THE new Volvo V60 is a family estate car that certainly turns a few heads. Granted, previous Volvo estates have always been practical with an envious reputation for safety – but they were never very stylish either inside or out.
However, the Swedish manufacturer has been having somewhat of a renaissance in recent years with some very good-looking motors rolling off the production line.
SUVs such as the XC90, XC60 and the funkier XC40 have all won Volvo new followers with their bold lines and sumptuous interiors but their saloon and estate offerings have also given the big German marques a run for their money too.
The V60 stands out as the go-to practical family estate in Volvo’s line-up and it goes up against the likes of the Mercedes C-Class Estate, The Audi A4 Avant and the BMW 3-SeriesTouring. All terrific choices but the Volvo is altogether much sharper looking in comparison and also has the biggest boot space. Safety levels for both occupants and pedestrians are also class-leading – as ever it was with Volvo.
Interiors are also up there with the market leaders with levels of comfort being particularly notable as well as a much-improved infotainment system from the previous model.
There are 3 main trim levels for the V60: Momentum Plus, R-Design Plus and Inscription Plus. There is also a performance-focused Polestar model and a Cross Country Plus model for those wanting something a little more SUV-like but don’t want to pay extra for the XC60 and suffer a smaller boot space.
Engine choice consists of two petrol with 190 or 250 PS; a twin-engined, AWD hybrid with over 400 PS or two diesel units with a choice of 150 or 190 PS.
Auto gearboxes are standard on all petrol and hybrid models and optional on the diesels.
Prices start from £36,665 for a Momentum Plus D3 (150 PSdiesel) with a manual gearbox, rising to £40,115 for an Inscription Plus D4 (190 PS). The equivalent Cross Country Plus will cost you around £400 more.
The Polestar Engineered hybrid starts from a whopping £57,205 but doesn’t really look any different from the sporty R-Design model which I’ve been driving.
R-Design Plus provides a slightly lower, sportier ride and some exterior as well as interior upgrades from the Momentum model. The front seats are more contoured to hold you better in the corners and on a long journey to the Cotswolds they proved to be very comfortable indeed with plenty of adjustment available for driver and passenger alike.
Rear passengers shouldn’t have any problems with leg room being exceptional and head room being adequate even for those over 6ft tall. My model also came with the optional rear climate controls which also provides heated rear seats.
I find the Volvo Sensus system very easy to use and like the portrait screen which is clear and responsive. I just wish the temperature controls were physical buttons rather than part of the touchscreen system which can make alterations a little fiddly.
All models get the superb fully digital dash, and while not as comprehensive in its abilities as the offering from Audi, it looks very smart and does the job very well.
You won’t be disappointed with the interior as it feels very premium and really is up there with the best from BMW and Mercedes while also looking more interesting with metallic inlays on my model. You can even specify driftwood inlays on the higher-spec models.
The driving experience is true Volvo – comfortable and smooth with the 8-speed auto gearbox working well alongside the 190 PS diesel unit fitted to my car. Cruising is quiet and comfortable – even the optional 19in wheels didn’t cause too much extraneous noise and once the diesel engine is up to speed and settled in the revs it is very quiet indeed.
The Volvo V60 isn’t as lithe on the B-roads as the BMW 3-Series Touring but is still competent enough to be fun when you want it to be with good feel through the wheel and sharp brakes that instil confidence.
It’s difficult to find fault with the new Volvo V60 and I can see why it garnered the Best Large Family Car 2019 award from Parkers. If SUVs don’t float your boat but you want style, space and bags of safety features in a premium package then look no further.
AT A GLANCE:
Volvo V60 R-Design Plus D4 Auto
OTR Price: £39,215
Engine: 2.0 turbo diesel
Power: 190 PS
Transmission: 8-speed Automatic
0-62mph: 7.9 secs
Top Speed: 137 mph
Combined Economy: 61.4 mpg
C02: 122 g/km