By Maggie Barry on 2018-12-09 - Experienced car journalist.
Volvo V60 D3
TIME was when Volvos were big square load luggers. Whole families with dogs, cats and granny would pack themselves into these massive boxy cars.
Today you can still pack the family in, but my, has this car changed. Indeed Volvo, as a company, have changed dramatically from the badge that was the butt of Jasper Carrott jokes to a sleek, svelte 21 century version of itself.
The V60 I've been driving is the sixth all new model the company have launched since 2014 and it is seeing the payback in terms of sales globally.
Moreover it has positioned itself as a leader in the electric and autonomous market and was one of the first car makers to announce in 2017 a global electrification strategy.
Every car it launches from 2019 onwards will be electrified regardless of the fuel type.
Indeed there will shortly be a V60 hybrid to add to the range which includes this D3 diesel version I tried and which is likely to be the best seller in R-Design trim although this one came in the upgraded Inscription finish.
Unlike its ancestors, it is long and sleek with the Volvo signature grille and subtle roof bars.
Inside it is just immensely comfortable and sitting behind the wheel is like relaxing in a big armchair. It occurs to me that if I had to do a lot of miles this would well be the car I would choose to do them in.
Onboard, standard to every V60, is the Sensus system which gives you sat nav, the Internet and access to apps.
There is also Volvo On Call which you can connect to via your smartphone and this enables you to control various functions remotely while also acting as a tracking service.
The V60 has the innovative Volvo iPad-type screen for all car systems and features and from where you can access the entertainment controls too. Swipe one way for the tech and car systems and another for stuff like radio, Bluetooth and apps.
Volvo have now put its new D3 diesel engine in this car . The V60 while not as big as the V90 is still a substantial car but this engine suits it really well.
What is most striking is how incredibly quiet it is for a diesel and yet at the same time it is phenomenally efficient - it will give you more than 60mpg. When you have a lot of travelling to do, perhaps as a small business, this is really going to matter.
It is smooth and swift with plenty of push for the size of the car and in the automatic version under my hands it is also very responsive.
The other things that will matter for drivers doing long distances in this car is the tech and the safety features.
The V60 has City Safe onboard which detects pedestrians,cyclists and large animals, oncoming lane mitigation, run-off road protection and features such as pilot assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information and many more as part of the Intellisafe Pack.
Volvo V60 D3 Inscription
Mechanical: 150bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 127mph
0-62mph: 9.9 seconds
Combined MPG: 60.3
Insurance Group: 24
C02 emissions: 123g/km
Bik rating: 29%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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