VOLVO V60: the Swedes re-invent their heartland

1563032_228893_New_Volvo_T6_Inscription_Pebble_GreyTHE staple transport of many a caravanner just got a whole lot sexier.

Back in the day, if you were in the habit of towing your holiday around behind you and you weren’t short in the wallet department, then the trusty Volvo estate was the car to have.

Strong and reliable, it was also hugely practical and offered exceptional interior space into the bargain.

1569368_229539_V60_D4_InscriptionWhich neatly brings us round to the new Volvo V60, a car that is, in their own words, their heartland reinvented.

Building on the Swedish manufacturer’s decades of experience in building such cars, the second generation of their premium mid-sized estate melds all the technology and Scandinavian design into one very smart vehicle.

It’s actually the smallest estate they make but you wouldn’t think so looking at it. The boot capacity beats every other premium compact estate and it’s got one of the biggest cabins in its class.

1520322_223531_New Volvo V60 interiorAn impressively trimmed cabin, too. Latter day Volvos are praised far and wide for the quality of their interiors, and V60 is no deviation from the norm. There’s a minimalist ethos at work here, which put the other way means they haven’t cluttered it up with superfluous buttons and switchgear.

The cabin is very spacious and there’s a large panoramic roof (optional) to let plenty of light in.
The seats are supremely comfortable – it’s a bit like sticking wheels on your favourite armchair and heading off into the countryside.

Externally the Scandinavian designer’s pencil has given it a striking look. Long gone are the boxy days of the old V70, replaced by a more elegant approach to estate car design.

1563018_228891_New_Volvo_T6_Inscription_Pebble_GreySven and co have given it a sweeping, coupe-like roofline which instantly makes it their best looking estate so far. By a veritable Cornish mile. And that’s a long mile.

There’s still a good amount of boot space before you even think of folding the rear seats, and the longer wheelbase (10cms more than the first generation V60) means passenger space in both the front and rear is generous.

Equipment levels are obviously generous, and with a far from intrusive D3 diesel under the bonnet, you will get the best out of the quality of the 14 speaker surround sound Harmon Kardon system as you waft along.

It’s the smartest estate to hit the roads in many a month, with looks that hint that it might be an enjoyable car to drive. And it proves to be just that.

1520322_223531_New Volvo V60 interior1520279_223527_New Volvo V60 interiorAll the main controls and information you need are dead ahead just below your line of sight, with your route on a small map plotted between the two main dials. You can find a more detailed map on the 12.3 inch display in the centre console.

Volvo have set their sights firmly on a new breed of owner – one a bit younger than past customers and who doesn’t necessarily need a tartan travel rug for the knees of his front seat passenger.

1520368_223545_New Volvo V60 exteriorBut the smart new look doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten what most of us buy Volvos for – practicality and safety.

You’ll have to drive a long way to find something with the level of safety technology built into each and every Volvo. V60 introduces a first – Oncoming Collision Mitigation, which detects and reacts to vehicles travelling towards you.

Prices start at £31,810 for the manual D3 Momentum.

You will feel confident behind the wheel of this car. It’s also extremely predictable in poor weather, such as particularly heavy rain.

This is a Swedish car, after all.

Volvo V60 D3 Inscription
Price: £36,600
Engine: 1969cc, four cylinder, diesel
Power: 150hp
Torque: 320Nm
Transmission: Eight speed automatic

Top speed:127mph
0-62mph: 9.9 seconds
Economy: 60.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 123g/km

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