It seems I’m not the only one who finds our V60’s lines rather fetching; over the last few weeks I’ve got used to friends drooling over it, with some asking for a ride in it as though it’s the latest supercar from Ferrari. Maybe it’s the red paint that does it; whatever it is, the V60 gets a response from friends that no other long-term test car has ever done.
When those friends travel in the car, they’re invariably impressed by the rest of the package too, which is no surprise as there’s plenty to like. There’s a truly premium feel to the cabin, with high-quality materials everywhere and the design really separates the Volvo’s interior from the mundane. It’s not a question of form over function either, as practicality is excellent with plenty of storage space.
Volvo has a reputation for comfy seats and the V60’s are no exception – they’re supportive and cossetting, with heating for those in the front row; the driver also gets a heated steering wheel. Those in the back aren’t the poor relations either, as the sculpted back seat offers ample head and leg room, and comfort too for those in the outer seats. The centre seat isn’t quite as comfy, but it’s better than most. Crucially, the back seats don’t feel at all claustrophobic, despite the car’s rising waistline, the rear privacy glass and dark coloured headlining.
As the junior estate car in Volvo’s model range, the V60 isn’t as capacious as the V90, but it’s still got plenty of boot space. Leave the back seats in place and it’ll swallow 529 litres; they fold flat to increase this to a very useful 1,441 litres, compared with 560 and 1,526 litres for the V90. A recent trip to collect a dozen large crates could have ended in frustration, but the Volvo swallowed all of them, albeit with very little space to spare.
The Volvo’s not perfect though, as too many of the functions require a read of the manual to understand what’s going on. Simple things like the auto setting for the wipers, finding the home screen for the multi-media display or scrolling between different views within the display aren’t obvious enough. Also, adjusting some settings brings up panels that then have to be closed down with the press of an icon, forcing the driver to take their eyes off the road that bit longer than necessary. These panels should close themselves down after a few seconds of inactivity.
Meanwhile, the buttons on the multi-function steering wheel consist of just icons and these aren’t all that intuitive. Familiarity makes things that much easier, but Volvo’s approach of less being more isn’t one that works universally. But I don’t care all that much about these niggles as the car just looks so great. Did I mention that?
Date arrived 12th April 2019
Fuel economy 45.6-51.4mpg (combined) 45.8mpg (on test)
Volvo isn’t unique with this, but it’s one of the few. The fuel filler flap also acts as the cap for the filler neck, so there’s no separate cap to remove when you refuel.
The wheels look superb, with their matt black and diamond-cut alloy finish. But the complex design means they’re not that easy to clean and they’re all too easy to kerb.