- Biggest boot space in class
- Simple yet stylish interior
- Packed with safety equipment
- Difficult to use touchscreen on the move
- Some of the add on packs are costly
Volvo are the manufacturer that seem to have dominated 2018 so far, not only with model releases but with the haul of awards they seem to keep on winning.
Sales are high, with them looking on course to beat previous years and they are also planning for the future with electric and autonomous models to be launched too.
Over 6 million estate cars have been sold by Volvo, so we took their latest V60 for a drive to see if that figure will increase.
On The Road
We went for a drive in the D4 diesel which produces 190hp from its two litre, four cylinder engine, it has a top speed of 137mph and a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds.
We drove the 8-speed automatic, which coupled with a really capable engine from Volvo’s Drive-E lineup, it delivers plenty of performance for the estate with impressive fuel economy figures to match. It emits just 122g/km of CO2 so will cost £205 for the first year, £140 thereafter, with Volvo reckoning it can achieve 61.4mpg in combined fuel economy too.
There is also a diesel D3 engine available with 150hp, which is likely to be the most popular, with a 250hp petrol T5 offered too. T6 Twin Engine and T8 Twin Engine plug-in petrol-electric hybrid powertrains will follow shortly if you’re really looking for increased fuel economy.
We can’t really fault the overall driving experience of the V60, the steering sits in between it feeling too heavy or too light, and gives you plenty of confidence if you want to push it - it suprisingly made light work of engaging roads up on the Yorkshire Moors on our test route.
It also feels really planted on the road, the suspension easing the amount of jitteriness from any unwelcome road surfaces and this is thanks to Volvo’s SPA platform on which it is built.
There is a Drive Mode button with a choice of Individual, Comfort, Eco and Dynamic to adapt the driving characteristics of the V60, we particularly liked the latter as you could easily forget you were driving an estate car...
Volvo excel in the area of refinement, looks wise it has the same bold, standout grille as seen on the XC lineup and V90 models and it’s this which we think makes the car look so stylish nowadays. Match this with an understated yet striking exterior colour palette and we can see why Volvos are currently the best-looking models at the moment.
Gone are the days of gruff sounding diesels, the D4 we tested was fairly quiet only really making its presence felt when pushing it hard through the rev range and the cabin is really well insulated from any road or wind noise too.
Possible additions to the V60 include a sliding panoramic sunroof, a parking camera with 360 degree surround view and park assist pilot which comes in at £1,800 as part of the Xenium Pack.
In The Car
Behind the Wheel
Volvo do interiors well, they’re not showy or over the top just simple and effective which is what we like.
As with all other Volvo models of late it comes with a nine-inch touch screen as standard, which although it gets rid of the need for buttons and keeps the centre console looking clean, it’s still hard to use on the move.
There is a 12.3-inch TFT crystal driver’s information display which is a welcome sight as opposed to analogue dials which just look so dated nowadays.
Two-zone climate control with a ClearZone air-quality system, rear parking sensors, LED headlights with active high beam, hill-start assist and cruise control with a speed limiter also come as standard on a well-equipped model.
Sensus Connect which lets you browse the internet and apps, along with Premium Sound by Harman Kardon will add an £825 onto the bill and smartphone integration, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is an extra £300.
Space & Practicality
The Volvo V60 is best in its class for luggage capacity figures, it holds 529-litres with rear seats upright, increasing to 1,441-litres with them folded flat, which can be done at the touch of a button.
Volvo were keen to show off the capacity by engaging us in a timed ‘Fill Your Boots Challenge’. Let’s just say if you took a V60 for your summer holiday you’d get all the necessary items in, like picnic hamper, rugs, body board, cool box...and inflatable flamingo! To say the V60 is practical is an understatement.
As standard is a power-operated tailgate which is available with hands-free opening, handy when you are filling your boot and don’t have enough hands.
Helpful additions include a 12v point, a 3 pin plug in the centre console, a grocery bag holder in the boot and more storage beneath the boot floor.
So how much does a stylish dose of Swedish car goodness cost? Prices start at £31,810 for the V60 D3 Momentum rising to £40,600 for the top spec D4 Inscription Pro.
An R-Design specced on will be out in 2019 and their all-conquering Cross-Country version arrives in the next few months.
So how does it compare to its rivals? There is something quite fresh and appealing about the V60, it benefits from Volvo’s latest design vision, it’s extremely practical and it is competitively priced - the Audi A4 Avant starts at £29,255 while the Mercedes-Benz C-Class estate is £32,400.
Watch this space as Volvo are rapidly gaining momentum among the big guns.
Quality & Reliability
If you’re looking for a well built car then you can stop your search right here with the Volvo V60, materials feel of a high quality, no cheap plastics here, and with that in mind you can see why Volvo owners keep their cars for such a long time.
Reliability wise they are improving all the time and the V60 has never had any major issues, owners of the previous generation weren’t too complimentary about its practicality, so hopefully with this version it’s an area that will shine.
To date Volvo have taken 21 awards this year including the XC40 being named Car of the Year and Which? has named it Car Brand of the Year so Volvo are definitely doing something right.
Safety & Security
The Volvo V60 hasn’t been tested since 2012 in which it gained the maximum five stars, so we expect no less from this version.
Volvo have packed it with driver and safety equipment including Pilot Assist, their semi-autonomous drive technology which works up to 80mph, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear collision mitigation, City Safety with Steering Support and Run-Off Road Protection which will automatically tighten front seatbelts if the car should leave the road.
With such an impressive safety record and pioneers of safety equipment, Volvo’s Vision 2020 is their plan that no one will be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo car by 2020 - and we reckon they’ll achieve this.