Our Fleet Test Drive: Volvo V60 Driv-e - 1st Report
14 June 2011
Author: Rachel Burgess
We've taken delivery of a V60, Volvo's first upper medium estate model that plugs a wagon-sized gap for the brand in the sector.
The V60 is the saloon S60's more capacious sibling. Both were launched at the back end of last year, with Volvo having taken the decision to reduce the size of the new S60 because the previous version was an awkward half a size bigger than the BMW 3-series and Audi A4 - the downsizing means the Volvos are now better placed to compete with the German rivals.
Our long termer has the last engine to be introduced to the V60 - a 115hp 1.6-litre diesel unit under the company's low-CO2 Driv-e banner, which is by far the most sensible choice for fleet managers.
This eco-friendly engine has an official economy figure of 62.8mpg and emits 119g/km, just beating BMW's 318d Touring at 120g/km. For the time being, that puts it in the lowest BIK band of 13%.
There were no trim options when the low-CO2 Driv-e brand was first introduced, but now buyers can select from any of its four trim levels including the sporty R-design specification. We've opted for the second-from-bottom SE, which has a host of features including steering wheel controls , cruise control,
17-inch alloys , rear parking sensors, automatic door mirrors and City Safety, a low-speed auto-braking system. Costing £26,715, we've also added four options: a leather upholstery upgrade (£970), the essential metallic paint (£640), powered passenger seat (£630) and Volvo's Winter pack (£385), which includes heated front seats and headlight cleaning.
Estate owners will always be interested in boot size  and Volvo does well here. At 557 litres, it is one of the larger boots in the sector, against the BMW 3-series Touring's 460 litres and the Audi A4 Avant's 490 litres. If you add in the V60 rear seats, which are 40:20:40 foldable as standard, you'll have 1241 litres of luggage space.
Time will tell whether it can live up to its German rivals for looks, drive and economy. In its first weeks with us, it looks like the V60 might have a shot.
|Volvo V60 Driv-e 1.6 115hp SE|
|Claimed combined consumption||62.8mpg|
|Our average consumption||40.4mpg|