Thankfully with the Volvo V60, the company has not, on this occasion, spoiled in the cooking the raw ingredients provided by its Ford-sourced platform. But that is not to say it has not significantly varied the recipe and made a rather different dish as a result.
First impressions are not helped by Volvo’s ongoing insistence that the V60 is somehow sporting. But saying something is so, shouting it from the rooftops even, doesn’t make it so and the V60 is about as sporting as Songs of Praise.
But that does not, in itself, make it worse than its now estranged Blue Oval brethren, merely different. And the engineers who decided to soften off the V60 and place a premium on ride quality were probably displaying a greater understanding of the actual needs of their customers than marketing men with a naughtiness fixation.
Even so, there’s no doubt the incisive feel and agile responses we know this platform is capable of delivering have been somewhat muted. The V60 handles well enough insofar as it goes where you point it and is not easily tripped up, even on fairly difficult British roads. However, there’s little fun to be had here. You command, it obeys and there the contract closes. There’s not much feel through the commendably precise steering and less still through the chassis itself.
There are no such quibbles about the car’s ride quality, even in sportier R-Design trim. It’s better at speed than around town, but the Volvo tourer provides genuine and impressive comfort wherever you go, of a kind quite beyond the capabilities of other front-drive rivals (Audi, Alfa Romeo we’re talking to you) and probably as good as anything you’ll find from a Mercedes-Benz or BMW.