Forgive a smug expression on the face of the V60’s enamoured custodian. Last night’s temperature dipped to minus 6 degrees Celsius and encrusted the Volvo in a crisp casing of ice. For many cars, that would be the prelude to a tiresome de-icing ordeal, followed by a shivery start to the day while the car’s systems strained to cope with the negative ambient conditions.
Ah, but this is a Scandinavian car we’re talking about here, conceived in a country bisected by the Arctic Circle. A land where reindeer roam and vehicles are designed to shrug off winters far more serious than anything that the early months of a British year can throw at them.
So there are toasty treats aboard this Volvo. Standard kit includes heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, and the optional winter pack adds a heated front windscreen and heated aqua blades. Thus equipped, an iced-up screen and a chilly cabin are rapidly dispensed with as the car readies itself for the off. Switch on, and watch the frosting on the glass melt, while warmth permeates your back and soothes your hands. No tedious screen-scraping or glove-wearing needed here.
Our car is the colour of pristine fresh Lapland snow, in its Crystal White paintwork. It suits the sleek body shape and gives it a svelte look, stunning aglow on dark winter days. It’s a premium metallic colour that really enhances the car’s appeal, but comes as a very pricey option at £950. It also has a disadvantage, and that is its readiness to show the grime that is inevitably deposited by inclement weather and grubby winter roads.
Our V60 has the more powerful of the pair of 2.0-litre diesel engines available in the range. The 148bhp D3 is the more popular of the two, but its power and performance is pipped by the 188bhp D4 that fills the space under our car’s ski-slope bonnet. The six-speed manual gearbox has a slick shift action, with ratios intelligently spaced. However, opting for a manual does tend to dictate your driving position, especially for a shorter driver, by demanding that the seat be set far enough forward to easily use the long-press clutch pedal. So for some, that may be a consideration in favour of opting for the automatic transmission.
A few recent longer trips have nudged the real-world fuel consumption up a notch over its second month with us, although it is still rather stubbornly short of the official combined figure. Pushing up towards 50mpg isn’t bad though for a biggish estate car spending much of its time on urban treks. Indulging in its heat treats doesn’t do much to flatter the economy either, but it works wonders on driver happiness.
Date arrived 22nd November 2018
Fuel economy 62.9mpg (NDEC combined) 48.4mpg (on test)
The 360-degree surround-view camera that gives a helicopter overview of the car’s position is a boon for guarding the alloy wheels as you park.
Bright white bodywork makes the V60 look stunningly svelte when it’s clean, but is a dirt magnet that risks it looking permanently grubby at this time of year.