One glance at the V60’s elegant lines is all it takes to recognise the handiwork of Ingenlath. The resemblance between the Swedish manufacturer’s rival to the likes of the 3 Series Touring and C-Class estate and its larger V90 and XC60 is striking.
The ‘Thor’s hammer’ headlight design is retained, as are the familiar L-shaped tail-lights. However, while the V60’s overall aesthetic is undeniably Volvo, design cues such as its sharply sculpted flanks and more tapered roofline help lend the V60 a slightly more purposeful, almost muscular appearance. Not one that necessarily exudes athleticism, but one that suggests the smaller estate is a sharper, tighter proposition than its predominantly bulkier range-mates.
Beneath that refined, handsome exterior sits the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that underpins all of Volvo’s larger models. That said, the V60 is bigger in terms of total length and wheelbase than the XC60 SUV.
From the V60’s launch, transversely mounted 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel motors make up the engine line-up, with our oil-burning D4 test model producing 188bhp at 4250rpm and 295lb ft between 1750rpm and 2500rpm. This is delivered to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, although a six-speed manual is also available as an entry-level offering.
In step with Volvo’s electrification plans, two mild hybrids and a plug-in hybrid will be introduced at a later date. The V60 runs on 17in wheels as standard (18s on our test car) and is suspended by double wishbones at the front and a transverse leaf spring arrangement at the rear.
Volvo’s Four Corner adaptive damper system is available as a £750 option on Inscription and Inscription Pro models, but not on Momentum Pro, our test car’s trim level.
As has come to be expected from Volvo, the V60 is kitted out with a veritable arsenal of active and passive safety features. Standard features include lane keep assist, pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection and fully automatic emergency braking. Although the new V60 has yet to be crash tested by Euro NCAP, the presence of these features should result in a favourable score.