Volvo's regeneration continues with this second generation V60 mid-sized estate model. It gets the company's sophisticated SPA chassis, class-leading safety tech and two choices for Plug-in hybrid power. If you're looking at German rivals like the Audi A4 Avant, the BMW 3 Series Touring or the Mercedes C-Class Estate, this Swedish alternative might be a refreshingly different option.
Most V60 customers will probably want a diesel, either the 150hp D3 or the 190hp D4. There's also a 250hp T5 petrol option. For the future, there'll be two plug-in hybrid powertrain options. There a T6 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in hybrid that generates a combined 340hp. Or a T8 Twin Engine AWD petrol plug-in hybrid that delivers 390hp.
The previous V60 couldn't really match the sharp handling reactions of its premium German rivals but buyers can expect a significant improvement in that area this time round thanks to the installation of the stiffer, more sophisticated 'SPA' 'Scalable Product Architecture' platform we've already seen used in the company's XC60, XC90, S90 and V90 models. As usual with Volvo models, there's a standard 'Drive Mode Settings' system, one of those set-ups now familiar in this segment that can tailor throttle response, steering feel and - if you've a self-shifter fitted - auto gearshift timings to suit the way you want to drive. Plus there's the option of adding in Volvo's 'Pilot Assist' system. This is a set-up that at cruising speeds of up to 80mph can effectively drive for you.
The original V60 model was quite a departure from the conventional boxy Volvo station wagon shape and this MK2 model continues that trend. To look at, it's very much like the larger V90 estate model that shares its sophisticated 'SPA' architecture. In fact, from a casual glance, you might easily mistake this V60 for its larger stablemate. Get up a little closer though, and you'll find that the front apron is more aggressively styled with this more compact wagon. There's some design inspiration from the XC60 mid-sized SUV in places too. The 'Thor's Hammer' LED headlights for example, though they're a bit more sculpted here. , while the front apron is more aggressively styled in comparison to the smooth face of the V90.
Inside, there's much more borrowed from those V90 and XC60 models, the interior boasting Volvo's latest, paired back interior design language with a 9.3-inch portrait orientated touchscreen infotainment system. Plus there's a digital instrument panel, with virtual dials separated by a customisable central space that can display a navigational map, trip computer info or your chosen phone or media settings. Out back, boot space comes in at 529-litres with the rear seats in place, outstripping the Audi A4 Avant, BMW 3 Series Touring and the Mercedes C-Class Estate. The rear bench splits 40/20/40 and drops down flat to the floor.
Volvo estates aren't what they used to be - and in this case, that's a very good thing. This second generation V60 will, I think, find it easier than its predecessor to conquest sales from German rivals. Class-leading safety gives this Swedish contender a tangible advantage over such competitors. So does this V60's high-tech cabin with its more sophisticated infotainment and instrument binnacle screens. You get generally more complete levels of standard equipment too.
This is then, a tale of the unexpected. If you're just about to sign for a premium 3 Series or A4-sized estate, then you might want to try one of these before you do. Swede dreams are made of this.Click here to find out more about our Volvo V60 range