It would be hard to forget our first acquaintance on UK roads last summer with the new Volvo V60. It was on a launch drive in Yorkshire, and a slight deviation from the intended test route found us on a meandering rural byway with a swift-flowing ford in the middle of it. A great photo opportunity, we thought. Well yes, but also an unintended comedy scene when an over-keen co-driver gunned the car through the water, creating a bow-wave that swamped both the river bank and his camera-wielding driving companion trying to capture the action. Result: dramatic photo and thoroughly wet snapper. That’ll teach me.
So here we have this sleek white V60 for round two, joining the Diesel Car long-termer fleet and entrusted to the same intrepid writer with a slightly foolish penchant for perching on river banks. In the midst of winter, our V60 newcomer won’t be going anywhere near any of our local Kentish fords! But it’s a very welcome arrival for its elegant style, its big boot, its strong D4 188bhp engine performance, and its highly winter-friendly kit list. Hooray.
The V60 diesel range kicks off at an on-the-road price of £32,410, but our car is a superior D4 Inscription at £36,310. In addition, it comes equipped with four packs and some other single-choice options that together add nearly another £8k to the price. So as tested, it works out to £44,085.
So what has it got? The Convenience Pack at £500 features worthwhile features like the power folding rear seat backrests and headrests, a three-pin plug socket in the centre console, a 12-volt outlet, grocery bag holder and a handy luggage protection net in the boot.
A pricey, at £1,625, but highly desirable pack is Intellisafe Pro that serves up some of Volvo’s best safety kit: pilot assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system, cross traffic alert, rear collision mitigation and auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors. We’re big fans of the rear cross traffic protection, although its high level of sensitivity can be a bit disconcerting the first time the car slams on the brakes in reaction to a vehicle you’re already aware of.
The pack that brings a big smile to my face is the winter one. For £525 it adds some useful heating: front seats, front windscreen and aqua blades, and a headlight cleaning system. The other equipment pack included in our new V60 is called Xenium and is the dearest at £1,800, but it brings some highly desirable treats to the party: a powered glass tilt-and-slide panoramic sunroof, complete with powered sun curtain heads the list. There’s also the joyful addition of 360-degree surround-view cameras that are a boon for parking, and especially for checking your proximity to a kerb to avoid any irksome damage to the alloys. The pack also includes park assist pilot, which is a great help for any owner for whom parking is a bit of an irksome chore. I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that if you can’t efficiently park a car, you shouldn’t be driving one.
One tiny detail on the car that is particularly pleasing is the speed limit alert on the speedometer. Actually, there are two. There’s the circular speed limit sign that flashes when you go faster than the current limit, a handy feature now seen on many modern cars. But the V60 also has a little red line on the speedometer dial that repositions whenever the roadside signs change as you move from one speed limit to the next. It’s such a simple, brilliant reminder, especially with so many so-called ‘safety’ cameras now active on the roads.
So this is month one with our handsome long-backed Volvo. It’s a welcome addition to the fleet, and I’m very happy to be its custodian.
Date arrived 22nd November 2018
Fuel economy 62.9mpg (combined) 46.1mpg (on test)
The red line on the speedo that reminds you of the current speed limit and changes each time the roadside signs do.
A software glitch that means an intermittent malfunction of the audio volume control, which sometimes stubbornly won’t work.