Volvo V60 makes

style practical

Volvo V60, 2018, side, action
Volvo V60, 2018, front
Volvo V60, 2018, front, action
Volvo V60, 2018, side
Volvo V60, 2018, rear
Volvo V60, 2018, rear, action
Volvo V60, 2018, interior
Volvo V60, 2018, rear controls
Volvo V60, 2018, rear seats
Volvo V60, 2018, boot
Volvo V60, 2018, boot, seats folded
Volvo V60, 2018, boot hooks
Volvo V60, 2018, cargo panel
Volvo V60, 2018, boot, underfloor storage
Volvo V60, 2018, badge

VOLVO has a new model and it's not an SUV but a stylish estate that is going to mark the end of an era for the Swedish car company.

The latest V60 will be one of the last new models Volvo produces with a diesel engine as the Scandinavian car maker sticks to its strategy of cleaning up its act by 2020.

The V60's saloon sister - to be built at a new Volvo factory in the United States - will be available only with a petrol hybrid or pure electric powertrain when it arrives next year.

Yet perversely it is the diesels which are expected to be most in demand with the initial wave of V60s due out in July featuring two Drive E D3 and D4 oil burning engines developing either 150 or 190bhp.

They will be joined by a 250bhp T5 petrol engine and the V60 line up will be priced from £31,810 for a D3 manual.

Automatics cost £1,550 more and the higher powered diesel will cost from £32,810 with the auto-only T5 coming in at £34,360.

With the new V60 up against the like of the Audi A4 Avant, the Mercedes C-Class estate and BMW's 3 Series Touring those are keen prices and Volvo will be offering its new estate from £299 a month on a PCP.

It will also be the second model to come under Volvo's new subscription service, although details of that have still to be announced.

Volvo claims the latest V60 is the biggest of the lot when it comes to cargo space - and after all that is what estate cars are about.

With 529 litres of space in the back - 1,441 if you drop the rear seats - the V60 has a backpack more capacity than the Audi and more than that compared to the other two German rivals.

Think of it as a baby V90, alongside which the V60 is built at Volvo's Gothenburg headquarters and you get the picture.

At 15ft 7ins long and 6ft 8ins wide the new V60 is bigger than before but sits lower making it a smart looking beast with a hint of Volvo's legendary P1800 about it.

Rear seat leg space is generous and comfort levels are high with the instrumentation centred on the now familiar nine-inch Sensus tablet-like touchscreen and a minimal amount of conventional controls.

And being a Volvo it is crammed with safety systems including lane departure warnings, a semi-autonomous drive mode and all-round object detection.

There's also the world's first application of automatic braking to help avoid a collision with an oncoming vehicle.

We have just tried the new V60 with the higher powered D4 diesel engine in high specification Inscription trim and priced from £37,860 for an eight-speed auto.

Four drive modes are available and each has a marked difference on the car's feel - ranging from Eco to Dynamic, which gives some real bite to the engine.

Officially it is rated at a lively 7.6 seconds 0 to 60 with a top speed of 137mph and fuel economy comes in at 62.9mpg with emissions of 119g/km for versions sitting on 17-inch wheels.

However, we could manage an average of only 39 to the gallon over a mixed route that took in everything from motorways to country lanes and saw good use of the different drive settings.

Optional sports suspension helped the feel considerably particularly when cornering and the car itself is surprisingly quiet as it goes about its business.

Not only is it exceptionally refined and comfortable but touches such as a head up display that puts speed, traffic sign and navigation information into the driver's line of sight were a welcome addition.

On the practical side, all V60s come with underfloor storage in the boot as well as a number of convenient hooks at the sides of the luggage compartment from which bags can be suspended or tethers attached.

That's in addition to an erectable floor panel complete with elasticated straps to hold baggage in place.

It is as complete an estate car as can be imagined and with its sharp yet conservative looks is a fine alternative to anything the Germans can offer.

Sporty looking R-Design versions will be here before the year is out and so will a plug-in hybrid derivative, prices for which have still to be announced with the initial range topping out just shy of £41,000 for Inscription Pro automatics.

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