Volvo V60: Joins the fleet

  • Swoopy Swedish estate joins the Parkers line-up
  • Do the compact dimensions hide a tiny interior?
  • Can the diesel engine live up to its promise of an average of 57mpg?

Volvo is known for its estates - big, hugely practical, safe but sadly often seen as a bit boxy.

But the new generation estates are seeking to change all that. First out of the blocks is the all-new V60 first launched in 2012.

This one sits low, with swooping lines and more of a coupe outline than the fixed, slash lines of past Volvo estate offerings.

So is the new sporty looking Volvo estate up to the jobs we've got in store for it? They'll include family motoring, transporting a load of clobber plus adults and kids, managing runs to the tip and flat pack pick-ups from Ikea all while hopefully proving fun to drive? We're about to find out because the Volvo V60 estate has just joined the Parkers test fleet.

The Volvo V60.

Economy and performance

The version we have selected is the R Design Nav D4 Geartronic. That’s a 2.0-litre diesel engine fitted with the latest eight-speed automatic gearbox in the top, bar one, trim level (R-Design Lux being the range topper).

While the engine is not the most muscular power house you’ll come across it has a decent amount of shove, which means there is plenty of poke to nip round town and overtake slower moving traffic with relative ease.

The R Design Nav version secures sat nav (obviously), partial leather seat trim, roof rails, cruise control, climate control, electric mirrors and a steering wheel adjustable for reach and rake.

The Volvo V60.

Family estate

So does the swoopy estate’s design mean a compromise on practicality? When you open the boot it is reasonably long and wide but it isn’t deep with the ceiling compromising the height of the boot.

That means boot space volume is 445 litres which is less than both a BMW 3 Series Touring and an Audi A4 Avant – neither of which are known for being capacious. In contrast the Skoda Octavia estate packs 580 litres – much more suited to families which carry around a lot of kit and shopping.

Set for winter

The V60 is already for colder weather thanks to heated seats up front and a quick-clear heated front windscreen. Plus the side mirrors are electrically heated so all of that should not only make for a quick getaway come frosty winter mornings but also make life more comfortable.

Taking on a lot of challenges from everyday commuting, transporting my family tribe around through to a two week vacation at a French camp site the Volvo V60 will be tested to the max. It's early days, but I'm looking forward to every minute.

Mileage: 564

MPG:  57mpg (claimed)