Joining us on our recent trip to Stockholm, Sweden was the new Volvo V60. A station wagon variant we’re yet to receive in Australia. Clearly an alternative to the XC60 SUV, we found the Inscription model loaned to us a capable and practical offering.
We collected a D4 diesel model, an engine choice that may well not make it down under. But on offer was a very well equipped, unique wagon that simply based on looks alone may sway some away from the more popular European brands.
Externally the V60 is one of the better-looking wagons around. The front-end features the “Thor’s-hammer” headlamps, sizable grille and edgy lower air intake and fog light surrounds. The side on view is equally as attractive, in that Volvo kind of way. The rear really screams Volvo with those upright LED taillamps.
It’s fair to say the interior is like no other, I’m not saying class leading but there’s a certain air of sheer quality going on. The Inscription model we tested featured a beautiful tan interior, with excellent detailing across the metallic speakers and a suitably luxurious dashboard. This has all flowed down from the flagship S90 we we’re so impressed by a couple of years back.
The Volvo upright tablet-style Sensus 7’’ infotainment screen is a highlight, being intuitive with simple swipe and drag operations to access various menus. It comes equipped with Apple CarPlay and is complimented by an attractive digital instrument cluster.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel puts out 140kW / 400Nm. Performance isn’t exactly brisk, with the 0 – 100km dash taking 7.7 seconds. The transmission is an eight-speed automatic combined with front-wheel-drive.
Dynamically the V60 can’t match direct competitors. The steering is overly light and the chassis / suspension setup doesn’t provide for dare I say sheer driving pleasure. This was more than evident when we made a dash south of Stockholm towards a port area known as Nynäshamn. Some of the back-country roads around the various isles and lakes were really conducive to some spirited driving. The V60 never really felt comfortable with that kind of mindset, sadly. However, on motorways the car is a smooth operator, particularly with the vast array of driver assist technology onboard.
Pilot Assist is very well executed on Volvo’s, allowing for semi-automous driving and accurate lane tracing ability. The Intellisafe suite of safety systems makes for one of the more secure vehicles around. Blind spot monitoring is joined by cross traffic alert plus frontal collision warning with mitigation, in other words it will try and circumvent a head on collision.
We only had a couple of days with the car including the obligatory trip to IKEA, so a more comprehensive Australian review will no doubt occur later this year. That will also include full pricing and range details. But to sum the V60 D4 Inscription up I’d say this. It’s nice to have a genuine alternative to a bloody SUV, a car that exudes quality in every way but could do with a tad more athleticism. Oh and it has a bigger boot than its bloated sibling!