Spring seemed to arrive unseasonably early this year, so the annual urge to indulge in a good spring clean erupted a couple of months sooner than usual. I’m inclined to be a bit of a hoarder, and the time was ripe for a good old chuck-out to relieve our house of unwanted clutter. Hence a big heap of bags destined for a nearby charity shop and the local tip. It has not only been therapeutic in clearing space at home, but also a reminder of just how handy an estate car can be for such an enterprise.
The V60’s low rear sill, large boot and electrically operated tailgate have all been a boon for the tasks of loading, transporting and delivering cargoes of unwanted old clothes, books and other household paraphernalia. While all this has been going on, I’ve had the rear seats stowed flat to maximise carrying capacity, and the roller-blind boot cover temporarily removed from the car to facilitate higher than usual loads. It’s just as well that the V60 is so practical, with one of the largest boots amongst similar size estate cars. So it stacks up very well as a load-lugger against its three key rivals, the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3-Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.
As soon as we finished offloading all the unwanted clutter, I quickly reinstalled the boot cover. It’s not your usual stay-put design, but one of the more sophisticated kind that rises automatically with the tailgate, and lowers back into position when it shuts, for a good combination of convenience and security.
Other activity this month has included a weekend trip to the West Country, with a friend’s young daughter strapped securely in the back in her child seat. It was a good test of the Volvo’s kinetosis rating. Between five and ten per cent of the population suffer from motion sickness, and small children tend to be particularly prone, partly due to the lower level at which they sit in a car. Little Lyla was fine though, which says much for the V60’s ride quality and smoothness in motion. It is commendable for seat comfort too, with well-shaped contouring and supportive cushioning that effectively absorbs any transmitted vibration that hasn’t been damped out by the supple suspension. This, combined with pretty fair noise suppression, make the car a relaxing prospect for a long drive. So a three hour trek from south London to Somerset is a lower-fatigue journey than it would be in some other estate cars.
The V60’s effortlessly elegant Scandinavian cabin design is another asset that eases you over a distance. Its centrepiece is a larger-than-most vertical interactive screen, on which you can scroll sideways through pages of command features. Its disadvantage is how readily it amasses smudgy marks left by fingers jabbed at it. So that’s something else that has shown up under recent unseasonal sunshine and in need of a spring-clean.
Date arrived 22nd November 2018
Fuel economy 62.9mpg (NDEC combined) 49.2mpg (on test)
The handy cloth supplied by Volvo to use for buffing out annoying fingerprints that seem to constantly grubby the large infotainment screen.
Having an unusually large touch screen set into the dash means that there’s a bigger than usual area for noticing the inevitable finger marks and dust.