IF proof were ever needed that Volvo has announced itself in the premium sector in style then the V60 is just the evidence necessary and it has all the executive ingredients to take on the big guns.
The V60 is the latest in the Swedish marque's assortment of recent launch models and while it was first introduced in Momentum and Inscription trim levels, Volvo recently added sporty R-Design and muscular Cross Country versions to the line-up.
Our Cross Country model of the 4x4 estate car looked impressive without being too imposing and was fully kitted out with all the latest on-board technology we demand from manufacturers these days.
First impressions count and the V60 is an instant attention-grabber thanks to its streamlined body, charcoal protective cladding and wheel arch trims, dark tinted windows, Pine Grey metallic paint, retractable tow-bar and 19-inch black alloys to complete the look. It also has a raised ride height so the car can be taken off road without damaging the undercarriage.
You can access a range of web apps and browse the internet if a SIM card with mobile data allowance is used. The system can also be used to create a mobile WiFi hotspot so passengers can connect their tablet or smartphone to the internet whilst on the move.
The Sensus set-up is also where you access the likes of the navigation systems, radio stations, climate control, phone contacts and car settings.
Our V60 Cross Country cost £38,270 (£46,820 with options) and was powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine delivering 190hp. It was paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and could complete the 0-62mph dash in a very respectable 8.2 seconds, maxing out at 130mph while delivering combined fuel economy of 42.8-47.9mpg (WLTP) and carbon emissions of 143g/km.
Out on the open road the acceleration through the beautifully-timed transmission is both smooth and responsive with a constant stream of power on tap to make light work of overtaking.
We covered more than 600 miles and found the car to be an exceptionally comfortable motorway cruiser while also being able to cope with twisting narrow lanes through the Devon countryside. It is agile and easy to manoeuvre making the vehicle simple to park despite it stretching more than 4.7 metres in length.
Comfort levels are really impressive and easily match those found in many high-end premium models, and back seat passengers are not compromised when it comes to space either.
The boot has a capacity that ranges from 529 litres to 1,441 litres with the split-folding rear seats dropped flat - this is a simple operation with buttons in the boot automatically folding the seats flat. And, elsewhere there are storage compartments aplenty scattered throughout the car.
The driver can choose from different drive modes that alter the way the car handles and these are called Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. There is also an Off-Road setting that makes the most of all the car's 4x4 capabilities.
While most owners will not dream of tackling really testing off-road courses, the V60 Cross Country is very capable at climbing hills, slippery slopes or traversing muddy tracks, so towing a caravan weighing up to two tonnes across a boggy campsite for a family holiday would be a complete doddle.
Volvo is a name that is instantly associated with safety and the V60 is loaded with kit to protect occupants and passengers alike.
There are also numerous driver-assist systems to help prevent accidents occurring in the first place, such as autonomous emergency braking that works day or night and detects vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists or large animals up ahead. The driver is alerted to the danger, and if the warnings are ignored, the car will automatically brake to avoid a collision.