Review Volvo V60 New car

23 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Review Volvo V60 New car отключены
Volvo V60 Electric Cars

VOLVO V60

VOLVO V60 NEW CAR REVIEW

Estate cars are a big part of Volvo. In fact, you could argue that they’re what the Swedish brand is best known for in the UK. The V60 is a Volvo and an estate but it isn’t quite what we’ve come to expect.

The dynamic looks and Sports Wagon branding are symbolic of the company’s ongoing drive to update its image and attract a different kind of buyer but have some traditional virtues been mislaid en route?

There are certain car terms that you never think you’ll see associated with certain car manufacturers. You’d bet your house on odd couples like Kia V12, Jeep roadster and Rolls-Royce pick-up not seeing the light of day, even in a crazy world where Aston Martin can build a citycar. A few years back, you’d also have put your bottom dollar on Volvo and sport wagon being the unlikeliest of bedfellows, and lost it.


Volvo was known for big boxy estates that could out-carry a Transit van while sports wagon is industry jargon for the kind of trendy estate car that often prioritises style over practicality. Surely the two couldn’t mix? You’d have thought so but then Volvo embarked on a bold design direction aiming to rid itself of the old ‘dependable but dull’ tags.

First the compact V50 was badged as a sports wagon and today’s V60, the estate version of the S60 saloon, follows suit. To calm traditionalists fearing the end of an era, Volvo claims that the curvy lines don’t come at the expense of practicality but can demanding Volvo estate fans trust a Volvo sport wagon to deliver the goods?

The line-up of engines available to Volvo hasn’t looked this good for a while and the V60 benefits from some of the best. There’s a 304bhp T6 model at the top of the range with a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine that can propel the V60 past 60mph in 6.6s but it won’t be a big seller. More realistic options are the 2.0-litre turbocharged T5 models which still have a meaty 240bhp and the 1.6-litre GTDi petrol engine that has 180bhp in the T4 model and 150bhp in the T3.

The design of Volvo cars has been moving away from the old big and boxy stereotypes for a while

The diesels range from the 205bhp 2.4-litre D5, which with 420Nm has almost as much torque as the T6 petrol, to the 115bhp 1.6-litre DRIVe unit that’s included for its standout fuel economy. The middle child could well be the V60’s best power option. The D3 diesel is a 2.0-litre unit with 163bhp and 400Nm of torque.

The trip from standstill to 60mph takes 9.4s and economy is strong. All V60 models get a six speed manual gearbox as standard but with selected engines, there’s the option of a Geartronic automatic or the clever Powershift dual clutch transmission.

Interestingly, there are three chassis set-ups available to V60 buyers which govern how the car performs on the road. The Dynamic chassis is fitted as standard in the UK with a firmer, more sporting set-up than the Touring chassis that’s available as an option and designed for superior ride comfort. The final option is the Volvo FOUR-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept), an active suspension that allows drivers to select their preferred settings when on the move.

Advanced Stability Control is standard, as is Corner Traction Control which acts like a limited slip differential to control understeer when cornering.

Lots of people will have a clear picture in their head of what a Volvo estate looks like but the V60 is quite a departure from that. It employs what Volvo calls its ‘racetrack’ design with the lines of the car flowing organically into each other like the curves of a race circuit. Boxy it ain’t.

The roofline curves gently down towards the rear and the bonnet curls down towards the nose. Where old Volvo designs were a riot of right-angles, this one has barely a straight line on it. It’s not just different for the sake of being different though. The alert stance, short overhangs and sleek shape work well.

Inside, there’s similar attention paid to the aesthetics with a stylish dash and clearly presented controls — but is it practical?

The boot is 430 litres, which is just under 100 litres up on the S60 saloon but less than you’ll cram into compact executive estates like the BMW 3 Series Touring and Audi A4 Avant. Volvo points out that there’s more to practicality than sheer load volume and it’s got a point. The V60 load area has been designed with a wide aperture of 1,095mm and a uniform shape, so all of the available capacity can be used.

Volvo V60 Electric Cars

The rear bench splits 40/20/40 and drops down flat to the floor, while the front passenger seat can do likewise to further increase luggage space.

One area where the V60 sticks very much to Volvo tradition is safety. The excellent City Safety technology that can automatically warn the driver and, ultimately, apply the brakes if it detects an imminent collision, is standard. There’s also an optional Pedestrian Detection function that keeps an eye out for people stepping in front of the vehicle.

Seatbelt pretensioners are fitted to all seats and a full array of airbags is standard.

Technology features available on the V60 include the ACC Adaptive Cruise Control system that can maintain a set gap to the vehicle in front, a parking assist camera with front and rear sensors and a further camera on the front grille to help the driver see out of bind junctions. The specially developed infotainment system brings the various functions together on a five or seven inch screen mounted high on the dashboard.

The D5 diesel engine can return 52mpg on the combined cycle, which isn’t bad considering the performance it offers. It means that the V60 can’t match the best of the BMW diesel engine range for efficiency but has equivalent Audi and Mercedes models in its sights. The T6 petrol engine is a good deal thirstier with 27.7mpg economy.

The design of Volvo cars has been moving away from the old big and boxy stereotypes for a while but the V60 Sports Wagon could be the most significant departure to date. Not only is it a large estate car of the kind that has been Volvo’s bread and butter in the past, it also sports shapely, flowing lines that are a world away from those of the straight-edged load lugers that many still associate with the brand.

The capacity in the back of the V60 might not be huge by Volvo standards but a well designed, versatile interior means practicality should remain intact. Safety provision is outstanding, while the engine line-up has scope and quality. The V60 is something different from Volvo that’s also different enough from the competition to stand out.

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