Estate cars make ideal family cars writes Hannah Gordon
What is it? Volvo has definitely been on a roll lately with the SUV range and has now pulled out all the stops for the new V60 estate car.
Who is it aimed at? The V60 would slide elegantly into any family with its stylish looks and cavernous boot space, company workers may also be extremely interested in something that doesn’t come from the German stable.
Styling? Volvo styling has become very distinguishable thanks to its headlight design that features on most of the brands vehicles, the V60’s front end is dominated by a large grill which houses the suitably large Volvo badge in case there was any mistake working out the manufacturer. Volvo estates of old were boxy and boring, the V60 couldn’t be any more chic and makes estate cars sexy again.
Under the bonnet? Available engine choices are the D3 and D4 diesel and the T5 petrol, joining the group later in 2019 will be the hybrid drivetrain. I tested the T5 engine which is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol, it produces 250 bhp and is the most powerful of the engines. The Diesel engines produce 150 bhp (D3) and 190 bhp (D4) between them but have similar economy figures. The petrol T5 is quieter under load and more refined, as a result of being a petrol, it doesn’t do as many miles to the gallon though.
What about inside? The interior is incredibly simple with the dash being dominated by a tablet style 9” infotainment screen, although this looks great it does also mean the majority of the controls are done by swiping and touching the screen which is particularly difficult on the move.
The cabin space and seats make driving the V60 an absolute joy, as soon as you sit in the driver’s seat you feel encapsulated with luxury, long car journeys are a breeze. The interior materials feel of high quality which gives you a feeling they will stand the test of time. Apple Car Play and Android Auto will cost an extra £300 to option in.
On the road? The V60 is a great drivers car as it eats miles for breakfast, the engines are robust and powerful and come with a choice of either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic, although the auto isn’t the sharpest at changing gear. The road handling is brilliant, the V60 sits fairly low which enables it to corner with limited body roll.
Be mindful when choosing the wheel size options, larger wheels can make the driving experience slightly un-pleasurable and the adaptive suspension can get fidgety on bumpy country roads. All round the T5 petrol model will give you the most refined ride as well as making progress quicker.
What about safety? It is of no surprise that the V60 includes every safety device Volvo has ever thought up. As standard every V60 comes with City Safety with Steering Support (pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and front collision warning with fully automatic emergency braking and steering assistance), Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Run-off-Road Protection, Hill start assist, cruise control with speed limiter and rear parking sensors. There are also pack options which means you can add more safety systems such as Pilot assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information and rear collision mitigation. The V60 scored very highly in its Euro NCAP safety rating getting the full five stars.
What are my options? Options are divided into packs and these include the Winter pack which adds a heated steering wheel, heated front windscreen and heated washer jet nozzles, this costs £500 extra. There is also the Xenium pack (£1800) which has a parking camera with 360 degrees view, Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain and park assist which means the car can park itself. The active damper system costs £750 and the Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system is £2500.
Will it break the bank? Figures for the T5 petrol are a combined MPG of 42.5 with a CO2 output of 154g/km, the diesels fair better with the D3 automatic managing a combined figure of 62.8mpg and 120g/km of CO2. The more powerful D4 diesel automatic actually does slightly better than the D3 with 62.9 combined mpg and 119g/km of CO2 output. Looking at the figures if you are doing a lot of miles then the diesels are a lot more economical than the petrol version.
So the verdict? Volvo just can’t seem to stop churning out brilliant cars that appeal to the buying public, they seem to have conquered the SUV market and are now pushing the estate car. The V60 is spacious, refined and a great car to drive, the interior quality is second to none with comfort and safety at the forefront. It’s so refreshing to see an estate car that isn’t German looking like it could dominate the market. It is hard to find anything to dislike about the V60, it is a complete package that offers something for everyone.
Why you’ll buy one? Safe, stylish, refined
Why you won’t? No hybrid option for the moment
Audi A4 Avant
BMW 3 Series Touring
Mercedes C-Class Estate
Volvo V60 Petrol T5 model
Max speed: 145 mph
0-62 mph: 6.7 seconds
Emissions: 154 g/km
Model price range: from £31,810 (D3 Momentum)
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP : 5
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle):42.5mpg
Length: 4761 mm
Width: 1850 mm
Height: 1433 mm
Boot space seats up:529 litres
17th May 2019