It would be all too easy to come up with some whimsical, antiques dealer-based introduction to the Volvo V60 estate, based loosely around, let’s say, that fella whose name begins with ‘L’ and ends in ‘ovejoy’. But, for starters, that would be an awfully crass way to introduce a car as sharp and shapely as the V60; and it would be wholly out of date for a company that shed its fuddy-duddy, furniture-removal image a long time ago and currently ploughs a style furrow of contemporary chic.
But don’t think that Volvo has discarded the other half of its DNA: safety. This V60 keeps you swaddled securely in a ball of high-tech cotton wool, equipped as it is with many of the bang-up-to-date anti-crash devices that we’ve seen in the larger Volvo models – cars with which the V60 shares underpinnings, along with some of its engines.
Though smaller than the Volvo V90, the V60 still offers generous interior space and a big boot. As for engines, the V60 is available with a range of 2.0-litre petrols and diesels that start at 148bhp and run all the way to 398bhp in the case of the plug-in hybrid T8 Twin Engine. Every petrol engine is connected to an automatic gearbox as standard, diesels get a six-speed manual and optional auto, and the most powerful V60 models have four-wheel drive as standard.
Inside, it’s a fairly business-like atmosphere, with tactile materials and solid build quality, but the darker colour options really do make it cave-like. And, while the portrait-oriented infotainment system touchscreen is large and looks cool, its menu structure is frustratingly confusing.
So the Volvo V60 is handsome, spacious, safe and high-tech, but is it, objectively, the estate of choice? Or should you stick with the usual suspects in the mid-sized premium wagon market, namely the Audi A4 Avant, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate and BMW 3 Series Touring?
Read on to find out. But whichever estate you decide on, don’t forget to check out our New Car Buying pages for the very best no-hassle deals around.