Volvo V60 D4 Momentum23 | 07 | 2018Scotcars rating

    New Volvo V60 estate takes the battle to Germany as it aims for premium superiority

    SO, YOU’VE ALWAYS THOUGHT ‘PREMIUM’ meant Audi, BMW or Mercedes? Well, I’ve got news for you; the Germans aren’t going to have it all their own way. Now there’s a super cool Scandinavian ready to rock the boat, because Volvo has seriously upped its game. (Related: Roadtest — Volvo XC40)

    Sure we’ve witnessed the Swedish carmaker’s progress through the latest generations of the XC90, V90, XC60 and, most recently, the XC40. But now Volvo is taking the battle into the heartland of what has been an area dominated by the Teutonic marques; the compact executive mid-sized estate market.

    The all-new Volvo V60 goes head-to-head with the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes C-Class Estate, and on the evidence of this first drive, the ‘establishment’ should prepare to start looking over their shoulders. (Related: Roadtest — Volvo V90 Cross Country)

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    The V60 has been graced with everything to ensure it’s a genuine contender in what is a highly competitive sector. Available only in V60 estate form at the moment — the S60 salon will follow later this year — there’s no denying it’s a handsome car, and one which carries a non-aggressive presence on the road.

    And unlike some of its rivals, Volvo has ensured there are enough subtle detail differences to  avoid any Audi ‘Russian doll’ comparisons. Of course the now familiar ‘Thor’s Hammer’ front LEDs and wraparound taillights feature, but along the flank there are some attractive, curvier lines. (Related: Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Plug-in Hybrid)

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    There are also styling lines at the front which differentiate it from its bigger brother, the V90, and help accentuate the V60’s width. There’s a similar approach at the rear where the horizontal lines give the car a squat, powerful look, and the power-operated tailgate is more upright, less raked, than the V90.

    Volvo estate fans will be delighted to know one spinoff of that is there’s more luggage space in the new V60. And that’s great news because in many cases it’s one of the core reasons families will buy the V60.

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    The V60 has the biggest boot in the class; 529-litres with the rear seats in place, and 1441 with them lowered. Worth mentioning,  at 4760mm, it’s longer than the Mercedes (4700mm) and 3 Series (4630mm). The Swede is also around 40mm wider.

    Attention has been paid to the luggage area. Not only does the boot have a flat floor and well-finished sides, but there are hooks on the window ledge, luggage hooks in the floor, cut-outs right at the back for wide loads and an elastic strap on the side. This is a V60 in the style of an old-school, traditional Volvo estate.

    Ok, it won’t swallow a wardrobe like the boxy classic Volvo 240 did, but the the V60’s definitely a car for the Ikea generation.

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    Built on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture  — just like the S90, V90, XC90 and XC60 — the new V60 now has  a62mm longer wheelbase, meaning more leg an headroom for rear passengers.

    Engines? Buyers currently have the choice of 150bhp and 190bhp diesels (D3 and D4), plus a 247bhp petrol (T5, automatic only). These are all available in Momentum, Momentum Pro, Inscription and Inscription Pro trim levels.

    I drove the D4 in both entry-level six-speed manual Momentum (£32,550), and range-topping eight-speed auto Inscription Pro (£40,860) trims. Volvo quotes just over 60mpg for both models, with the manual emitting 119g/km CO2 and the auto 125g/km.

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    But what’s more significant is, despite there being a sizeable price difference of £8310, there’s was actually very little to separate them in terms of the real life driving experience. Both deliver a quiet, supremely comfortable interior, including Volvo’s standard 9.3-inch portrait touchscreen; but to be honest, if pushed, I’d happily opt for the entry spec manual version.

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    Volvo now underplays its safety features, safe in the knowledge everyone is aware they remain the industry leaders in occupant protection. Suffice to say, the new V60 includes some very advanced safety and autonomous driving features. Some are less obvious, including a system of dampers in the seats that protect you from a spinal injury in the event your car leaves the road.

    There’s no question the new V60 lifts the estate range to a new level. Sure it’s still a sensible, safe Volvo, but now it has kerb appeal as well as a lovely cabin, loads of practicality and an obsessive approach to keeping everyone safe. What’s not to like?

    Related: T5 petrol engines for Volvo S90, V90 and XC90

    Keep up-to-date with all the latest news by following us on twitter.com/Scotcars

    Jim McGill

     

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £32,550 / £39,275
    Engine / Power: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel with 6-spd manual / 190bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 7.6sec / Max 137mph
    How big/heavy?: L4761mm W1916mm (mirrors folded) H1433mm / 1648kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: 62mpg combined / 120g/km CO2
    InsGP/Road tax: n/a / n/a
    Alternatives: Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate

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