Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4
  • Stylish, modern and simple dashboard
  • Touchscreen media system accepts voice commands
  • Onscreen menus could be easier to use while driving

Volvo hasn’t tried to compete with the dark, sombre interiors of the Audi A4 AvantBMW 3 Series Touring and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate – though you can make the interior resemble a cave, if you so desire. Instead, a raft of light materials are available, including light leather, carpets and even tweedy seat fabrics that give the V60 a more tactile feel.

As a result, whether drivers want a light, bright cabin, amber-coloured leather for a warm feel or charcoal-coloured seats with dark trim, Volvo will oblige. Go for one of the ‘Pro’ models and the quality of leather is very high.

Other high-end manufacturers may challenge whether Volvo is a premium brand, but the cabin of the V60 more than lives up to the company’s upmarket aspirations. Slick design, strong build quality and appealing materials are a key reason to choose the V60 over comparatively mundane options from rivals such as Volkswagen and Mercedes.

Sensus system: takes time to acclimatise

The media system isn't as polished as some rivals, however. Though Volvo stresses that it offers sophisticated voice controls, cramming all the car’s main controls into a touchscreen interface means navigating menus can be an unnecessary frustration forcing you to prod the screen for functions such as adjusting the temperature, that previously would have simply required the twirl of a knob.

We also don’t find the sat-nav as user-friendly as it could be. Adjusting the map on the move and sussing out the road ahead from the screen can be more distracting with this system than others that have a couple of physical controls and clearer onscreen displays. Other systems more intelligently zoom in for themselves as you approach instructions, making it easier to determine how to negotiate complex junctions. 

Additionally, Drive Modes are selected with a roller control which can prove distracting to use, requiring a press and then a roll to adjust. No doubt if you purchased a V60 you’d get used to all of these quirks, but considering how relaxing and comfort-oriented the rest of the cabin is, these elements jar when driving.

Comfort

  • Supremely comfortable front seats
  • Suspension smooth on most roads
  • Choose smaller wheels for greatest comfort

Slide behind the wheel of the V60 and you’re welcomed by a very comfortable driver’s seat. With good back support, side support and plenty of adjustment, most drivers should be able to find a perfectly tailored driving position. Heated leather, ventilation for the seats and massage functions are available making it easy to stay comfy.

The suspension, on the other hand, is reasonably comfortable, but can’t quite totally wipe out bumps in the road when fitted with large 19-inch alloy wheels of our test car. Models fitted with 17- and 18-inch wheels should prove cushier, with more rubber separating you from the road.

Adaptive suspension is available for the higher trim levels and offers subtly different driving modes including Comfort, Dynamic and an Individual setting, where you can separately adjust suspension firmness, steering weight and the heft of the brake pedal.

Comfort mode adds an extra level of give to the suspension, while Dynamic somewhat sharpens up the steering, with the ride proving slightly bumpier. Get up to motorway speeds and the V60 feels smooth and refined, with little noise from the road surface.