for verve

This is the wagon to fi­nally re­tire those Volvo driver cliches

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­guide.com.au

HAV­ING grown up driv­ing the shovel-nosed Swedish Valiants (as Dick John­son mem­o­rably called Volvos), I’mfa­mil­iar with the boxy, safety con­scious his­tory of the brand.

Once it was al­most oblig­a­tory to trade in some­thing that driv­ers would en­joy steer­ing for the se­cure Swedish fam­ily trans­port, but this new wagon bears lit­tle re­sem­blance to its fore­bears.

VALUE

The V60 range kicks off in the car on test, the T5, which starts on the yard with a $54,950 price tag. Like its sedan sib­ling the S60, it gets a 2.0-litre di­rect-in­jec­tion turbo four that pro­duces 177kW and 320Nm – more than enough to see off its di­rect com­peti­tors.

Fea­tures in­clude an eight­s­peaker sound sys­tem with wheel-mounted con­trols and USB/MP3 con­nec­tiv­ity, Blue­tooth phone link, pow­er­ad­justable driver’s seat, leather seat trim and gear-shifter, rain­sens­ing wipers, auto-dip­ping cen­tre rear vi­sion mir­ror, rear park­ing sen­sors, trip com­puter and cruise con­trol.

TECH­NOL­OGY

The heart of the V60 is an all- al­loy 2.0-litre 16-valve turbo en­gine with di­rect in­jec­tion. Volvo claims a world-first tur­bocharger hous­ing and man­i­fold made of sheet steel rather than cast iron.

The pow­er­plant is teamed with a dou­ble-clutch ‘‘ Pow­er­shift’’ six-speed au­to­matic that slips cleanly be­tween cogs.

DE­SIGN

This Volvo is vis­ually strik­ing for the right rea­sons – a far cry from the fly­ing bricks of the 1970s and ’ 80s.

The cabin is func­tional and flex­i­ble, with 430 litres of load­space (up to 1241 litres when the 40/20/40 split-fold rear seat is flat) and clever fea­tures in­clud­ing one-touch child door and win­dow locks and in-built boost­ers for the out­board rear seats.

SAFETY

Ac­tive safety sys­tems are within the cen­tral in­fo­tain­ment screen, which makes switch­ing off the sta­bil­ity con­trol a more in­volved process and as a re­sult you’re less likely to do it.

The V60 has City Safety (low-speed ac­ci­dent avoid­ance

No more fly­ing brick: Func­tion and style are in­te­gral to thenew Volvo V60

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