On its Ford-sourced platform, the first-generation V60 rode well enough but, Polestar version aside, was more ordinary than the sporting claims made by Volvo’s marketing agency suggested.

Thankfully, the move to in-house underpinnings and adjustable dampers has done nothing to sully the V60’s ability to round off all but the worst the UK road network can throw at it. In fact, barring a tendency to feel a touch over-sprung at inner-city speeds, this chassis feels right on the money in terms of everyday comfort compared with rivals.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
ESC Sport mode is nicely calibrated, trimming wheelspin without affecting momentum.

That said, at a cruise, the tyres do transmit more noise into the cabin than those of a C-Class or A4, and we can’t vouch for the R-Design package, which, with its lowered suspension, should be selected as an option with caution.

The sporting side of the equation is more complicated. The V60 possesses satisfactory balance and cuts an unflustered figure even as speeds become most unbecoming of a Volvo estate.

The V60 met Millbrook’s Hill Route in resolute fashion. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say body control is a cut above what we’ve come to expect from Volvo estate cars and the resulting grip and traction allowed this front-driven chassis to make quick, sure-footed progress at all times.

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A similarly powerful BMW 3 Series Touring – rear driven, of course – would undoubtedly negotiate this place with greater panache and a more natural balance, but you’d need timing gear to confirm any objective superiority.

If the V60 is deficient in one particular area, it is steering. The front axle that this rack directs remains faithful at commitment levels far beyond what most owners will ask of it, but a crisper response just off centre would endow the car with a feeling of agility commensurate with its composure.

The company doesn’t offer air suspension but it’s hardly required, such is the tight, precise control of both lateral and vertical body movements, and the stability generated by the car’s long wheelbase is palpable.

Indeed, this chassis is agile and never bites, but neither does it ever truly entertain, unless you’re the sort who takes satisfaction from calculated progress. Direction changes are dispatched dispassionately and the steering is as mute as it ever was with midsized Volvo estates.

Were the V60 to possess fluid dynamics, this would be something to mourn. As it is, the chassis engineers at Gothenburg can take pride in having created an immensely sure-footed, competent car that takes day-today commitment in its comfortable stride, but there’s work to be done if the 3 Series is to feel any heat from the perspective of keen drivers.

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