Who remembers the supremely boxy Volvo estates of yesteryear? Well the 2014 Volvo V60 isn’t anything like that (thank God!). Instead we have a sleek, curvy and low slung ‘Sports Wagon’ that combines all the traditional Volvo virtues with a rewarding driving experience and the option of Volvo’s very own Drive-E engine.
The first thing you’ll notice about this estate is that it is about as far as you can get from the old, ungainly notion of Volvo Estate motoring. In stark contrast the 2014 Volvo V60 is sleek, low and made of curves – it’s almost Coupe-like. According to Vovlo, this update has more ‘focused and determined’ lights (which is an odd emotive description… a bit like describing the wing mirrors as disconcerted or the front bumper as delighted) and a wider grille which give the car a more striking appearance.
The boot is obviously the main fixture in the Volvo V60. The full capacity is actually 10% less than you’d get in comparable rivals at a chairs fully folded down capacity of 1421ltrs. It’s still a big and very practical space however that is easy to access and utilise. There’s a lockable underfloor compartment, net pockets, bag holders and a handy lift up front panel which provides an area to store muddy wellies and the like and preventing you from messing up the boot. The rear bench folds down completely flat along with the front passenger seat for storing longer items. Nice and practical. The back seating area is comfortable and very much like an S60, albeit with a tad extra headroom. The middle seat, as per usual in this class, is a bit of a short straw.
The front cabin has a very plush and premium feel right across the range (the kind only available in only the more expensive versions of the Audi and BMW rivals). A small steering wheel and a low driving position suggest a sporty edge to being in this car, while the general cabin feel is comfortable, simple and pleasing to the eye. The optional TFT instrument display is well worth shelling out a bit for if you can extend to it. This feature alters the dial layout between elegance, eco and performance to suit the manner of which you’re driving. The central console is nicely angled more towards the driver for easier interaction and houses the screen which can be opted to be a snazzy state of the art infotainment system. This boasts connectivity and internet access (via 3G/4G dongle or your phone) plus the ability to share Wi-Fi with everyone in the car – very handy for long journeys. There is also the industry’s first ever fully integrated voice search Spotify app to enjoy here!
You’ll be pleased to know that the driving experience is very different to the old Volvo estate experience. The 2014 Volvo V60 is based on the S60 premium sports saloon base (which in turn works on the underpinnings of the dynamic Ford Mondeo. That being said, the car feels very Volvo. It isn’t quite as sharp as the rivals when it comes to cornering and steer, but then again this isn’t what a car like this is about. The car feels solid and sure footed on the road, especially at speed and even in bad weather conditions, and maintains good fluidity as it goes into the bends. The firm suspension slightly undermines the way it can soak up bumpy roads, but it can be curbed by opting for the optional 4C suspension setup which allows you to alter the ride quality to the surface you’re driving on. Torque Vectoring is also a worthy option to further enhance the way the Volvo V60 turns by combating under and over steer.
Under the bonnet, the older engines are still carried through to this updated model, but there seems little reason to get a Volvo V60 with anything else but the 181bhp 2.0ltr Drive-E diesel D4 due to its brilliant balance of performance and efficiency. It reaches 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds on the way to a top speed of 140mph, all while returning 75mpg and 99g/pk! It’s also worth mentioning the nichey D6 plug-in hybrid model, which works with the D5’s 215bhp engine operating the front and a 70bhp electric motor in the rear. The electric only range is around 32 miles and pretty meaty on its performance ‘Power’ setting – 0-62 in 6.1 seconds up to 143mph all while returning 155mpg, which is great. The only problem is how expensive it is.
All in all, what’s the lowdown with the 2014 Volvo V60? Volvo estates have clearly come a long way. This Volvo V60 is a brilliant all round package when combined with the impressive balance of the D4 engine. Its practicality is mildly outdone by that 10% more space available in rival compact premium estates, however how this alters the overall effectiveness of the car depends on how likely you are to want to use that total capacity. The V60 is practical despite this, stylish and provides an engaging drive. This estate is doing a good job of punching well above its weight and is certainly one to consider.
If you want to get hold of the 2014 Volvo V60 then don’t hesitate to leave us a message on our contact us page or give us a call on 01903 538835 to find out about our Volvo lease deals.
Andrew has been in the motor trade for over 20 years. What he enjoys most about his job is the team spirit and the dedication of his work colleagues. He also appreciates the teams input in the improvement of the company.
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