Volvo V60 DRIVe Review

Volvo lent us their new estate car, the V60, which featured the 1.6 DRIVe engine and was in top of the line R-Design trim. Read what we think of it, whether we'd recommend buying one and which options are worth getting.


With the optional R-Design pack, we reckon its the best looking estate on sale. The 18-inch R-Design alloys, aggressive styling and twin chrome exhausts make it look really sporty.
Initially we werent convinced about the rather unique metallic Vibrant Copper paintwork, however it did grow on us and really stood out at night! We also expected the car as a whole to be slightly larger, though it actually looks quite small in the flesh.
Volvo V60 Side


Inside its stylish as well, with a fairly uncluttered dash and the floating effect centre console. As with most Volvos, the seats are very comfortable and everything feels well built. Once inside, its pretty spacious and theres good knee and head space for tall passengers. Theres plenty of room for four adult passengers in the back to travel long distances and the middle seat is perfectly adequate for short trips.

However the boot is on the small side for an estate, with a 557-litre load area, growing to 1,241 litres with the rear seats lowered. Luckily the seats can be folded completely flat. Just dont expect to be able to furnish your new pad with a single trip to Ikea!
Volvo V60 boot space
The controls are easy to get to grips with, with fairly intuitive buttons and dials for the dash, radio and air-con. The sat-nav is simple to program and has a nice clear-display which can be controlled via the steering wheel buttons. The blue-tooth connection with the stereo was very easy to connect and worked seamlessly with our phones.
The R-Design trim gives a nice and chunky sports steering wheel, aluminum interior fascia, attractive looking R-Design upholstery and sportier seats (which were very supportive) and cool blue dials.
Volvo V60 R-Design Interior


We reckon most potential buyers will find the ride to be slightly too firm in the R-Design car we tested, because of the lower suspension and bigger wheels.
The standard V60 gets criticised for being a bit dull to drive, but the R-Design has a different chassis and suspension set-up, and we were pretty impressed. The steering is responsive and theres little body roll through corners.
The 1.6 DRIVe engine we had did sound slightly noisy and diesely at low-speeds, but wasnt too bad. We found it to be quite a nippy little unit around town, though getting up to motorway speeds takes a bit of time.The automatic stop-start function worked well, it isnt intrusive and is quiet to start up again.
V60 Cabin
The manual gearbox does require quite a lot of work, with frequent changes even when travelling at low speeds. One gripe we had was it has a very high clutch pedal and theres nowhere to rest your left foot when youre not using the clutch.
During our week long test we averaged a rather disappointing 42.9 mpg, which was done over mainly city driving, with one 4 hour round-trip up the motorway. Thats pretty poor, as the official figures say it should be getting 62.8 mpg. One explanation might be that the car had only done 4,000 miles, but wed have expected fuel consumption to be lower.

Value for money

The 1.6 DRIVe starts at 24,615, in ES trim. Ours was a hefty 31,765 with all the options, which puts it close to rivals from Audi and BMW.
Had we managed to get close to the official mpg figure then wed have said it offers very low running costs, as road tax is only 30 a year.
Volvo V60 back


The V60 comes with loads of options as standard, even the most basic ES trim gets climate control, steering wheel with stereo controls, cruise control and an impressive sound system. All DRIVe models get stop/start as well.
The amount of safety features on the Volvo is unrivalled. The standard Volvo City Safety system has an autonomous emergency braking system for avoiding low-speed crashes or reducing their severity. Every V60 also comes with stability and traction control as well as numerous airbags.
V60 R-Design Interior

The options our test car had included:

Winter pack

Price: 1,025
What you get: Heated front seats, headlamp wash/wipe, active bending lights
Is it worth it?: We didnt get to test the cornering lights on any country roads, but were always big fans of heated seats, and the ones in the V60 were very good. Well worth it in our opinion.

Driver support pack

Price: 1,485
What you get: Lane Departure Warning with Driver Alert Control, Blind Spot information system, Pedestrian detection system with Adaptive Cruise Control, Automatic rain sensor windscreen wiper
Is it worth it?: Pedestrian detection system could be a reassuring options, it applies the brakes if it suspects a collision is imminent. Were not big fans of the lane departure system as we think it cuts in too late. The blind sport detection seemed to work well, but there wasnt any big blind spot!

Security pack

Price: 665
What you get: Personal Car Communicator with keyless drive and laminated windows
Is it worth it?: Its a nice to have, but not one wed go for given the high-cost

Premium pack

Price: 1,280
What you get: Voice activated satnav and DAB radio
Is it worth it?:Voice controlled sat-navs are always difficult to work, and this was no exception. The DAB radio worked great, and is worth getting to future-proof the car.

Metallic Paint

Price: 640.00
Is it worth it?: It does give a nice shimmer in the sunlight, and looks great at night


Theres no doubting the V60 is an impressive estate car thats stylish, comfortable, easy to drive and full of clever technology. The biggest downside was that our car wasnt as economical as it should have been and that the R-Design pack does give a very firm ride.
Wed recommend it to anyone looking for a stylish mid-sized estate and would give the 1.6 DRIVe engine the thumbs up, but wed skip on the R-Design pack.

What the press think

Here at carwow we also aggregate and summarise what the best UK experts think of every new car. The general consensus from the critics is similar to our; they love the fact its so safe, admire the stylish looks and the quality. The biggest negative point for them is the relatively small boot, as there are similarly priced rivals which offer bigger boots.
To see what all the experts think, check out our Volvo V60 section.


Model tested: D2 R-Design 1.6 DRIVe engine
Gearbox: Six-speed manual
Cost without options: 23,710
BHP: 115
Top Speed: 135mph
CO2: 119 g/km
MPG: 62.8

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