Volvo V60: Looks and ability

  • R-Design styling gets thumbs up from Joe Public
  • Winter pack makes cold weather motoring a breeze
  • Electrically heated front windscreen, seats and washer nozzles particularly useful

Let’s face it, in order for car owners not to feel another also-ran, car manufacturers are offering customers choices to create your own more personalised set of wheels.

Some car makers really go overboard on this one (Vauxhall for instance, offer more than a million different possible combinations on its recently launched Adam) while others keep choices to the main outlets.

Volvo V60 alloys and Blue paint


Blue paint and grey alloys get thumbs up

That’s why I opted for the very visible blue paintwork (a £350 option dubbed ‘Rebel Blue’ by Volvo – though Rebel and Volvo are not two words I would readily associate) and I’ve had a lot of positive comments about it.

The wheels too, which are part of the R Design package, have attracted praise along with the contrasting grey wing mirrors. In short, the swoopy coupe-esque estate looks has won a lot of friends.

Volvo V60 R Design interior

Good looks on the inside

The attractive looks continue on the inside with the R Sport Design sport seats, aluminium inserts and leather clad steering wheel and gear selector. The sporty theme is continued with the F1 race car style paddle shifters.

In short, the car is as attractive sat outside on the drive way as it is being sat inside on the driver’s seat, and that’s something I never thought I would say about a Volvo a few years ago. But there is a price for these good looks. No, I mean, literally a price – over £36,000 type of price including the optional extras.

Volvo V60 boot space

Price to pay for good looks

That’s the sort of money that would get you into a large set of executive wheels, albeit a lower spec one but not a base one. How about an Audi A6 saloon 2-litre diesel Ultra in mid spec Black Edition spec for example for similar money?

And while the saloon shape doesn't offer the same level of practicality as an estate, the boot size on the A6 is similar at 530 litres compared to the V60’s 557 litres.

The price, though, also covers some very worthwhile optional extras with the Winter Pack being one of them.

Volvo V60

Heated kit wards off winter

The electrical heated front screen dispatches hard frosts in less than a couple of mins while the air heater gets up to temperature and the heated seats get toasty in a similar time. I still have to defrost side windows but the instant defrost front windscreen certainly cuts time and hassle in the morning.

Heated washer jets also ensure that once I’m driving my view is not going to be obliterated with road grime because the wash wipe function is frozen.

Headlights also secure some cleaning water jets, which given the amount of crud thrown up by other cars is essential for having a decent beam come the dark evenings. Also explains why I’ve been getting through a lot of washer fluid too.

Volvo V60 adaptive headlights

Bending light with adaptive headlights

Clean glass also allows for the headlights party trick to be seen in its full glory thanks to their ability to bend light around corners. As soon as I start to turn the wheel the headlamps throw a wider patch of illumination in the direction the car is turning.

While highlighting a verge may not seem very worthwhile it really helps show the direction, just how tight a turn is, where any pothole may be waiting to swallow a wheel is and where two people are walking in the road wearing dark clothing are.

That’s useful and probably lifesaving as far as the two pedestrians are concerned (wear bright reflective clothing next time as not all cars have bendy headlights).

Miles: 7,773                  Economy: 45.3