From time to time in a sea of automotive mediocrity a car a comes along that takes a giant leap forward. This time it’s the new Volvo V60, a five-door, mid-size premium estate. Volvo cars have always been technically impressive but have maybe lacked some excitement in design. The company must have realised this because the new V60 is gorgeous from any angle. It’s a versatile estate car that caters to the diverse needs and realities of modern business and family life.
Few car makers can match Volvo’s history and credibility in making well-designed, tough, practical and versatile estate cars. Some of those old Amazon estate cars from years ago are still on the road today. That’s the thing with the Swedish brand: that reputation for build quality. The new V60 shares the company’s ‘Scalable Product Architecture’ platform with the award-winning XC60 and three top-of-the-line 90 series cars, which have been the collective force behind the company’s resurgence in recent years, after the sorry days of Ford ownership.
A New Standard
At first sight the V60 introduces a new standard to the mid-size premium estate segment with a luxurious interior, increased levels of space, advanced connectivity, and the very latest driver-support systems and safety technology for which the brand is renowned. It is refined, has a beautiful proportion and stance as you can see from the images, yet delivers on practicality and versatility.
Reflecting Volvo’s recent industry-first announcement to electrify all new cars from 2019, the V60 comes with two plug-in hybrid power-train options: the new T6 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340hp, or the T8 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in hybrid that delivers 390hp. In addition, the regular petrol choice for now still includes the T5 or T6 power-trains. Drivers who prefer diesel can select D3 or D4 engines.
The Future Is Now
In the near future we learn, Volvo will introduce a portfolio of electrified cars across its model range, embracing fully electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars, mild-hybrid cars plus two high-performance EV’s from their Polestar offshoot.
Volvo is genuinely proud of the its standing as the industry leader in safety and this car comes with a comprehensive list of safety features as standard, including the advanced driver-support systems previously seen on the 90 series and XC60. This makes the new V60 one of the safest cars on the road today.
For example, the ‘City Safety with Autobrake’ technology uses automatic braking and detection systems to assist the driver in avoiding potential collisions, and is the only system on the market to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. How large depends upon your location. Additionally, City Safety now also engages autobraking to mitigate oncoming collisions.
The ‘Pilot Assist’ system, which supports the driver with steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 80 mph, has been upgraded with improved cornering performance, say the company. The V60 also includes ‘Run-off Road Mitigation’, ‘Oncoming Lane Mitigation’ and other steering-assistance systems. ‘Cross Traffic Alert’ with autobrake remains an option but would definitely be worth having on our busy roads.
Inside the truly lovely interior, the ‘Sensus’ infotainment system is fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and 4G, and keeps the driver connected at all times. The system is controlled via an intuitive tablet-style touch screen that combines car functions, navigation, connected services and entertainment apps. UK prices for the V60 will start at £31,810 and the first customer deliveries are expected later this year. Go straight to the top of the class.
Geoff Maxted, DriveWrite