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Make the most of pulling power with the Volvo V60
8:00am Thursday 14th June 2012 in Road Tests
A 1.6-LITRE turbo-diesel engine seems small to power an executive with load-lugging ability like Volvo’s eye-catching V60.
But engine cubic capacity figures have become largely irrelevant at Volvo as performance capabilities once associated with larger engines are being produced by much smaller units.
And Volvo’s eco principles are being applied to a wide range of vehicles, bringing significant C02 reductions and much-improved fuel consumption figures.
The improvements have come about thanks to advances in engine management, stop-start technology and smaller adaptations to the vehicles such as lowrolling resistance tyres, low viscosity transmission oil, greater drag reduction and extended gear ratios.
So it is no surprise that Volvo’s 1.6 diesel – one of the best units on the market – is housed in the V60 and with DRIVe treatment there is serious economy from this impressive all-rounder.
Fuel consumption is well over 60mpg on the combined cycle with the CO2 emissions (g/km) figure at 119g/km, boosting the estate’s company car ratings and its attractions to family buyers.
And in R-Design trim, the V60 takes on a more sporty appearance.
With lower and firmer suspension the ride quality is compromised but the car still gives a cosseting ride, aided by some superb and supportive seating.
The R-Design trim also includes 18-inch alloy wheels, twin chrome exhausts, and plenty of chrome detailing which all help to make the car look the part.
A six-speed gearbox comes as standard with ratios that make the most of the available torque or pulling power. The V60 is certainly a relaxing car to drive and the performance from the 113bhp motor is commendable considering the size of the car.
The motor is flexible and fast acceleration is accompanied by a throaty exhaust note that will be music to the ear of the more enthusiastic driver.
The 0-60mph time of 10.7 seconds illustrates that the V60 can show other vehicles a clean pair of heels and with good mid-range urge there is a decent spread of power for overtaking.
The V60 is competitively priced with on-the-road costs for the DRIVe 1.6 R-Design version at £27,575.
The interior is among the best in the business with the leather upholstery and the beautifully laid-out cabin giving an upmarket feel.
Behind the wheel an excellent driving position can soon be found using the electric memory aides while the dashboard controls and information display are all at the driver’s fingertips.
There is loads of cargo space but first and foremost the V60 is being regarded as a stylish sports wagon rather than a load-lugger and those wanting a truly practical estate would probably plump for the larger V70 which also can be obtained with the 1.6-litre turbo diesel.
However, the V60 is practical and versatile with its large 557-litre load area and with the rear seats folded its cargo space more than doubles.
There are so many things that make the V60 so appealing. There is the convenience of keyless entry and keyless ignition, electric folding mirrors, exceedingly low noise levels and rear seats that fold flat which means the whole length of the car can be employed.
As one might expect from Volvo, safety features are extensive and include a pedestrian detection system that can apply the brakes if it suspects a collision is imminent and a safety system that monitors blind spots.
Besides airbags galore there is stability and traction control systems.
The list goes on...