What is it?
How predictable is the new Volvo V60, you wonder? It’s another great-looking Volvo estate, based on a big-Volvo platform, and it’ll go head-to-head with the BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate, blah, et cetera and so on: how close would we get if we had to phone in the verdict? Not that we would, obviously. Don’t send letters.
Here we are, though, with the fifth model based on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). With each new one comes with an increasing dose of familiarity. There's nothing wrong with that, mind you – they’re efficient, they’re elegant and, as Volvo discovers how to get the most out the hardware, each is a little better than the last.
It’s three years since Volvo launched the latest XC90, which was rapidly followed by the XC60, S90 and V90 (and the XC40, on a smaller platform). So it has been quite busy. Now the V60 estate, then, of which there’ll be an S60 saloon version in the summer, thus rounding out the big SPA range.
Is it the same story as the other SPA cars, then? Certainly in technical terms. The V60 has a mostly steel monocoque, double wishbones and coil springs at the front, an integral link with transverse, composite leaf spring at the rear and transverse front-mounted engines of nothing more than four cylinders or two litres, driving the front wheels through a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. Two different plug-in hybrid versions will come later, as will four-wheel drive. So far, so Volvo.