VOLVO’S sleek V60 estate is one of the first vehicles from the Chinese owned Swedish company to have one of the new four cylinder engines that have just been introduced to eventually replace a range of four five and six cylinder engines in all Volvo cars and the power unit really complements the attractive styling of the V60 writes Bryan Longworth.
It is an important move for Volvo to go for just one four cylinder range of diesel and petrol engines of varying outputs known as Drive-E powertrains and they say that downsizing is the right way to create the desirable blend of power drivability and fuel efficiency.
The smaller is better theory was well explained by Derek Crabb the boss of Volvo powertrains when he told me that the power you get from an engine has nothing to do with its size but about the amount of air that you can get to flow through it and that an engine can be made more efficient if it is smaller
It also makes economic sense to produce just one four cylinder engine range for all Volvo cars and the example in my test car the V60 D4 R-Design Lux Nav was proof that Volvo made the right decision with their new powertrain project.
The V60 which had a recent refresh has been around for some time but still looks very much up to date with really shapely and sporty styling and plenty of street appeal that attracts compliments from admirers.
It is a complete contrast to those massive square brick shaped Volvo estates of yesteryear which had more load space but now look like dinosaurs compared to current Volvo estates such as the V60.
The test car with its 2.0-litre 181bhp turbodiesel engine and eight speed automatic transmission had a top speed of 140mph zero to 60mph time of 7.2 seconds a combined fuel consumption of 67.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 110g/km.
On the road price is ?34,695 but the test car had additional options totalling almost £10,000 including driver support Pack ?1,900, eight speed automatic transmission ?1,550, digital TV ?800, security pack ?700, winter illumination pack ?675 and park assist ?525.
There was a very cosy and comfortable interior and I particularly liked the instruments and controls especially the ability to change the speedometer from conventional to digital which I really appreciated because digital speedos are much easier to see and read especially when the car was travelling through 30 miles of roadworks on the M1 with a 50mph limit.
I liked the positive feel of the steering but the engine which is what this is really all about which had a pleasing sound to it was extremely impressive with a very lively and smooth power output to the front wheels with the eight speed gearbox providing imperceptible changes that helped to make the driving experience so enjoyable.
Volvo made a brave decision to go for four cylinder powertrains in all their cars which makes sense because of their reduction in weight and improved fuel consumption plus lower emissions and they are now in big customer demand compared to other enginesin the range which will all be replaced by the end of next year by the four pot powertrain.
The new engine in the V60 was very impressive as was the estate car it powered which is now a much better package especially with the eight speed gearbox and the future for the one remaining Swedish car manufacturer following the demise of Saab now looks much brighter.
Model: Volvo V60 D4 R-Design Lux Nav
Engine: 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel
Output: 181bhp @ 4250rpm
Top speed: 140mph
Acceleration: 0 to 60mph 7.2 seconds
Fuel consumption: 67.2 combined
C02 emissions: 110g/km
Price: £34,695 on the road