The front seats are big and can sit you lower than in the V90, while the steering wheel has masses of reach. Big digital dials can display a sat-nav map screen between them and comprehensive steering wheel buttons deal with what’s displayed there, including Pilot Assist (radar adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist). The central screen displays less immediate things. The transmission tunnel features a conventional gear selector (hybrid models get a diddy glass-effect selector) and oddments storage.
Rear passengers get loads of leg room (the V60's 2872mm wheelbase is 62mm longer than the 3 Series’, plus the transverse engine makes for compact packaging) and really good head room.
And while the rear window of the V90 is raked to take some of the visual bulk out of it, allowing style to win over substance, the V60’s is more upright and traditional. Hence the V60 has the biggest boot in the class, at 529/1441 litres. It should be: at 4.76m, the V60 is longer than the C-Class (4.70m) and 3 Series (4.63m) and around 40mm wider, too. The boot has a flat floor, well-finished sides, luggage hooks in the floor, hooks on the window ledge, an elastic strap on the side and cut-outs right at the back for wide loads. Beyond the Nordic sense of cool, this is a traditional, old-school Volvo.
Likewise, too, is the way it drives – mostly. The SPA themes are all there but, more than that, and by more than a predictable amount, SPA’s progression is apparent. The D4 engine is just a little grumbly at idle, quiet as speeds rise even under acceleration, and good but hampered, at times, by the auto 'box. Possessive over the V60's economy, this is reluctant to downshift. And while you can take control via the gear selector, this is a car that offers a heated steering wheel but not shift paddles. You can set it to a more dynamic setting, but then it can leave the engine spinning too fast at a cruise.
You can affect the suspension setting, too. Unlike on the largest SPA cars, there’s no air suspension option, but the mechanical springs are mated to adjustable dampers – although I doubt there’s a person in the world who will routinely drive around in the firmer mode.