Traditionally Volvo estates have always focused solely on maximum cargo space with good looks coming a distant second. With the V60 it’s the other way round with a strong emphasis on svelte looks. Recently the company has given its compact exec a thorough refresh including new engines and on-board technology. A new Business Edition trim level has also been added to the range which I’m testing here in D2 spec.
Volvo V60 review: on the road
The V60 D2 may only push out 114 bhp from its Ford-derived 1.6 litre diesel unit, but it has enough power for most situations. It delivers its power in a smooth and progressive manner with plenty of mid-range torque and is free of any lag. It’s able to reach 62 mph in a around 11.2 seconds. Best of all you can expect 68.9 mpg combined and emissions of just 108 g/km that slips the D2 into VED band B which is £20 to you and me.
On the move the V60 errs towards comfort with superbly comfortable seats and a ride that is beautifully damped providing a soothing ride no matter what you put in its path. It also handles competently with plenty of grip and well contained body movements feeling poised yet relaxed.
Volvo V60 review: meaty steering and quiet interior
The driving experience does however lack excitement, mainly due to the rubbery six-speed gearbox that doesn’t like to be rushed, and steering that, although meaty, is imprecise. What it does do incredibly well though is isolate occupants exceptionally well from the goings-on outside with minimal wind and tyre noise. The engine though is noisier than it should be, with plenty of rumble, especially under hard acceleration.
Volvo V60 review: the interior
The cabin is one of the nicest around as it’s smartly laid out with some thoughtful touches. The layout continues with Volvo’s familiar floating centre console with buttons grouped together by function. The only real disappointment centres around the V60s build quality which seems to have deteriorated, especially noticeable on the centre console which creaked and rattled on the car I tested.
Despite the shallow roofline, interior space is actually very good, with enough room for two tall passengers in the rear and the boot too offers a competitive 430 litres of space which can be extended by folding the rear seats down if needed. There’s no load lip and the cargo areas is a good shape, making it easy to use all of the space on offer.
It may sit at the bottom of the V60 range, but the Business Edition comes equipped with all of the essentials business users will be looking for. Alloy wheels, keyless entry, power folding door mirrors, automatic lights and wipers, climate control, cruise control, electric windows front and rear, a CD player and MP3 connection, Bluetooth and integrated satellite navigation with a 7-inch colour display screen are all standard.
Volvo V60 review: our conclusion
Perhaps the most successful part of the V60 package is its exterior styling that is a real break from Volvo tradition, and has certainly been improved with the recent refresh. At the front there are new lights and a broader grill with revised lower bumper. The rear gets a revised bumper but the high-level taillights remain along with the sleek roofline and prominent waistline.
Volvo V60 review: Tech Data
Price as tested: £22,745 (£33,045 with options)
Engine: 1.6 8v 114 bhp – 0-62mph: 11.3 secs – Maximum Speed: 118 mph –
Economy: 61.4 mpg (urban) – 74.3 mpg (extra-urban), 68.9 mpg (combined) – Emissions: 108 g/km (Band B) – VED (12 months): £20
Dimensions: Length: 4,635 mm – Width: 1,865 mm – Height: 1,484 mm – Wheelbase: 2776 mm – Kerb Weight: 1,573 kg
*data from Volvo UK