Volvo V60 1.6D DRIVe SE: Road test review

Volvo V60 1.6D DRIVe SE
We already know that the latest V60 offers the usual Volvo estate attributes of space and safety, wrapped in sleek styling - but can it be a green choice too?

We spent a week with this £31,970 V60 1.6 DRIVe SE to find out.
The V60 looks even better than the attractive S60 saloon. However, despite the curvy styling, there are enough typical design cues for Volvo fans, meaning it couldn't be a car from any other manufacturer.

Volvo V60 1.6D DRIVe SE
These include the characteristic family grille that dominates the V60's face, but it is much sleeker and looks attractively modern with the swept-back head and driving lamps, similar to the XC60 soft-roader.

From the side, the slim, coupe-like roof line remains. The most distinctive part of the V60's rear styling is the big glass screen, which looks like the tailgate on its own. Then there are the stylish tail lamps that stretch up towards the roof and the sculpted boot design.

The shape suits some colours better than others. I thought that the silver metallic paint finish of the test car didn't really show the V60's curves at their best.

Inside, the DRIVe version of the V60 is unchanged from the standard car that came before it. I still like the 'floating' centre console, which is tilted towards the driver and the sat-nav system, which is a big improvement on Volvos of old.

Volvo V60 1.6D DRIVe SE
The quality of the plastics and metal inlays aren't quite up to German rivals, but the standard seats are some of the most comfortable I've sat on, ever.

Despite the sloping roof line, rear head and visibility are excellent and Volvo have even managed to find an extra 20mm for rear passengers. There's also a practically-shaped 430-litre boot, that has some useful under floor stowage.

Hit the road in the V60 DRIVe and the first thing you notice is the firm ride, though it isn't uncomfortable and has a positive effect on the handling. Body control and grip are excellent.

Unfortunately, although the V60's steering is sharp, it lacks feel. However, there's no doubt that this car is underpinned by a really capable chassis.

Volvo V60 1.6D DRIVe SE
The 1.6-litre turbodiesel might just have 113bhp, but it is more than adequate in everyday use, as long as you adjust your driving style to make the most of the excellent fuel economy.

Top speed is 118mph, with the dash to 60mph taking a modest 10.7 seconds. Still, this isn't really the point of the DRIVe, as the 119g/km emissions and 65.7mpg Combined fuel figure are designed to keep running costs low.

To sum up, the V60 DRIVe adds a healthy dose of economy wrapped in a stylish, well-equipped, spacious, safe but expensive package.
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