The two lower-powered diesels – the 1.6 D2 and 2.0 D3 – both lack the flexibility you might hope for. They have good mid-range pull, but can need working hard elsewhere in the rev range. The range-topping 2.0 D4 diesel is the best of the bunch to drive. It offers 178bhp and more accessible, progressive power delivery than the other diesels, with very low emissions to boot. Petrol choices include a turbocharged 1.6 T3 and 2.0-litre T6, with the latter delivering a sports car-worrying 302bhp.
Volvo V60 ride & handling
The V60 balances the needs of driver appeal and on-board comfort pretty well. The suspension is rather firm, particularly on R-Design models, which we'd recommend you avoid as they get a stiffer set-up. Still, it's only on bad roads where things can get choppy and the pay-off is strong body control. Unfortunately the steering ruins any fun. It reacts so quickly that you find yourself re-adjusting it mid-corner, and there's very little communicated through the wheel.
Volvo V60 refinement
With road noise subdued and suspension noise negligible, the V60 is quiet enough in isolation. However, it's not as refined as its key rivals. There's a bit of wind noise at speed, and some of the engines make too much racket. The gearshift on manual versions is vague, too. The eight-speed auto available on the D4 offers nearly imperceptible changes in unhurried use, and satisfyingly rapid up-shifts in faster use, but isn't as spot-on with its ratio choices as the best transmissions out there.