The V60’s automatic gearbox can be lethargic at times, refusing to hold onto gears as it prioritises fuel economy. There’s none of that here, with fast and smooth manual shifts - even if the gearstick itself it a little on the stubby side.
Of course, this being a turbodiesel, there’s little incentive to engage with the latter half of the rev range, as peak power has come and gone by the time you get there. The D4 engine is still potent enough, and no slower from 0-62mph than the automatic: both manage the sprint in 7.9sec. It’s refined, too, save for a bit of grumble at idle speeds.
The V60 still delivers a relaxed and refined ride, even if the 18in alloys of our Inscription model are slightly harsher than the 17in ones on entry-level Momentum cars. The long wheelbase provides stability in the corners, with ample grip and traction for day-to-day driving, but the light steering lacks the precision of more dynamic rivals such as the BMW 3 Series Touring.
Manual shifts do little to change that, so this gearbox would perhaps make more sense mated to the upcoming T5 petrol engine instead of a diesel - although right now, Volvo’s order books list the T5 only attached to an automatic.
Few buyers are expected to drive their V60s in anger, and the calming effect of the minimal interior actively encourages a more sedate style of motoring. There's plenty of room for passengers front and rear to stretch their legs, with head room to match. The dashboard inlays are made from driftwood and the £1800 Xenium pack’s panoramic sunroof floods the interior with light.
The portrait 9.3in touchscreen is the centrepiece, with a straightforward user interface that’s as easy to navigate as your smartphone. It's not quite as all-encompassing as a Tesla's, but it's close enough to eliminate many buttons and dials from the centre console. The uprated Harman Kardon stereo system is worth every bit of the £825 it adds to the list price, too, although another £300 to add Apple CarPlay and Android Auto feels a little stingy.
A traditional instrument cluster makes way for digital dials that can display sat-nav directions and data from the Pilot Assist adaptive cruise control system, which uses radar for lane-keeping assistance. It’s a £1625 option that makes motorway journeys a breeze.
It’s only here that road noise really becomes noticeable, giving the equivalent Mercedes or Audi a slight edge.