Very stylish, very functional, the new Volvo V60

The all-new stylish Volvo V60 sports wagon arrived here in December and I got to try it out extensively on Irish roads, good and bad.

The sleek coupé-like design has a pronounced wedge shape and the slim coupe-like roof line turns this rare breed into a sporty wagon. The sporty rear does not sacrifice functionality. The load area has a capacity of 430 litres with the rear seats in place.

Volvo believes the typical sports wagon customer is an S60 buyer who would like some extra space and flexibility, but without the slightest compromise on sporty design and exciting driving properties. And they achieved this in spades with the new V60.

The new Volvo V60 is available with a variety of diesel and petrol engines. Their focused drive to cut CO2 emissions has lowered fuel consumption throughout the engine range.

An example of this is a new 1.6-litre GTDi engine with 180 horsepower called the T4. It will offer maximum torque of 240 Nm from just 1500 rpm all the way up to 5000 rpm. During short-term overboost, it provides an impressive 270 Nm of torque. This gives excellent flexibility throughout the speed range. The T4 is available in combination with Volvo’s automatic six-speed Powershift transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The engine range also includes two five-cylinder turbodiesels. In the most recent D5 version, which was introduced in spring 2009, performance and driveability requirements have been met by fitting two turbochargers of different sizes, one taking over from the other and providing added power across a broader rev range. Volvo say that the complementary properties of the two turbos are utilised optimally for a combination of high performance and low fuel consumption of 52.5 mpg (EU Combined ).

In addition there is the beautifully packaged newly developed 2.0-litre D3 producing 163 bhp and 400 Nm of torque. Smooth acceleration takes you from 0-100 km/h takes 9.4 seconds (manual and automatic ). Top speed is 220 km/h (manual ) and 215 km/h (automatic ).

The new five-cylinder 2.0D is, in principle, the same engine as the present 2.4D, but cylinder capacity has been reduced with a shorter stroke to optimise fuel consumption. Both turbodiesels are available with a six-speed Geartronic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox.

Later this year a DRIVe version of the new V60 will also be introduced, featuring a 1.6-litre diesel engine. The engine produces 115 bhp and 270 Nm of torque, and will only be available with a six-speed manual gearbox.

And the new V60 will also become available in a T5 petrol variant producing 240 bhp and 320 Nm of torque.

The new V60, like the all-new S60, gets an all-new infotainment system where information is presented on a five-inch or seven-inch colour screen in the instrument panel. The screen has a high position to make it easy for the driver to keep his or her eyes on the road.

And the new V60 SW combines style, hi-tech safety features, performance and dynamic driving characteristics. Volvo continues to push forward the boundaries while still continuing to champion conquered territory like safety.

Volvo points out that the all-new V60 is packed with high-tech solutions that actively help the driver avoid accidents - and help protect the occupants if an accident is unavoidable.

For example, the new Volvo V60 also features City Safety as standard. With City Safety, the car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops - or if he or she is driving too fast towards a stationary object. The system can lessen or even entirely avoid low-speed rear-end impacts at speeds up to 30 km/h.

The interior of the V60 sports wagon is a clear example of how Volvo cars’ designers have added excitement and contrast to the Scandinavian design tradition’s rational simplicity and functionality. It has a class finish.

And the V60 is a five-seater car offering comfortable space for all its occupants, including lots of luggage space. The seats was excellent, so supportive and fully adjustable to give the optimum driving position.

I really like the Volvo V60. It is stylish inside and out, functional and does most things very well. Oh and it drives as well as it looks! It is my favourite estate car and if you want something different that ticks most boxes, then you should have a look too.

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