WHEN Volvo launched the second generation of its V60 model last year the company knew it was a car that just had to be right.
For the premium mid size estate is at the very core of the Swedish car maker's DNA. Think of the generations of estates of this size which have gone before it.
But unlike many of its long gone predecessors, which concentrated more on luggage capacity than style, the new generation is low, sleek and sporting.
So much so that it's hard to say which is the best looking car, the new estate or its sibling saloon the S60.
But despite its easy on the eye appearance it's still a car which stays true to Volvo's heritage, offering generous luggage and passenger space.
After all for most people an estate car is all about space, and the V60 boasts the largest boot of any mid-sized premium estate.
There's 529 litres available with the rear seatbacks up and 1,441 litres with them folded down. And as both the floor and sides are flat it makes loading easy, especially as there's no loading lip.
Another bonus is that all models - irrespective of spec - now come with a powered tailgate.
The minimalist interior is business-like and functional with a large centre-set, nine inch iPad-style touch screen controlling most of the functions and allowing the cabin to be largely free of buttons and switches.
Immediately in front of the driver are traditional twin dials (speedometer and rev counter) with the analogue speedometer also having a digital readout at its centre so you can't mistake your speed.
As if that wasn't enough the model tested here also had a head-up display projecting a third speed reading into the windscreen.
Sporting seats in a mixture of Nappa leather and cloth hold you firmly in place thanks to good side supports and are electrically adjustable.
One feature new to me came on this Volvo as part of a £300 convenience pack which included a 230v/150w three-pin plug socket in the rear of the centre console, allowing you to plug in any of your domestic appliances.
The V60 is powered by a 2.0-litre, four cylinder engine in line with Volvo's commitment five years ago to restrict engine sizes in all its models.
With 190bhp under the bonnet this powerful diesel makes light work of whisking this large estate up to motorway speed and beyond with little effort.
It was mated to a slick, very smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox and while there's no Sport mode on the automatic gearbox you can change the car's overall setting from Comfort to Dynamic to sharpen performance.
In the case of the car tested here Dynamic had been replaced by a Polestar Performance setting, a £745 optional extra which gives around 10bhp more power than the standard car.
That power is concentrated mid range for safer overtaking and as you release the accelerator the gearbox responds faster for more balanced cornering.