Volvo has taken a different approach to rivals with the V60. Rather than go chasing the driving dynamics of the BMW 3 Series, the V60 takes a more relaxed approach. It’s quiet, comfortable and relaxed, riding over the Spanish roads of our test drive well, even on the optional 19-inch wheels of our top-spec test car.
The suspension isn’t as stiff as in some rivals’, which pays off in terms of ride comfort, but not so much when it comes to handling. It’ll stiffen slightly if you bother to delve into the various drive modes, but most people will (wisely) just leave it in the comfort setting.
The car corners safely and with confidence, but you don’t quite get the level of feel you get from the BMW or Audi through the steering wheel and suspension. For most people most of the time, though, they’ll enjoy the quiet calm of the Volvo, especially on the motorway where it’s an impressive cruiser.
It’s on the motorway where you’re most likely to use the Volvo’s excellent Pilot Assist autonomous features – the car will keep a set distance from the vehicle in front once you’ve set the speed you want to travel at (this is the same as other adaptive cruise control systems), but it will also keep you in lane and steer you around gentle corners. You have to keep your hands on the wheel at all times though, ready to take over if needs be – otherwise you’ll get beeped at by the safety systems. However, it really adds a degree of relaxation to longer journeys and the system works well.
Visibility is good, making the V60 easy to pilot around town, while the auto gearbox of our test car did a good job of blurring shifts. If you do want to shift yourself, a manual box is available, while R-Design models will get paddle shifters behind the steering wheel.
Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed
Performance from the 188bhp D4 diesel is strong if not stunning – it’ll get from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds with decent mid-range performance, too. It’s a relatively quiet unit other than at idle, surpressing diesel clatter well and adding to the general peace and quiet in the cabin.