This week we’ve had the Volvo V60 estate in for review, with Volvo’s least powerful D2 diesel engine but with R-Design Nav trim. Is the D2 with R-Design a good match?
The compact executive market for estate cars usually means buyers defaulting to the German offerings from BMW, Mercedes and Audi, but despite Volvo’s V60 estate now long past its first flush of youth it still sells well and many think it a viable alternative to the Teutonic take.
This week we’ve had Volvo’s V60 estate in for review, but this one comes with wolf’s clothing with its R-Design Nav specification (although, as this is Volvo, it’s all nicely understated), but matched to Volvo least powerful D2 diesel engine. A sheep in Wolf’s clothing, perhaps?
But looks are important to many buyers, and the R-Design take certainly offers a more purposeful look to Volvo’s V60, so we can see why buyers would spec it, even with a lowly diesel engine.
But does the D2’s modest 118bhp make the V60 a bit of a sloth, or is the more modest output a price worth paying for official economy of 74.3mpg, especially for business users who clock up mega miles and need to carry ‘stuff’ to clients?
We have a week to see just how the Volvo V60 D2 R-Design Nav stacks up.
V60 D2 R-Design Nav – inside and out
The Volvo V60 is a good looking estate car, with its almost coupe-like roofline making the V60 look elegant and appealing, and a long way from the ‘shed behind a saloon’ look of Volvos from the past.
Opting for the R-Design trim adds purpose to the V60’s looks, but manages to do it without looking like endless bits have been bolted on for effect.
The R-Design comes with lower suspension than the regular V60, a titivated grill and front bumper, sporty exhaust tips each side of the rear diffuser, silver door mirrors, a rear spoiler, black integrated roof rails and a nice set of 18″ alloys. It’s enough to look sporty, but without looking tacky.
Inside is what you expect from any V60, so there’s comfortable seats – finished in cloth and leather for the R-Design – aluminium sports pedals, the active TFT driver’s info display and the usual floating centre console with it huge button count that’s still good to use.
And despite its age, the interior of the V60 R-design still conspires to look both premium and contemporary and there’s plenty of room in the front, although the backs seat passengers may find a bit of a lack of headroom if they’re tall (leg room is fine), and plenty of storage space.
But despite Volvo’s illustrious estate car history, the V60 does sacrifice some of its load lugging ability in the name of style, with the boot offering a modest 430 litre of space with the back seats in place, and 1,240 litres when all the seats, which split, are down. It’s not class-leading, but it’s ample for most families’ needs.
The V60 may be getting on, but it’s still a stylish and premium offering.
V60 D2 R-Design Nav – Performance on the Road
One look at the V60 R-Design would suggest it’s going to be lively, and although the 118bhp D2 engine is a good lump – it’s one of Volvo’s new Drive-E engines – it won’t exactly frighten the horses.
But that’s not to say it’s a sloth, and in most circumstances, particularly between 2-3000 revs, it feels more than adequately lively and better than its headline 0-62mph of 11.5 secondsd suggests.
Yes, it does hit a wall quite quickly if you’re pushing up a slip road to join fast traffic, and you need to be stirring the gearbox to deliver, but around town and on a motorway it’s a very capable lump, and its modest power out put does yield decent economy.
The headline figures say 74.3mpg, but our real world economy of 46.2mpg over a week and plenty of miles in a wide variety of roads is very credible, and we have no doubt owners will be able to average 50mpg without driving like your granny.
The V60 R-Design also handles better than you might expect, although it’s not a driver’s car in the way a 3-Series Touring is, but it never feels like it will fall over in a corner, although it doesn’t encourage you to explore its limits too enthusiastically.
The steering is light and accurate – if not over-endowed with feel – but the V60 doesn’t disappoint for all but the most aggressive of drivers, and it acquits itself admirably on the motorway and around town, where its firm but comfortable setup is reassuring.
The V60 R-Design with the D2 engine isn’t a car for the driving enthusiast, but even then it is still a pleasing car to drive, and for mile-eating business users or relatively frugal family carrier duties it’s very good at its job.
V60 D2 R-Design Nav – Verdict
We’ve always liked the Volvo V60, and that hasn’t changed.
We love the fact that it manages to be stylish and premium without following the German lead, and it’s a car with a heart that really does grow on you the more you drive it.
Yes, the interior is starting to feel a little old school in light of Volvo’s latest stunning interiors, but it still manages to feel premium and well bolted together.
The R-Design bits add to the V60’s appeal, making for an estate car that looks purposeful and appealing, without going over the top, and the D2 engine defies its modest 118bhp to provide decently lively performance under most circumstances and still manages to deliver the sort of real world economy that was the preserve of only the smallest of hair-shirt cars just a few years ago.
In fact, if you want a good looking family lugger – or a posh rep-mobile that can swallow miles and lug loads – you could do a lot worse than the V60 D2, and adding the R-Design pack makes it feel like you haven’t gone down the most parsimonious route possible.
All in all, despite its age, the V60 still has an awful lot going for it.
Volvo V60 D2 R-Design Nav Quick Specs
- Engine: 1969cc, 118bhp
- Performance: 0-62mph 11.5 seconds / Top Speed 121mph
- Economy: 74.3mpg – Official / 46.3mpg – Test
- Emissions: 111g/km
- Price: £30,445 / Price as tested £34,970
- Test car supplied by Volvo UK
Test car options
Driver Support Pack – £1,900
- Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake
- Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection
- Adaptive Cruse Control (ACC) and Distance Alert
- Lane Keeping Aid
- Driver Alert Control (DAC) with Active High Beam
- Road Sign Information Display
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA)
Winter Pack – £525
- Heated Front Seats
- Heated Front Windscreen
- Headlight Cleaning System
- Heated Washer Nozzles
- Metallic Paint £625
- Keyless Drive £550
- Volvo On Call with App £450
- Rear Park Assist £325
- Tempa Spare Wheel and Jack £150