Volvo V60 long-term test review

The Volvo V60 beat the Audi A4 Avant and Skoda Superb Estate when we group-tested it, but is it as impressive when you live with it every day?...

Volvo V60
  • The Car: Volvo V60 D4 Momentum Pro
  • Run by: John Bradshaw, chief photographer
  • Why it's here: To see if one of the best modern estates is a better choice than an SUV
  • Needs to: Cope with all of my photography gear, provide smooth transport on long journeys, return reasonable fuel economy and be an effortless commuter car

Price £36,610 Price as tested £43,835 Miles covered 5300 Official Economy 52.3mpg (WLTP combined) Test economy 44.0mpg Options fitted Xenium Pack, which includes panoramic sunroof, 360 parking camera and Park Assist Pilot (£1800), Intellisafe Pro which includes Pilot Assist, adaptive cruise control, Blind Spot Warning, Cross Traffic Alert (£1625), Premium Harmon Kardon sound system (£825), 18in Diamond Cut alloy wheels (£775), metallic paint (£650), dark tinted windows (£600) Convenience Pack (£500), Smartphone Integration (£300) and spare wheel and jack (£150)

19 December 2018 – Long-distance companion

Even after twenty plus years of shooting the latest and greatest machines for What Car?’s Car of the Year (COTY) Awards, somehow I’ve not grown tired of it. Planning the theme of the shoot, scouting the locations, finding the right frame and then nailing that perfect shot is just as addictive a process as it was all those years ago.

And yet there’s no doubt that as I get older, all of those miles behind the wheel to get to far-flung locations don’t pass quite as easily as they used to. Which is why I’m so grateful to be running the Volvo V60 over this year’s COTY season.

With the theme of this year’s photography revolving around the greatest bridges in the UK, I’ve travelled as far north as Yorkshire’s Ribblehead Viaduct and as far south as Plymouth’s Tamar Bridge, and I’m not even finished yet. Before the year is out, I’ll have been to Wales, Scotland and back to Cornwall again for a total of more than 20 shoots.

Volvo V60 Bridge

Thankfully, the V60 has taken the thousands of miles covered in its stride. Its comfortable seats with adjustable lumbar support ensure that I’ve not yet suffered from a bad back, and its quiet interior keeps stress to a minimum. That means when I get out after a 200-mile journey, I can get straight to shooting without needing a time-out – crucial when we’re working to such tight schedules.

But of course, as anyone who has done a 500-mile round trip in a day knows, the return journey is worse. Mercifully, however, the V60 does its best to cosset you, especially on cold evenings, coming with heated seats and a heated steering wheel. And although I reckon I get through more washer fluid than I do in a conventional car, the Volvo’s windscreen wipers with their integrated water nozzles are truly fantastic in mucky conditions, meaning I can press on down country lanes.

To put it simply, the V60 is one of the best long-distance companions I’ve ever had the pleasure of running. And although I complained previously that the V60 doesn’t ever quite match its official claimed fuel economy figure of 61.4mpg, I have been seeing better results on longer motorway runs, with my calculations showing that I’m consistently getting over 50mpg. That means I can do most of my round trips without having to pull over to fill up. Brilliant.

Read our full Volvo V60 review >

More on our long-term Volvo V60 >

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