Volvo's super green

estate

Volvo V60, front static (3)
Volvo V60, front static (2)
Volvo V60, side static
Volvo V60, rear static (2)
Volvo V60, dashboard
Volvo V60, boot

VOLVO is developing its green credentials in leaps and bounds.

The Swedish manufacturer already has probably the best hybrid heavyweight 4x4 with the XC90.

And it's now moved the technology down in size to match the V60 lifestyle estate and give it an electric-only range of no less than 31 miles.

The new plug-in hybrid D6 boasts a five cylinder diesel engine producing 220bhp and an electric motor that adds another 65.

That equates to a zero to 62 miles an hour time of 6.1 seconds driven in anger, when the two power units combine for phenomenal acceleration.

But plugging it in at night for maximum electric range means zero emissions and when in hybrid mode, it emits just 48 grammes per kilometre and gives a claimed combined economy of 155mpg.

Now of course for the moment, such technology does not come cheap, whichever manufacturer is producing it.

But with benefit in kind tax of just eight per cent this is a car that makes a very strong case for the business user.

It's the most powerful diesel Volvo ever made and it works so well, I can see a diesel hybrid being added to the XC90 range in the not too distant future.

Just by the flick of a switch, it can be turned from a pure electric car to a hybrid or to a sporting estate that needs make no apology to anyone.

Hybrid is the default setting, which the car returns to every time its switched off and where it makes best use of both powertrains to gain those low, low emissions and that high economy.

The automatic gearbox works perfectly with all modes to help each give of its best and, when needed, the performance in Hybrid mode is almost as good as in Power.

All wheel drive is standard and it gives tremendous traction to make sure you keep going in winter's worst, but can also help out in fast corners when pressing on, where it feels well sorted and agile in every manoeuvre.

But thanks to its batteries, which are mounted under the floor, it needs stiffer suspension and this affects the quality of the ride over poorer surfaces and even on quite smooth roads.

The seats are excellent, interior space is big enough for most families and standard kit includes a whole raft of safety devices including city safety, which applies the brakes if it decides a front end impact is imminent.

FAST FACTS

Price: £50,175

Mechanical: 220bhp, 2,400cc, 5cyl diesel and electric motor driving all four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 143mph

0-62mph: 6.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 155

Insurance Group: 42

C02 emissions: 48g/km

Bik rating: 8%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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