So many hid­den tal­ents

Ler­ato Matebese re­ports on the dy­namic na­ture of the Volvo V60

Business Day - Motor News - - MOTOR NEWS -

AS EV­I­DENT with the new Volvo V40, the man­u­fac­turer is cer­tainly turn­ing over a new leaf in the realms of de­sir­able mo­tor­ing, pan­der­ing to a younger yet dis­cern­ing mar­ket with its new model. In the in­stance of our V60 D3, how­ever, it is ob­vi­ously aim­ing at the fam­ily man or woman look­ing for a svelte wagon that is both prac­ti­cal and stylish, yet fun to drive. While the S60 is by and large an ac­com­plished ve­hi­cle in its own right, Volvo has a knack of mak­ing its wag­ons that much more pleas­ing to the be­holder.

I have men­tioned pre­vi­ously that the lo­cal mar­ket seems to have an aver­sion to these mod­els, but they re­main by far a much bet­ter propo­si­tion than an SUV, par­tic­u­larly from a cap­i­tal out­lay per­spec­tive.

As the model’s ten­ure with the Mo­tor News team is draw­ing to a close, I per­son­ally have had noth­ing but praises heaped on it and with good rea­son. Aside from the aes­thet­ics I am of the opin­ion that the Swedish man­u­fac­turer might be sell­ing it­self short in some as­pects. The com­pany does not shout about the fact that its in­te­rior and seats are ar­guably amongst the most er­gonomic in the mar­ket. It is also one man­u­fac­turer I have the least qualms about re­gard­ing the re­la­tion be­tween the steer­ing and seat­ing po­si­tions, which some­times are more com­pro­mised in other marques.

An­other area that Volvo does not harp on about is the ve­hi­cle’s dy­namism — choos­ing to con­cen­trate on the safety as­pect in­stead — which for a front-wheel drive ve­hi­cle such as the V60 is rather im­pres­sive. To ce­ment this fact, I de­cided to drive it through some of my pre­ferred test­ing routes to as­cer­tain its road ad­he­sion thresh­olds. I agree that the typ­i­cal owner is per­haps un­likely to drive in this man­ner, but af­ter hurl­ing this wagon through some sweeps, it is clear that the en­gi­neers have worked tire­lessly to en­sure that it steers as well as it does.

In fact just the other day my neigh­bour, who drives a Mercedes-Benz C180 and E90 BMW 320i, ac­knowl­edged that Volvos are good cars in their own right, but he ad­mits that they never quite come up on his radar of prospec­tive cars. I sub­se­quently took him on a short jaunt and upon re­turn he felt that the V60 was right up there with his two ve­hi­cles on most ac­counts. Ad­mit­tedly, his pen­chant for Ger­man ve­hi­cles has not di­min­ished, but his per­cep­tion of the Volvo brand has al­tered some­what.

The V60 con­tin­ues to im­press with its frugal na­ture, re­turn­ing fig­ures of around 7.4l/100km, in spite of my ju­di­cious use of the throt­tle in re­cent times. While there have been a great many ve­hi­cles grac­ing the Mo­tor News garage, this seems to be one that has made a huge im­pres­sion on this scribe and one that will be sorely missed when it leaves.

The su­perb prac­ti­cal­ity of the Volvo V60 was again used to trans­port fur­ni­ture this month.

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