Our Fleet Test Drive: Volvo V60 Driv-e - Final Report
20 January 2012
Author: Jack Carfrae
Summing up life with a long-term fleet vehicle is difficult when you haven't actually lived with it for all that long.
I've mentioned before that I inherited the keys from my predecessor, Rachel Burgess, when I took over her spot at BusinessCar, which left me with around six weeks to acclimatise to life with the Volvo.
A more refined and comfortable estate you couldn't ask for, but everyone knows that's the sort of thing that the Swedish company does so well. The real reason we ran it was because it was among the earliest of a growing number of upper medium estate cars to duck below 120g/km, rendering the 1.6-litre Driv-e version the default choice for fleets. The 557-litre boot  gives it the edge over rivals in the practicality stakes too, and you're looking at a huge 1241 litres with the rear seats folded down.
A clean 115hp 1.6 diesel engine in a car more than 4.6m long and with a kerb weight in excess of 1500kg doesn't sound like a recipe for high performance. I'd never argue that the V60 was a quick car, but it held its own in its natural environment of A-roads and motorways sufficiently for my taste, requiring only a bit of extra welly when leaving busy roundabouts.
Shortly before our car arrived it was only possible to order the Driv-e variant (with standard green features such as stop/start ) as a basic trim level in its own right, but Volvo wised-up to the idea that eco variants need not be confined to sparsely specced models, so Driv-e versions became available in all specifications and, as of February, you'll be able to buy the V60 Driv-e as an automatic, too.
Our early real-world mpg figures resided at around 40mpg, so it wasn't looking good for the V60 from the outset. It has since risen to an overall average of 41.1mpg, but that's still a way short of the official 62.8mpg figure, though we were into the 50s from time to time .
So how close does it run its main rivals? Pretty close indeed when you look at the Volvo's P11D value, what you get for your money, and its fine refinement and comfort. The BMW 3-series Tourer will always be the driver's choice and badge snobs will automatically divert to the Audi A4, but the head over heart decision for a premium estate screams V60.
|Volvo V60 Driv-e 1.6 115hp SE|
|Claimed combined consumption||62.8mpg|
|Our average consumption||41.1mpg|