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On Test: Volvo V60 B6 AWD R-Design

Byadam-gray

Jun 23, 2021

The second generation of Volvo’s premium mid-size estate, the V60 brings all the ground-breaking technology and striking Scandinavian design from the company’s latest models to a sector that Volvo has decades of experience in.

The V60 is built on Volvo’s own SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, which also underpins the S60, XC60, S90, V90 and XC90.

As with all new Volvos, the V60 is powered exclusively by the brand’s powerful yet efficient Drive-E engines, designed and built by Volvo. These all-aluminium engines use sophisticated injection and boosting technology to offer an exceptional combination of power and efficiency.

The engine range comprises 163hp B3, 197hp B4, 250hp B5 and 300hp B6 mild-hybrid petrols, a 197hp B4 mild-hybrid diesel, and 340hp Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T6 and 405hp Recharge Plug-in Hybrid T8 Polestar Engineered petrol-electric plug-in hybrids.

Every engine comes with an eight-speed automatic gearbox made by Aisin-Warner. Petrol and diesel V60s are predominately front-wheel drive, the exceptions are the B6 and the B4 diesel and B5 petrol in the Cross Country, which are all-wheel drive. The plug-in hybrids are also all-wheel drive, with the petrol engine driving the front wheels and the 87hp electric motor powering the rears.

The V60 has double wishbone front suspension and an integral-link rear axle, which offers dynamic yet predictable handling and a smooth, well-controlled ride.

Despite being Volvo’s smallest estate, the V60 is far from diminutive. In fact, it has the largest boot of any premium compact estate at 529 litres with the rear seats up. Fold the rear seats down flat and the load space grows to an impressive 1,441 litres. Flat boot sides and no loading lip make using all the V60’s available space easy, too.

Its desirability extends to cutting-edge connectivity features, stunning interior design and Volvo’s pioneering driver-assistance technology. As you’d expect from a Volvo, it also offers industry-leading collision-avoidance and occupant-protection systems.

Five versions of the V60 are available: entry-level-Momentum, dynamic R-Design, rugged Cross County, luxurious Inscription and high-performance Polestar Engineered.

The R-Design – the model on test – takes a dynamic approach, with high-gloss black exterior trim, dual integrated exhaust pipes and 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. A lowered sports suspension set-up also helps the R-Design drive as dynamically as it looks.

The V60 is just as elegant on the inside. It has the same ground-breaking Sensus touchscreen control system as Volvo’s other models, which allows the cabin to be largely free of buttons and switches. This clean design makes the V60’s interior a calming – and distinctive – place to be.

Craftmanship and attention to detail are evident everywhere you look. For example, the four front air vents each have a silver central ‘spine’ – for directing the flow of air – that appears to float in the middle of the air vent. This is adjusted via a diamond cut rotary controller, a styling detail also seen on the volume adjuster, Drive Mode selector and engine start/stop knob.

You won’t want for equipment in any V60. Even entry-level Momentum versions are generously specified, coming with much of the connectivity, comfort and convenience features you’d expect to pay extra for.

Highlights of its standard specification include: nine-inch touchscreen control system, power-operated tailgate, LED headlights with active high beam, voice-activated control system, satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control with Volvo’s CleanZone air-quality system, 12.3-inch active digital driver’s information display, Volvo On Call connected services platform, front and rear parking sensors, rear parking camera and heated front seats.

The model tested benefitted from over £9,000 worth of optional extras, which included: 19” diamond-cut/matt black alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, premium sound by Bowers & Wilkins, power glass tilt and slide sunroof with sun curtain, and heated rear seats to name but a few.

Cementing Volvo’s place among premium car makers, the V60 is a high quality, tech-packed, spacious and stylish estate, offering a different take on established rivals from Germany. The V60’s generally comfy ride, secure handling and great interior quality make it a great all-rounder.   

FAST FACTS

Volvo V60 B6 AWD R-Design

Price: £44,590 OTR (model as tested, including options £53,615)

Mechanical: 300hp, 1969cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 6.0 seconds

Combined mpg: (34.0-36.2 WLTP)

Insurance group: 35

Emissions: 176g/km

BIK rating: 37%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles