On Test: Volvo V60 D3

It’s a good looking thing, the Volvo V60. Especially in bright Passion Red and R Design trim, with its subtle bodykit and dark, 18-inch wheels.

But the V60 is an estate, and a Volvo estate at that. And a pretty face does not a good estate make. When it comes to estateiness, the V60 is found wanting. All three of its main rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes have bigger, squarer boots, with or without the back seats folded down. In fact, in outright volume terms, even the Ford Mondeo hatchback knocks it into a cocked hat.

Rear seat space is a bit tight, as well. So long as you fit, though, the interior is a pleasant place to while away the time. The button-heavy centre console and some of the materials show the car’s age. But the layout is easy to navigate, as is the infotainment system, and it’s built with the solidity we expect from Volvo.

The chassis is getting on, too. A legacy of the time Ford owned Volvo, it dates back to the mid-2000s. Volvo’s engineers tried to make it sporty, but they missed the mark. The chassis is actually very capable, but it doesn’t encourage you to push to the ragged edge. The V60 prefers to waft, the supple suspension giving a composed and comfortable ride. Though the R Design wheels do amplify sharper ridges and holes.

The car tested here came with Volvo’s latest 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine (every Volvo engine shares the same block) in D3 tune, coupled to an automatic gearbox. It feels punchier than relatively modest figures of 147bhp and 236lb/ft of torque suggest, serving up a decent slug of mid-range thrust. But it, too, prefers a slower pace.

At which point, it delivers impressive economy. Driven less than sympathetically, it resolutely returned high 40s to low 50s. Drive more carefully and it might actually get somewhere near the claimed 67.3mpg average.

Objectively, the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C-Class are all much better cars than the Volvo V60. But the Volvo is the one that encourages you to slow down, relax and enjoy the journey. That’s a likable quality.

James and Tall Tim went on a journey of their own in the Volvo. Watch the video here

Volvo V60 2.0 D3 R Design Nav Geartronic

Price: £32,780

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel

Transmission: 6-speed automatic; front-wheel-drive

Power/Torque: 147bhp; 236lb/ft

Economy/Emissions: 67.3mpg; 111g/km

0-62mph: 8.8 seconds

Top speed: 130mph

For more information click here

By Only Motors

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