Itís fair to say that Volvo has pretty much cracked it when it comes to the premium market. You can now say the name in the same breath as BMW, Mercedes and Audi. However, to really compete in this market youíve got to have a compact executive rival for the 3 Series the A4 and C Class. Volvoís answer to this is the V60 albeit in estate form - for now.
At first glance you easily could mistake this car for the Volvo V90 but when you take a closer look at some of the detailing they suddenly look a lot more different. For example, thereís the Thor-Hammer headlights which neatly break out of the main headlight unit, the more concave grille and the overall squattier look that Volvo say gives this car a more athletic dynamic. Most importantly this is an estate car which they say is the spiritual successor to the Volvo V70.
The new V60 is actually 18cm shorter than the V90 but 13cm longer than the old car. It has some lovely detailing along the flanks and carries that distinctive Volvo shoulder-line. Whatís important with this being an estate car is the carrying capacity and we have to say that this car boasts the classiest and biggest boot there is. As youíd expect it has a very nice shape to it but itís also got a low entry point and enough space to load in your washing machine! The rear seats fold at the touch of a button which is handy and thereís also some useful tethering points dotted around the place. However, all in all this is pretty dull and sensible Ė what we really want to know is how good this car is to drive.
The car we are reviewing for this article is the D4 Inscription model which is currently the top of the range model as of typing. Itís a diesel with 188 break horse power (bhp) though thereís also a D3 diesel which gives you 148 bhp. Thereís also a petrol unit and potentially two, what they term plugin hybrid engines, to come. As a diesel this car really isnít too bad. It will give you a decent amount of poke but what we really like about it is that itís quite hushed particularly on a cruise. Volvo bravely say that this car is the most dynamic Volvo theyíve ever made Ė hmm. It has to be said that Volvoís definition of dynamism and our definition is slightly different. Ok, the car steers reasonably well but thereís just no feeling through the steering. The gearbox is very good and slips through the gears nice and easily. The front grip is good and the body-roll is pretty limited but youíre not going to have a thrill a minute like you do in a BMW 3 Series Touring but thatís not what Volvo cars are about. Simply put, the V60 is just a comfortable cruiser.
When you sit in the cabin youíll find that the quality isnít quite up there with the Mercedes Benz C Class or the Audi A4 level but itís pretty good nonetheless. It has a great style about it from everything from the seats to the infotainment system. Thereís plenty of kit but our only bug-bear is that most of it is on the options list. The only caveat being that satnav comes as standard on every model.
Itís on a motorway that the V60 is at its best. When youíre travelling at around 70 miles per hour (mph) then you can activate what Volvo calls Pilot Assist. What this means is that the car will keep a set distance away from the car in front. Not only will the car slow down if the car in front slows down but it will also stay within its lane. Due to this technology you are able to drive this car hands-free but youíre not advised to do this as you should be in control of your car at all times. The V60 will kindly remind you of this with a beeping noise should you ever decide to take your hands off the steering wheel.
We think Volvo has got another winner on its hands with the V60. Ok, itís not as good to drive as the BMW 3 Series and the interior build quality isnít up there with the likes of Audi and Mercedes but we still like this car a lot. Why? Itís because this car is different. When you sit inside a BMW, Audi or Mercedes then you do get that feeling of overall quality but itís a familiar feeling. However, when you sit inside the V60 you still get all of that style, quality, comfort and refinement but you know youíre sitting something different. Feel free to search the DesperateSeller.co.uk website for used Volvo V60 cars for sale today.