Safe, smart Swede

The V60 is stylish, han­dles sweetly and poses a chal­lenge to its ri­vals, writes Paul Gover

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

ASPORTWAGON-STYLE Volvo is proof that the Swedish brand has changed its di­rec­tion. The new V60 is more like the lat­est Com­modore hauler than a tra­di­tional boxy Volvo wagon, even con­ced­ing the space race to ri­vals, in­clud­ing the Mercedes C Class and the cav­ernous Volk­swa­gen Pas­sat and Skoda Su­perb.

Value

THE V60, which lands in Aus­tralia from around $54,000 next year as the side­kick to the im­pres­sive new S60 sedan, has an of­fi­cial ca­pac­ity of 430 litres in the tail, with an­other 30 in a cubby un­der the floor, com­pared with 485 for the Benz, 588 for the Pas­sat and 633 for the Su­perb.

But Volvo makes no apolo­gies and says the V60 is more like a coupe than a tra­di­tional wagon. The drive ex­pe­ri­ence backs that up, with the car a sweet-han­dling unit that will im­press any who take it for a spin.

The fea­tures list is ex­ten­sive and there’s a lot to like about the lat­est Swede.

Technology

THE me­chan­i­cal pack­age of the V60 is the same as the S60’s, which means— for the first time— truly driver-fo­cused chas­sis set­tings, with a choice of two petrol and two tur­bod­iesel en­gines.

Stan­dard equip­ment is classy and im­pres­sive and the V60 will be well loaded for Aus­tralia.

The S60 is pre­viewed at the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show run­ning in Syd­ney this week and first sup­plies of the sedan and V60 wagon will ar­rive be­fore the end of the year.

They can’t come soon enough as Volvo has been mostly missing from the mid-sized lux­ury class this year, with only a hand­ful of S60 de­liv­er­ies.

Safety

EV­ERY safety de­vice Volvo has de­vel­oped over the past 10 years is avail­able in the one car and, even if many are only ex­tra-cost op­tions, the V60 gives the clear­est in­di­ca­tion yet that Volvo is try­ing to take the technology edge away from Ger­man brands.

The V60 is so clever it won’t let you wan­der from your lane, won’t let you get too close to the car in front and it could even save a life with its pedes­trian safety sys­tem — which is pro­grammed to iden­tify peo­ple and brake au­to­mat­i­cally if there is a chance of a col­li­sion.

Styling

EV­ERY Volvo safety de­vice in the past 10 years is avail­able in the one car and, even if many are ex­tra-cost op­tions, the V60 gives the clear­est in­di­ca­tion yet that Volvo is try­ing to take the technology edge away from Ger­man brands.

Clever: safety de­vices fea­ture strongly in the V60.

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