Volvo's new V60

estate is brilliant

Volvo V60, 2018, front, action
Volvo V60, 2018, side
Volvo V60, 2018, side, action
Volvo V60, 2018, rear, action
Volvo V60, 2018, interior
Volvo V60, 2018, boot

VOLVO has a plan. It's making all its cars so safe that no one will be killed or seriously injured in any of its new models by 2020.

Now that's a hugely laudable and amazing aim - and statistics show no XC90 driver or front seat passenger has been killed since the model was launched in 2004.

That is a fantastic record.

Of course, the company's pioneering work on safety is legendary - it was the first car maker to fit seat belts back in the 1950s - and since then, it has always been ahead of the game.

Take the beautifully proportioned and elegant new V60 estate I recently enjoyed. Like every other new Volvo, it comes with cutting edge safety built in.

The City Safety suite of collision-avoidance aids are standard and they include automatic emergency braking, which can detect vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and large animals in front of the car day or night, and warn if a collision is likely.

If the driver doesn't react, it will automatically apply maximum brakes to avoid the collision entirely or limit its severity.

All versions also come with Run-off Road Mitigation and Run-off Road Protection, to help prevent the car leaving the road and if that's unavoidable, to protect the occupants.

Steering Support is another advanced safety aid, which can provide additional steering input to help the driver steer around an object in an emergency.

And this also forms part of Oncoming Lane Mitigation, which operates between 37 and 87mph to help steer the car back onto its side of the road should it inadvertently veer out of lane.

Of course, stability and traction control have been standard on Volvos for many years.

So, we know the V60 is just about as safe as a car gets, but how does it drive?

For me, it drives beautifully in every way.

I had the lower order Momentum in 190bhp diesel form and it was truly excellent, with more than enough power for every eventuality and even a lovely engine sound.

It pulls smoothly and hard from very low revs and has plenty of urge for safe overtaking.

Drive is to the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox, although there is an eight-speed automatic that will probably be a bigger seller.

This engine is so good I would put it right up with the very best 2.0-litre diesels on the market.

I took the V60 over some awful country road surfaces but it wasn't fazed at all, simply soaking up everything I threw at it.

And the road holding was also brilliant, with hardly any roll despite the supple ride and positive steering that was full of feedback on all surfaces.

Refinement was superb with little intrusion even from tar and chipping surfaces and very little wind noise.

The car's response can be altered to suit the driver, with four different settings for Comfort, Eco, Dynamic and Individual.

Comfort would be fine for 95 per cent of drivers, because it did everything perfectly for me and I'm not that easy to please, but other settings change steering assistance, automatic gearbox changes when fitted and engine response.

Even this lowest Momentum trim includes most of the kit anyone would want. It has cruise, electric parking brake with auto hold and auto off, keyless entry and starting, auto lights and wipers and folding heated mirrors.

There's an electric tailgate, climate, parking sensors, a 12.3-inch digital instrument binnacle, a nine inch touchscreen for media and sat nav and voice control for everything.

It even has Volvo's On Call three year safety and security package, which includes stolen vehicle tracking.

FAST FACTS

Price: £32,810

Mechanical: 190bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 7.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 64

Insurance Group: 29

C02 emissions: 117g/km

Bik rating:28%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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