Stylish, comfortable and spacious wagon satisfies heart and head
- Smart, striking exterior design
- Plush interior with plenty of kit
- Great value PCP finance at launch
- Petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid options
- Boot comparatively small with seats down
- Not the sharpest car to drive
- D4 could feel more powerful
- Ride slightly bobbly on 19-inch alloys
Volvo has completely recreated its medium estate – the V60 – with sharp exterior lines and a luxurious cabin that’s stuffed with standard equipment.
Channelling some of the design cues of the larger V90 estate and XC60 off-roader, the smart new look and luxurious interior back up Volvo’s claim that this new model is a direct rival for the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate.
Tough rivals they may be, but the V60 sports extremely competitive PCP finance costs ahead of the launch, with monthly payments for the entry-level D3 model that substantially undercut equivalent German models.
Volvo sees its model as the stylish, practical option but can the V60 compete with its more established rivals when price is taken out of the equation?
Volvo V60 (2018): What's under the skin?
The 2018 V60 is based on the same platform as the XC60 and the Volvo XC90 and S90/V90 family of cars, with the choice of two petrol engines, two diesels and two plug-in hybrid petrol options.
The UK will get 150hp D3 and 190hp D4 diesels with front-wheel drive and a choice of manual or automatic for each. Petrol power, meanwhile, will come in 190hp T4 and 250hp T5 form, with T6 Twin Engine and T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid versions on the way, too, likely with 340hp and 390hp respectively.
Volvo estates are traditionally famed for their boxy load areas, and despite its sporty lines, the V60 is no different, with a German-beating 529-litre boot (with the rear seats in place, loading up to the window line).
Drop the seats, however, and the 1,441-litre total lags behind Audi, BMW and Mercedes rivals, while the Mazda 6 Tourer and Skoda Superb Estate are larger still.
What tech do you get in a Volvo V60?
It's no surprise that with the Volvo V60 being based on the same platform as the XC60, that the engineering and tech will be largely similar. Volvo says that the V60, 'introduces a new standard to the mid-size premium estate segment,' and it's certainly a huge leap forward over the outgoing model it replaces.
The dashboard and Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system are carried over, almost unchanged – which is no bad thing. As with the Volvo XC60, the V60 will be fully compatible with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and incorporates a 4G hotspot and connectivity.
Extensive voice controls are also available – a far less distracting option than having to prod the screen to change all settings. The portrait-format screen controls many of the V60's primary functions, including navigation, connected services and entertainment apps, with no physical controls for the climate system.
Safety first: Volvo V60's crash-avoidance technology
The new V60 carries over its sister-cars' safety technology. So you get the advanced driver support systems that makes driving these cars a near-autonomous experience on the motorway.
The City Safety with Autobrake technology uses automatic braking and detection systems to help avoid accidents. Volvo says it's the only system on the market to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and large animals. In addition City Safety has now been fitted with autobraking to mitigate head-on collisions.
The Pilot Assist system (Volvo's adaptive cruise control system) assists with steering, acceleration and braking up to 81mph. Volvo says it has improved cornering performance.
The V60 also comes with Run-off Road Mitigation, Oncoming Lane Mitigation and other steering assistance systems. Cross Traffic Alert with autobrake will be optional.
Extensive equipment on offer across the range
All models include the 9.0-inch touchscreen media system with sat-nav, LED headlights, a power-operated tailgate, dual-zone climate control and a 10-speaker sound system.
Inscription models, meanwhile, will come with leather seats, with electric adjustment for the front seats, with front parking sensors and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Sporty R-Design and off-road Cross Country versions will also be available. All models can be specced in Pro form, which adds a head-up display, keyless entry, hands-free tailgate opening and closing, headlights that turn with the wheel, plus a heated steering wheel.
Care by Volvo: premium service promised
Volvo will also offer its new premium subscription service, called Care by Volvo. With this, you'll be able to access cars via a monthly flat-fee subscription rather than owning it in the traditional sense of the word. Volvo says it makes having a car as easy as subscribing to your mobile phone service.
With so many things thrown in – including servicing, roadside assistance and insurance if desired – monthly payments are high, however, starting at £829 at launch for the D3 Momentum Pro automatic.
Bear in mind, though, that no large initial deposit is needed and that includes a higher-than-average 15,000-mile-per-year limit – aspects that would inflate the monthly payments of other finance options.
When will the V60 go on sale, and how much will it cost?
Volvo has confirmed that prices start at £31,810, with strong value PCP finance offers available from launch. Substantial deposit contribution discounts practically outweigh the interest charged, making this a good value car to finance.
Read more about PCP finance if you’re not sure whether this is the right type of car finance for you or visit our finance calculator to see how much you can afford to borrow.
The Parkers Verdict
Throw in a large boot, a chic, high-quality cabin, and tonnes of standard equipment and the V60 is not only a strong alternative to rival estates from Audi, BMW and Mercedes, but also a compelling alternative to the pricier, smaller-booted Volvo XC60 off-roader.