ON THE WAGON
NEW SWEDE TICKS A LOT OF THE RIGHT BOXES
IT’S A WELL-DOCUMENTED fact that the crew at Wheels are avid fans of wagons. The now mostly ignored shape still gets us excited when a manufacturer is brave enough to bring one out to Australia. And excitement is exactly what we felt when Volvo offered the team a V60 for our garage.
The Scandinavian manufacturer’s recent track record speaks for itself.
With back-to-back Wheels Car of the Year awards, the XC60 and XC40 have truly set the SUV benchmark. It’s also left us with high expectations for the new V60, which recently launched in Australia.
In T5 Inscription guise, the V60 is powered by the same 2.0-litre turbo found in the XC40, making 187kW and a healthy 350Nm that’s delivered to all four 18-inch, five-spoke wheels via the eightspeed adaptive Geartronic ’box. There’s a lot of metal to shift around though, with the car weighing in at 1797kg – in comparison, the Mercedes-Benz C300 Estate is almost 200 kegs lighter.
The interior is clean, minimalistic and beautifully finished, dripping with style and elegance. There’s plenty of room in the front without compromising rear passenger legroom and comfort. Volvo’s all-encompassing portrait infotainment screen rules the dash, and while I’m not a fan of systems that contain everything (including the air-con controls) within, I’m keen to see how intuitive Volvo’s system is to live with.
The driver’s seating position feels spot-on and forward vision is good, compromised only by the large A-pillars.
Almost every option box copped a tick, including the Lifestyle pack ($3000) with panoramic roof, tinted rear windows and 600W 14-speaker Harman Kardon Premium sound system, as well as the Luxury pack ($3500) with nappa leather interior, heated/ventilated/massage front seats with power side support, heated rear seats and steering wheel. Finally, the Versatility pack ($1400), brings adaptive
dampers, power folding rear headrests, grocery bag holder, and a 12v power outlet in the rear console.
The only pack not ticked is the Premium, which includes the panoramic roof and tinted windows but also upgrades the sound system to an 1100W 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins rig. Not a deal-breaker for me.
For years Volvo tried hard to distance itself from its daggy box-like forms that were synonymous with the brand but, in my view, that direction failed to achieve an attractive look. The new design language currently in play is stunning – you’ll struggle to find a dud in the company’s product portfolio.
This is evident in the V60. From the outside, the shape looks like someone sat on the XC60 clay model and moved on from there – although this is not a bad thing. The sharper bodylines and straighter side window facade are a huge improvement on the previous generation. The wheelbase has also been extended by 100mm and shifted forward, reducing the overhang at the front and slightly extending it at the rear.
Up front, the grille is wide and flat, flanked by headlights featuring the signature Thor’s hammer, all combining with lines to create a muscular, almost sinister stance. The rear is striking, with the tail-lights climbing up the D-pillar. Dual exhaust pipes and the tinted windows complete the look.
As I finish writing this update, the keys are being torn out of my hands to take the V60 to Car of the Year. Can Volvo score the first-ever COTY hattrick? Keep an eye out for the February issue to find out how it, and the S60 sedan, fared.
V60’s cargo space is a hefty 529 litres, expanding to 1441 litres seats down. If that’s just not enough for you, there’s also storage space under the floor