What is it?
Hoist the flags, sound the trumpets, it’s a Volvo that’s good to drive. Touring car hand John Cleland – he of 1990s Vauxhall fame – has helped fine-tune the new V60 on UK roads on behalf of Volvo and his experience shows. We’re testing the manual, 161bhp, 5-pot turbodiesel D3 SE model, which will be the biggest seller in the range.
What’s it like?
Like no other Volvo in recent times, the V60 breathes over our rutted tarmac and steers with fluidity and precision. It’s actually a Volvo you could imagine driving for fun. Mind you, that only applies to the V60 D3 on 17in wheels and 215/50 ZR17 rubber. The D5 fitted with optional (£775) 18in wheels that we tried displayed none of its subtlety. You have been warned.
Other aspects of the V60 are less impressive. The load bay (430 litres), for example, is small and only just bigger than the cheaper V50’s. And the German premium competition offers approximately 10 per cent more boot space. There’s a trade-off to be made here because the V60’s styling features a dramatically tapering rear roof line that marks it out as a very handsome estate indeed. But Volvo’s figures illustrate the compromise. A V50 has 717 litres on tap if you fill the load space to the roof and keep the rear seats up. A V60 has just 557 litres.