Not any more. The age of the sports tourer is upon us, and some estates look sleeker and sportier than their saloon and hatchback cousins. The Volvo V60 is a case in point.
Volvo has come a long way since its “box on wheels” image of the past. The new generation of Volvos have much softer, more sculptured lines than their bulky predecessors, and are all the better for it. The V60 follows this trend, with smooth and sleek lines And the V60 R-Design is a very nice looking car indeed.
The R-Design’s features give you sporty good looks, a re-designed front end, and very supportive leather sports seats, along with a suspension set-up that gives you firmer steering and more “feel” for the road.
The V60 offers an attractive premium alternative to its mainstream rivals. While unmistakably a Volvo, the V60 has a purposeful, refined, and up-to-date look. The interior moves Volvo design on even more, with some interesting and attractive features.
Simple Scandinavian design keeps the interior smart, stylish and practical, with everything where you expect it to be and easy to reach. The instrument panel is slightly angled towards the driver, giving it a cockpit feel. Seating – in a unique R Design trim – is comfortable for up to five adults, and load carrying capacity of 340 litres is excellent.
Handling is predictable and solid, giving the driver a good feel of the road. Steering is responsive, with just the amount of power assistance you need.
A feature of the V60 is a great range of gutsy, lightweight aluminium engines. They range from a 2.4 litre diesel to the very quick 304 bhp unit in the V60 T6 Premium. I drove the 1.6 litre 150 horsepower petrol version which pulls well exceptionally well throughout the range and is very smooth and quiet. It was married to a slick six-speed manual gearbox which was pleasant and responsive. Fuel economy is excellent returning 42.8 mpg in mixed driving.
Equipment levels are good, with keyless entry, alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control, a good stereo and CD and electric windows coming as standard. This is a Volvo so you don’t have to worry about safety. Every safety feature that can reasonably be put on this car is there, including an audible and visible warning if you get too close to the car in front, and another audible warning if you cross lanes. Both of these can be switched off. Not surprising that this car has a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
An active carbon filter air quality system also cleans dust, pollen and exhaust particles from the interior, ensuring that the air is cleaner inside the car than out, and also helps drivers and passengers with hay fever or other allergies.
The 1.6 T3 version of the Volvo V60 R-Design costs £26,275 on the road.
Road test by Ian Strachan Communications Ltd
Ian Strachan is a motoring and business writer and PR consultant. He can be contacted on 01543 490932 or 07949 202596 or via email: email@example.com