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Volvo V60 D4: Test Drive Review

Date: 31 October 2013   |   Author: Martin Gurdon

Category: Upper medium
P11D Price: £25,890
Key rival: BMW 3-series Touring
On sale: January 2014

Volvo has begun slashing emissions across its model range by ditching its existing engines in favour of cleaner and more economical four-cylinder units.

The V60 estate tested here?and the S60 (its four-door upper medium equivalent) are the first models to get the Swedish firm's new diesel and petrol engines - both 2.0-litre four-cylinders wearing the Drive-e banner - which will gradually form the bulk of available units in the range.

Power will range from 120hp to 300hp depending on the variant, and new eight-speed automatic gearboxes, launched with the latest engines, or revised six-speed manuals will be available. 

Over the next three years, the four-cylinder engines will be rolled out across the company's entire model range, with the intention of dragging down emissions and boosting economy even further. They also offer weight-saving and packaging advantages.

The move isn't just about lowering CO2, though. A lot of Volvo's current engines are supplied by other manufacturers, such as Ford, whereas the latest suite of engines are built in-house, so it's a more cost-effective move for the company in the long run.

Similar to Volkswagen's TSI engines, the petrol unit uses a turbocharger and a supercharger to improve low-speed pulling power, while the diesel is a twin-turbo affair and has a trick new injection system (the first of its kind according to Volvo), which monitors the amount of fuel sent to each cylinder.

Even more frugal is the fact that the petrol and diesel versions of the new 2.0-litre unit have what Volvo calls a "common" features, so there's minimal work involved to convert it between the two fuel types.

To top it all off, the engines have even been designed with future hybrid versions in mind, and, put simply, they can have an electric motor bolted onto them with minimal fuss to create a ready-made hybrid variant.

BusinessCar tested a 181hp 2.0-litre automatic V60 D4 SE. To drive, it proved responsive and refined, while in other aspects it is unchanged from the outgoing model, with neutral handling, plenty of grip and a comfortable ride. The only small negative was that the power sometimes arrived with a slight surge when moving off from rest.

Outside, the V60 has received a subtle cosmetic re-working, and now features a broader grill and a new bonnet. Inside, the interior maintains Volvo's trademark minimalist class, adding nothing more than some extra front seat support.

The firm's less-is-more approach doesn't extend to P11D values, though, which have increased slightly with the advent of the new engines.

Volvo V60 D4 SE Bus. Ed. Geartronic
P11D price £25,890
Model price range £20,550-£38,100
Residual value 36.0%
Depreciation £16,565
Fuel £5684
Service, maintenance and repair £2819
Vehicle Excise Duty £40
National Insurance £1858
Cost per mile 57.3p
Fuel consumption 67.3mpg
CO2 (tax) 109g/km (14%)
BIK 20/40% per month £69/£138
Service interval 18,500mls
Insurance group 27
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space min/max 430/1241 litres
Engine size/power 1969cc/181hp
Top speed/0-62mph 140mph/7.6secs


Useful efficiency gains for an already clean estate car.