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Test drive: LLM motoring editor Lisa Curtiss reviews the Volvo V60, a versatile and elegant estate

By Lisa Curtiss  |  April 13, 2020

Perfectly practical, great to drive – Volvo’s V60 has set all the standards for cars in this class. Its clean Scandinavian lines and subtle yet effective eye-catching details give it an allure of its own – setting it apart from more fussy and chrome bedecked rivals.

Distinctive headlights with their T-shaped daytime running lights and indicators to the tail-lights emphasise the muscular line that flows down the car’s lean flanks and hint at sporting prowess.

Slip inside and you’ll notice the cabin and dash are just as elegant. It has the same ground-breaking Sensus touchscreen control system as Volvo’s other new models, which allows the cabin to be largely free of buttons and switches. This clean design, along with premium natural materials such as the hand-finished Drift Wood inlays of Inscription versions, makes the V60’s interior a calming place to be.

This may be Volvo’s smallest estate, but there’s still ample space for a family to travel in comfort. It actually has the largest boot of any premium mid-size estate, at 529 litres with the rear seats up. Fold the rear seats down flat – done at the touch of a button on cars with the optional Convenience pack – and the load space increases even more to an impressive 1,441 litres. Flat boot sides and no loading lip make using all the V60’s available space easy, too. Opt for the hands-free tailgate opening our model on test had – when you’ve bags of Waitrose shopping!

Like all new Volvos, this one comes with the latest in connectivity and infotainment technology including the company’s ground-breaking Sensus touchscreen control system. The nine- inch display allows you to control the car’s major functions from a single interface. It works like a smartphone or tablet, with full pinch, zoom and swipe functionality.

We enjoyed the sophisticated voice-activated control system which is also standard. It enables you to change cabin temperature or radio station whilst keeping your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. The V60 can be turned into a WiFi hotspot too, via either a mobile phone or the built-in car modem and a SIM card with a mobile data allowance.

A wide range of apps are available and every model benefits from the pioneering Volvo On Call connected services platform – amongst its many advantages, this will come to your rescue in an emergency, too. If a seatbelt pre-tensioner is activated or an airbag is deployed in a crash, an operator will contact the car and can send the emergency services to your precise location using the car’s inbuilt GPS system. Volvo On Call can also be used to contact roadside assistance – for example, if your car has a puncture – and the GPS can even help to track your car if it is stolen.

Another highlight for us was the excellent Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound system option our model – crystal clear sound fills the cabin doing more than justice to all your favourite tracks.

Out on the road, this is an engaging and dynamic drive. Every engine the V60 comes with is Volvo’s own economical and smooth 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Drive-E unit. As you’d expect, all are fitted with a veritable raft of safety systems. Highlights include City Safety collision avoidance, Pilot Assist semi-autonomous drive technology, Run-off Road Mitigation and Run-off Road Protection and Steering Support. These are all part of Volvo’s Vision 2020 – that no one will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020.

A ground-breaking, elegant, safety focused great car to own and drive.

Price from £33,800