Volvo’s cars have always been well regarded for their safety and comfort, although often lacking somewhat in terms of styling against some of its competitors. That was the past and this is the present, appreciatively the Swedish car manufacturer currently has a competitive model line-up that’s both pleasing to admire and satisfying to drive.
Recently we had the pleasure to test drive the Volvo V60, it’s the estate variant of their mid-size saloon the S60. In our opinion it’s smarter in appearance to its saloon sibling, in a similar vein in which the Audi A4 Avant looks better proportioned to its saloon counterpart. The V60 can hold its own in the looks department against its aforementioned German competitor, along with another key rival, the BMW 3 Series Touring. The interior of the V60 is bright and airy offering adequate space for all occupants. Our test car was equipped with some choice extras including sumptuous leather upholstery that’s as comfy to sit in as a reclining sofa. There’s a quality feel to all the main controls, with tactile surfaces throughout and plenty of storage compartments. You can easily toggle through three main displays in the driver’s instrument binnacle, we set this to Sport mode for the majority of our drive. In this configuration a large rev counter takes centre stage, with a fuel and temperature gauge on either side, along with a digital speedometer in clear view within the rev counter.
The V60 is available with one petrol and two diesel engines. The T4 utilises a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine that produces 180hp and 240Nm of torque. It’s pretty efficient for a petrol engine, offering a combined fuel consumption of 5.9L/100km (47.8mpg). The key sellers in the Irish market will undoubtedly be the D2 and D4 diesel engines. The D2 V60 has a 1.6-litre common rail diesel engine with 115 hp and 270Nm of torque. It can return a combined fuel consumption of 4.1L/100km (64.2mpg) when mated to a six-speed manual transmission. Our test car was equipped with the powerful 181hp D4 diesel engine mated to Volvo’s silky-smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s a punchy engine offering plenty of performance throughout the rev range, aided no doubt by its strong 400Nm of torque. It’s refined with little engine noise intrusion into the cabin. The V60 has civilised road manners and handles any undulations in the road with ease. It’s an extremely comfortable car to drive and be a passenger in. It may not offer quite as an evolving drive as its 3-Series competitor, nonetheless it’s a more encompassing all-rounder.
The Volvo V60 is available across four trim levels, ES, SE, SE Lux and R-Design. The standard level of equipment on our SE test car is liberal with such items as cruise control, 5” colour display screen, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, chronograph instrument dials, climate control and power adjustable and heated door mirrors all included.
Volvo’s current line-up of vehicles now has the modern styling and efficient line-up of petrol and diesel engines to attract new and existing customers. The Volvo V60 is a solid performer and worthy of a closer inspection.
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