upright display screen similar to a computer tablet with zoom, pinch and swipe functions.
It’s possible to access a range of web apps and browse the internet provided a SIM card with mobile data allowance is connected. The system can also be used to create a mobile WiFi hotspot enabling passengers to operate their tablet or smartphone via the internet whilst on the move.
The Sensus set-up is also where you access the likes of the navigation systems, climate control, radio stations, phone contacts and car settings.
Our V60 Cross Country carried a price-tag of £38,270 (£46,820 with options) and was powered by a punchy, yet efficient 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering 190hp and paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The car could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in a very respectable 8.2 seconds, maxing out at 130mph. And on the economy front, it can deliver combined fuel economy of 42.8-47.9mpg (WLTP) with carbon emissions of 143g/km.
Out on the open road the acceleration through the beautifully-timed transmission is both smooth and responsive with a constant supply of power on tap to help make light work of overtaking slower vehicles. We covered more than 600 miles during the week and found the car to be an exceptionally comfortable motorway cruiser while also being able to cope with twisting narrow lanes through the Devon countryside. It is agile and easy to manoeuvre making the vehicle simple to park despite it stretching more than 4.7 metres in length.
Whether you are the driver or a passenger, the V60 Cross Country is a very comfortable car and there is plenty of space to stretch out in the back – even if the front seats are pushed well back.
The boot is generously-sized with a capacity of 529 litres. Buttons in the boot allow the split-folding rear seats to be automatically dropped and this increases the storage space to a whopping 1,441 litres. Elsewhere, there are numerous handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car.
The driver can select from different drive modes called Eco, Comfort and Dynamic that alter the way the vehicle handles. There is also an Off-Road setting that makes the most of all the car’s 4×4 capabilities. While most owners would never dream of tackling really testing off-road courses, the V60 Cross Country is very capable at climbing hills, slippery slopes or traversing muddy rocky tracks, so towing a caravan weighing up to two tonnes across a boggy campsite for a family holiday would be a complete doddle.
The car also has a raised ride height so the car can be taken off road without any fears of damaging the undercarriage.
Over the decades, Volvo has become a name that is instantly associated with safety and the V60 Cross Country is loaded with kit to protect occupants and passengers alike. There are also numerous driver-assist systems to help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place, including autonomous emergency braking that works day or night and detects vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists or large animals up ahead. The driver is alerted to the danger, and if the warnings are ignored, the car will automatically brake to avoid a collision.
All in all, the V60 is the ultimate proof that the estate sector is thriving. It is just as practical as most SUVs and, in all honesty, due to its streamlined design, it drives far better too.
Volvo V60 R-Design and Cross Country (2019) – First Drive
Volvo made a very bold statement when it launched its second generation V60 model last year – it was a fitting reminder to the motoring world that estate cars can be just as attractive and practical as high-sided SUVs but even more fun to drive.
And now, the Swedish manufacturer has raised the bar even higher in the segment by adding a dynamic R-Design version along with a rugged Cross Country model to the V60 line-up.
Each car has its own individual character and charm, and they fit perfectly into the V60 line-up between the entry-level Momentum and range-topping Inscription models.
The R-Design, which Volvo believes will prove the most popular V60 accounting for about 40 per cent of sales, is priced from £35,410. At present it is powered by two diesel (D3 and D4) and one petrol (T5) engine, with more petrol and hybrid options due to be added to the mix later this year. But for diesel fans, Volvo has announced that the V60 will be its last ever car to feature a diesel powertrain.
With its more dynamic, sportier styling, the V60 R-Design boasts plenty of high-gloss black exterior detailing, heavily bolstered sports seats, sports pedals and smart alloy wheels. It has a sports tuned suspension, a lowered ride height and the models with an automatic transmission have paddles for manual gear changing.
The interior is bright, spacious and clutter-free, yet generously equipped with a 12.3-inch driver’s information display, an excellent nine-inch Sensus touchscreen with navigation, part-leather sports seats, plus the option of upgrading to a premium 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system.
We tested the V60 R-Design on a lengthy road route that included long stretches of winding country lines with lots of twists and turns, fast-moving dual carriageways and busy congested town centres and it was certainly up for the challenge.
Our car was powered by a 2.0-litre 250hp T5 petrol engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Costing £37,770 (£45,145 with options), it could reach 62mph from a standing start in a very rapid 6.7 seconds, topped out at 145mph and offered WLTP combined fuel economy of 34.0-38.7mpg with carbon emissions of 157g/km.
The V60 R-Design has a lowered sports suspension and certainly delivers a performance to match its dynamic styling. The acceleration through the gears is smooth and swift with the option of using the paddles for manual gear changes. There are different driving modes called Comfort, Eco, Dynamic and Individual that alter the way the car responds and the Driver’s Information display also adjusts accordingly.
The car was nicely composed and well balanced at all times with no sign of any body sway into tight bends. In addition, the cabin was well insulated against any road surface, engine or wind noise even at faster speeds.
As one would expect from Volvo, the comfort levels are very high and there is ample space for a trio of back seat passengers to stretch out in comfort without feeling cramped.
Next up was the opportunity to take the all-wheel-drive Cross Country version with its additional ‘Off Road’ driving mode around a challenging wooded course with boggy tracks, steep grass bank climbs and slippery ascents where the hill descent control system could be tested.
The V60 Cross Country car has its own distinctive design cues with lots of charcoal protective bodywork which is not only practical but adds to the vehicles’s rugged styling. It also has a raised ride height.
Our car started life costing £38,270 but a whole host of optional extras such as a Xenium pack that added a panoramic roof and Park Assist Pilot, Intellisafe Pro for additional safety features, a winter pack plus the premium sound system meant the final price tipped the £50k mark at £50,915.
This all-singing, all-dancing model was powered by the 190hp D4 diesel engine and was matched to an eight-speed auto box. It could complete the 0-62mph sprint in 8.2 seconds, maxed out at 130mph and delivered WLTP combined fuel efficiency of 42.8-47.9mpg with CO2 emissions of 143g/km.
The hour-long off-road course certainly put the V60 Cross Country through its paces and it wasn’t fazed by any of the obstacles or the terrain. The grip was excellent and I should add that we were driving standard showroom-ready cars so there was no added clever trickery.
It powered its way across the grass tracks and hill climbs posed no problems at all. The hill decent control system was impressive when dropping down steep muddy slopes and then when we moved back onto the Tarmac roads, the car was just as rewarding to drive with excellent road holding, plenty of acceleration and great all-round handling.
Being an estate car, practicality is key to the V60’s appeal and once again it ticks all the right boxes with a boot capacity that ranges from 529 to a whopping 1,441 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat. A power-operated tailgate is fitted as standard and there’s a whole host of storage compartments scattered throughout the car.
Over the years, the Volvo name has become synonymous with safety, so it will come as little surprise to learn that the V60 models are bursting with safety kit to protect occupants and pedestrians alike along with a number of driver assist systems to help prevent accidents from happening in the first place.
For example, there is the City Safety suite of collision avoidance aids such as autonomous emergency braking – this works day or night and detects vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals up ahead. The driver is alerted to the danger and, if necessary, the car will automatically brake to help prevent a collision. This is just one of the long list of safety features fitted as standard to every V60 model.
All in all, Volvo has proven without a shadow of doubt that estate cars needn’t be dull and can be practical while still delivering great styling cues, all the techno treats we demand these days, plus fabulous driving dynamics or off-road capabilities along the way.
Volvo V60 – first drive (2018)
If you thought the motoring world has been monopolised by SUVs in recent years and that the future of the once-popular estate car was dead and buried, then think on because Volvo has just launched its second generation V60 and it’s pretty special.
Billed as a premium mid-sized estate car, it offers a perfect alternative to buyers in an SUV-saturated market. The V60 boasts a striking Scandinavian design, a wealth of innovative on-board technology, competitive pricing and all the safety systems you could possibly wish for.
It would be fair to say that Volvo is on a bit of a roll at the moment with 21 awards so far in 2018 and we’re only halfway through the year! These including European Car of the Year for the XC40 and World Car of the Year for the XC60, so, the new arrival has quite a lot to live up to and it does just that.
With prices ranging from £31,810 to £40,600, the V60 is available with three initial trim levels called Momentum, R-Design and Inscription – each of which has a higher specced Pro version. Customers can also choose between two diesel and one petrol engine (all 2.0-litre) with further additions such as a hybrid powertrain joining the line-up at a later date.
In all honesty, most estate cars in bygone days looked like giant boxes on wheels with load-lugging capabilities but little else to offer. However, the V60 covers all bases. It is practical with a boot capacity ranging from 529 litres to 1,441 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. But in addition, it looks appealing and stylish in its design with sleek streamlining, distinctive lights with the Volvo Thor-hammer LED daytime running lights, neat alloys, tinted windows, a power-operated tailgate, piano black grille with chrome surround and the option of a panoramic sunroof.
Move inside and the cabin is typically Scandinavian and minimalist in its layout. The portrait nine-inch Sensus touchscreen is like a computer tablet and there is a 12.3-inch active digital driver’s information display that can be configured according to taste. Other creature comforts include a Harman Kardon sound system that can be upgraded to a premium Bowers and Wilkins set-up with 15 speakers, all the connectivity systems necessary to link to a smartphone and options such as four-zone climate control, ventilated Nappa leather upholstery, drift wood inlays and plenty more besides.
The V60 is also available with Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology which combines a forward-facing camera and radar to detect your lane and any other vehicles in front. It then assists with the steering at speeds up to 80mph to keep the car within its lane. It will brake and accelerate with the flow of traffic and is the perfect system to make life a little easier on long motorway journeys. This forms part of the Intellisafe Pro pack that is a £1,625 option.
And being a Volvo, the V60 boasts a whole host of safety features. In fact, a spokesman for the company summed it up perfectly as he claimed: “Safety is core to everything we do.”
The technology to protect occupants and pedestrians alike includes the Volvo City Safety suite of collision avoidance aids such as autonomous emergency braking – this works day or night and detects vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals ahead of the car. It warns the driver if a collision is likely and, if the alerts are ignored, takes action by applying maximum braking force to avoid a collision or reduce the severity of the impact.
Other safety systems on the V60 include blind spot warning, run-off road mitigation, steering support to help steer around an obstacle in an emergency and oncoming lane mitigation. These all form part of Volvo’s Vision 2020 plan that no-one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo by the year 2020.
We tested the V60 on a beautiful road route across the North Yorkshire Moors with lots of long sweeping bends, sharp twists and turns along with plenty of stop/start village driving and it proved a pure delight to drive.
We opted for the near-entry level Momentum Pro version powered by a 2.0-litre 190hp diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The car was priced at £36,610 but a list of optional extras saw that price-tag rise to £43,835. It could sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 7.9 seconds, topped out at 137mph, and according to official figures, can deliver combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg with carbon emissions of 122g/km.
The V60 is a car that you quickly feel at home in. Comfort levels are first-rate with all the seat and steering wheel adjustment necessary to find the perfect driving position. The all-round visibility is excellent and all dials, controls and read-outs are well positioned for ease of use.
It feels wonderfully refined too with barely a murmur from the engine or road surface filtering through into the cabin and the highly effective suspension system smooths out all but the most severe road surfaces.
The acceleration through the automatic gearbox is smooth and responsive with a constant stream of power on tap to make light work of overtaking. The road-holding is ultra-grippy and there is little sign of any body lean into bends even when pushed hard (unlike some higher-sided SUVs).
The driver can select from various drive mode settings called Comfort, Eco, Dynamic and Individual that alter the response of the engine, automatic gearbox, suspension, steering, brakes and even the climate control in Eco mode.
To sum up, the V60 is a really comfortable car to drive and no journey will seem too long behind the wheel of this premium styled estate. It also proves that there are very attractive options out there for any active family looking for a stylish, feature-rich, reliable and safe car that isn’t billed as an SUV or crossover.
Volvo V60 D4 R-Design Lux Nav Automatic
Volvo has built an outstanding reputation for developing top quality estate cars over the years but the latest V60 now boasts a dynamic body style that helps it stand out in any crowded car park.
Customers can opt for the V60 R-Design trim level which looks fabulous and certainly ups the ante in the handling stakes too thanks to the introduction of some special kit such as an R-Design sports chassis that has been lowered and stiffened for better cornering.
In addition, other eye-catching features on the car include smart alloys, a sunroof, tinted windows, twin tailpipes and plenty of R-Design badging.
Move inside and the interior has a premium feel to it with lots of soft-touch surfaces and leather upholstery. The sports seats are ultra supportive and there is an R-Design steering wheel and sports pedals. Look closely and you will notice neat contrast stitching on the armrests, gear stick surround and steering wheel, and once again there is plenty of unique badging to prove this is not any old V60.
The test car carried a £38,715 price-tag, although a few optional extras bumped the asking price up to £44,975. These included a Driver Support Pack (£1,900 extra) that introduced the likes of collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian and cyclist detection, distance alert, queue assist, lane departure warning, driver alert, adaptive cruise control, active high beam, road sign information display and blind spot detection with cross traffic alert.
The car also featured Polestar Performance costing an additional £835. Born on the racing circuits of Sweden and elsewhere around the world, Polestar has been Volvo’s racing partner since 1996 and their ingenuity and expertise help drivers get the most from their cars. Building on Volvo’s outstanding safety platform Polestar introduces some extra features to help enhance the driving experience to the max. These include improved throttle response, gearshift speed and engine performance.
The V60 R-Design was powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It could reach 62mph from a standing start in just 7.7 seconds and redlined at 140mph. According to official figures, the V60 can deliver combined fuel efficiency of 64.2mpg with carbon emissions of 116g/km.
Whilst Volvo estate cars aren’t naturally known for being particularly sporty and tend to score higher in the practicality and safety stakes, the R-Design version certainly looks the business and is great fun to throw around. It feels charged and dynamic as it shifts through the gears, especially when driven in sport mode which sharpens up the responses. The road holding is assured and confident which means it can be pushed hard into long sweeping bends without any fear of body roll or any loss of grip. Yet it remains beautifully composed and refined at the same time and, as one would expect from Volvo, is exceptionally safe.
Comfort levels are good for all occupants with ample leg, shoulder and head space in the back. And the on-board technology and creature comforts are plentiful with a floating centre console where the likes of the climate control, sat nav, sound system, car set-up, driver aids and numerous other functions are controlled. I particularly liked the ease in which features such as the air con can be adjusted and redirected at the push of a couple of buttons. This may sound quite trivial, but it is far less distracting than entering some touchscreen menu system and scrolling through dozens of options.
With practicality in mind, the boot is generously sized with a 430-litre capacity that is increased to 1,241 litres with the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. And throughout the cabin the storage options are good too with a lockable glovebox, deep side pockets, cup holders, a central bin and a convenient tray behind the centre console.
All in all, the Volvo V60 is a fabulous all-rounder and the R-Design specification adds a little more excitement and dynamism to the line-up.
Volvo V60 Cross Country – first drive
The Volvo range is going from strength to strength and now fans of the highly-rated and popular V60 line-up have a new model to consider.
It’s a fact that Volvo has established a well-respected reputation for developing premium vehicles that are feature-rich and competitively priced and now we have the introduction of the new Cross Country trim to the V60 range and it brings with it all the rugged and dynamic styling associated with the badging.
The V60 Cross Country is priced from approximately £30k to £38k and boasts an increased ride height of 60mm, optional AWD powertrain, SE or Lux trim levels, along with three powertrains – a D3 150bhp, D4 190bhp and D4 AWD 190bhp – with carbon emissions from 111g/km. There is also a choice of 10 colours for customers to select from.
The new trim level has some defined, stand-out features that make it instantly-recognisable, including a matt grey honeycomb grille, silver skid plates, black lower mouldings and wheel arches, sculpted bonnet, gloss black window trims and wing mirrors. Then at the rear of the car the words ‘Cross Country’ sit proudly along the skid plate, there are twin tailpipes integrated into the plate and a detachable tow bar is available as an option.
Step inside and the interior is kitted out with cloth or leather seats depending on the spec level with an option to upgrade to sports leather seats. And in true Scandinavian tradition the cabin is bright, well designed and clutter-free with clear dials and instrumentation along with a real attention to detail.
The instruments and centre stack are angled towards the driver, but the passenger can easily access many of the controls too, so leaving the driver to concentrate on the road ahead.
Techno teats include the likes of a 7-inch colour display screen with sat nav, DAB radio, a rear parking camera, powered seats, a glass tilt and slide sunroof, air conditioning, a soft-touch dashboard and lots more besides.
There is ample room for five adults (four in absolute comfort) and the 40:20:40 split-folding rear seats increase the storage capacity from a creditable 557 litres to a whopping 1,241 litres.
There are also numerous smaller compartments scattered throughout the cabin.
I tested out the V60 Cross Country D4 Manual in Lux Nav trim priced at £34,995 (increased to £42,540 with options fitted).
This diesel-driven 190bhp model can sprint to 62mph from a standing start in 7.8 seconds and redlines at 130mph. According to official figures it can achieve combined fuel economy of 67.3mpg with carbon emissions of 113g/km.
Mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, the car proved an absolute delight to drive.
Despite its length, it was agile and easy to manoeuvre and the excellent all-round visibility is another plus factor on a vehicle that will frequently be used to transport children.
The acceleration was responsive and smooth through the gears with a constant supply of power on tap from the impressive new Volvo-designed and built Drive-E engine.
The ride is comfortable and the cabin remains effectively insulated from any road, engine or wind noise – even when the car is pushed particularly hard.
In addition, the road-holding is very assured and the steering is nicely precise meaning the joy is once again restored to tackling long, winding country lanes.
And of course, it would not be a Volvo if it didn’t come kitted out with a whole host of safety features. As well as the more instantly-recognisable systems, the test car came complete with a Driver Support Pack (£1,900 optional extra) which introduced the likes of collision warning with full auto brake, adaptive cruise control with distance alert, lane keeping aid, pedestrian and cyclist detection, road sign information display, driver alert control and a whole lot more.
Another factor that always impresses me regarding Volvo is that despite packing their cars with wonderful technology and creature comforts, the company does the simple things extremely well. For example, on the test car the rear headrests can be folded forward when not in use to give the driver a clear view through the rear screen, the climate control is easily directed by pressing the head, body or legs buttons (which is so much less fiddly than many other vehicles) and finally the simplicity of all the features – you don’t need a first class honours degree in computing to programme the nav or adjust the temperature.
All in all, the V60 Cross Country is a fabulous car. Admittedly, it’s not cheap especially with all the optional add-ons, but it is premium quality and certainly delivers on all counts.
Volvo V60 D3 SE Lux Nav
Mention the name Volvo to anyone and they instantly conjure up images of vehicles with a reputation for outstanding safety and resilience.
But the company is so much more these days, producing cars that are very easy on the eye, boast excellent driving dynamics and come fitted with techno treats galore.
Long gone are the boxy shapes on wheels and in their place are cars with sweeping lines, beautiful streamlining and eye-catching design traits at every turn.
A perfect example of this is the V60 car which is certainly one of the best looking estate models in its class. It features smart alloys, tinted windows, body coloured door mirrors and door handles, smooth lines and neat light clusters.
The interior is equally as impressive with a somewhat simplistic yet very effective layout.
There are no fiddly buttons to distract you from driving, but instead all controls are housed within the floating central console and are very clearly marked. Even the instrumentation is bright and easy to take on board with a single glance, especially the digital speedo.
Technology and creature comforts are plentiful and include an easy-to-use sat nav system, Bluetooth connectivity, an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, dual zone air conditioning, a superb multimedia infotainment system which is compatible with all modern devices, heated leather seats, parking sensors and lots more besides.
There is a real sense of build quality to the V60’s interior with its soft-touch dashboard, soft padded leather door panels and seats, plus flashes of brushed chrome inlays.
The cabin is spacious and there is ample room for four adults to stretch out – five at a bit of a squeeze. And the generously-sized boot can accommodate all your luggage needs. The 60:40 split folding rear seats mean extra space is available if needed.
The driver is treated to excellent all-round visibility and the V60 is very comfortable for all occupants. Even the bumps and dips that are part and parcel of everyday driving on UK roads are easily absorbed by the car’s effective suspension system.
Powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine, acceleration through the six-speed Geartronic transmission is responsive and helps the car sprint to 62mpgh from a standing start in just 10.4 seconds and onto a top speed of 124mph.
According to official figures, the car is also very economical to run achieving combined fuel efficiency of 57.6mpg.
The road-holding was impressive and tight bends can be attacked with confidence. And another bonus was the silence – even at higher speeds there was very little engine or road surface noise.
And despite its length, the V60 proved very nimble and easy to manoeuvre which, along with all the sensors and cameras, made parking an absolute doddle.
Volvo has the safety aspect well and truly covered too. As well as the instantly recognisable safety features, the V60 also boasts adaptive cruise control, parking sensors with reversing camera, a lane departure warning system and a blind spot monitoring system.
My only slight gripe would be the seats. If I paid £38k for a vehicle – which is what this test car cost with a few optional extras – then I would expect an electrically adjustable passenger seat as well as the drivers.
But that minor issue aside, the V60 was an absolute pleasure to drive. It feels as safe as any Volvo should do, but also has a wealth of on-board technology and features to make every journey a pleasant one.
Volvo V60 T5 R-Design Lux Nav
Although the world of estate cars has evolved considerably since the load-luggers of the good old days, few models have developed quite so dramatically as the Volvo V60.
Long gone are the box-like designs and in their place sweeping streamlining with eye-catching good looks at every turn.
This car really does look great from any angle thanks to smart light clusters, tinted windows with chrome surrounds, a twin exhaust, silver door mirrors that contrast to the car’s paintwork, neat alloys and much more besides.
And for anyone who thought estate cars lacked the finesse and characteristics we look for in modern day cars, then think on. That’s because the V60 oozes stylish sophistication throughout and boasts performance capabilities that will leave many rivals standing.
This car can reach 60mph from a standing start in just 7.3 seconds and tops out at 143mph.
Admittedly, the petrol-powered engine is not the most economical recording combined fuel efficiency of 34.5mpg, but if you want a car that reaches the 50 or 60mpg target with ease then the V60 diesel models are quite capable.
The V60 features a massive boot with additional under-floor storage, and the option of split-folding rear seats means luggage restrictions will be a thing of the past.
All occupants are treated to bags to space and even rear seat passengers can stretch out making any journey all the more comfortable.
And the car’s handling is truly excellent. Unlike some estates which are cumbersome and heavy to handle, the V60 is agile and deceptively nimble. Although, be warned – you will need a rather large parking space.
Visibility is first-rate and the rear headrests fold flat when not in use so the driver has an unobstructed view through the rear screen.
The interior design is classy although not garish in any way. There is a clever combination of cream and black seats which contrast neatly with the subtle flashes of chrome throughout the cabin. Sporty aluminium pedals are a nice touch too.
All controls are perfectly placed for ease of use and many features can be accessed via the leather multi-function steering wheel.
The V60 is probably one of the most user-friendly models I have driven. Although it features all the mod cons we expect today, they are not over-complicated to operate.
For example, the sat nav can be set in seconds as can the Bluetooth connectivity. And the cruise control is equally as quick to implement – and that’s a real bonus with the ever-growing number of average speed checks on the motorways.
In built-up traffic, the V60 coped admirably as it weaved its way through the crowds, but it was out on the open road that it really came to life.
The 2.0-litre petrol-engine provides ample power.
And acceleration through the six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and responsive.
As one would expect from the company renowned for its safety innovations, the V60 features a whole host of top notch technology designed to keep all occupants safe.
As well as the more recognised systems, the test car also came equipped with a lane departure warning system, a distance warning system, parking sensors and a blind spot information system.
All in all, the V60 is a brilliant all-rounder – it looks great, handles beautifully and has all the characteristics of any modern-day estate model.
Volvo V60 2.4 D5 Ocean Race AWD
With its highly successful sailing background as a theme, the limited edition Volvo V60 Ocean Race model is riding on the crest of a wave.
For this eye-catching car features unique Ocean Blue paintwork and a number of other subtle touches that act as gentle reminders that this V60 is just that little bit special.
Other distinctive characteristics include specially designed alloys, along with the Ocean Race logo on the front wings.
And once inside, the incredibly comfortable seats comprise Ocean Race leather soft beige upholstery with classic sail stitching and the logo on the front headrests.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include a brilliant audio system which is compatible with any modern music device, cruise control, Bluetooth and sat nav.
A large glass sunroof that allows light to flood into the cabin area helping to create a light and bright environment for all occupants.
Comfort levels are exceptionally high and rear seat passengers are treated to plenty of leg, elbow and head space. And, thanks to the vehicle’s lengthy design, luggage limitations will never be an issue.
Split-folding rear seats means carrying awkwardly-shaped or larger items is not a problem either.
And when it comes to performance, this special edition V60 really stands out from the crowd.
The 2.4-litre diesel-powered engine delivers incredible acceleration through the six-speed automatic transmission and the road-holding cannot fail to impress even on wetter road surfaces.
The cabin noise is virtually non-existent and the UK’s poor road quality goes unnoticed as the car absorbs all the unexpected dips and bumps along the way.
The driver is treated to unobstructed all-round visibility and that makes driving in busy city centres all the more pleasurable.
Out on faster motorways and country lanes, the V60 was a pure delight and the 0-60 sprint takes just 7.3 seconds which is very impressive for such a large vehicle.
Admittedly, the price-tag of just over £40k with all the optional bells and whistles is a little steep.
But with the vast array of safety specifications, the reassurance of permanent all-wheel-drive and different driving modes to choose from, this car is worth every penny.
Volvo V60 D3 SE LUX Premium
For anyone who wants coupe styling but needs that little bit more room, Volvo’s V60 is the answer to all their prayers.
Boasting beautifully-crafted body lines including a tapering off coupe style rear end, smooth light clusters and neat alloys, the V60 really does seem to have it all… and more.
In the past, any sportswagon-styled vehicles, or estates as they are more often called, were limited in their design and looked very box-like and square at the rear, but not so the V60. It was the first of many factors that caught my attention when I first laid eyes on it.
Modelled on the new, very popular S60, the V60 offers that added carrying space and plenty of versatility thanks to the 40:20:40 split rear seats, but the level of luxury throughout cannot fail to impress.
From the second you take your place behind the leather, sports multi-function steering wheel, you realise there is quality features at every turn.
There is an almost simplistic yet classy feel to the interior, with the off-black leather neatly contrasting with a silver and chrome trim.
All the controls are neatly set out in a central console stack, and all dials and read-outs very clear to see and user-friendly to operate.
The heated leather seats can be adjusted electrically to find that perfect driving position and visibility all round is excellent.
The top-of-the-range SE LUX Premium supplied for my test drive was priced at just over £33k with £3k extras and boasted a whole host of quality technical features and creature comforts such as the infotainment system which neatly combines sat nav, audio, mobile phone and other functions and is presented on a clear colour screen in the centre of the console.
The D3 is fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel-driven engine, which delivered ample power and acceleration as it moved smoothly through the six-speed manual transmission.
Bumpy road surfaces were easily absorbed and had no effect on comfort levels and the cabin noise was very quiet even at higher speeds.
Handling was excellent and deceptively agile for a wagon-styled vehicle. In fact, at no time did it feel or handle in a cumbersome manner like some of its counterparts. The push button handbrake is another quality feature.
The interior is incredibly spacious and rear passengers are treated to ample leg and head room. The back seat can comfortably accommodate three adults or two with the wide armrest lowered. This armrest even has cup-holders and a fold-out tray for convenience.
Additional storage is catered for in the generously-sized glove box, a central storage box, the massive boot plus an under-floor compartment.
As one would expect, the safety specifications on the V60 are very comprehensive and it is the first estate to offer Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. Basically, a digital camera and radar scans the road ahead and if they detect a pedestrian but the driver fails to respond to warnings, the car will self-brake.
There are also more traditional safety features such as a superb braking system, driver alert control, numerous airbags, blind spot information system, lane departure warning and plenty more besides.
The goal was to make the V60 the sportiest wagon Volvo has ever made and in my book, they succeeded at every level.