Volvo V60 Hybrid interior
Interior looks cool and feels nicely built, but the infotainment system can be slow to respond.
The Volvo V60 PHEV’s interior is a stylish, minimalist affair that looks quite different to what you’ll find in a BMW, Mercedes or Audi. In part, that’s because the car’s ventilation system is controlled via the large portrait-style infotainment system, so there’s no need for a bewildering number of buttons on the dashboard.
The buttons you do get – to turn the engine on, adjust the car’s driving modes and turn up the volume – are made from brushed metal that makes them feel expensive. You also get nice touches such as the roller-shutter cover that tidies up the centre console by sliding over the two cup holders and cold-to-the-touch solid metal interior door handles.
Entry-level Momentum models get cool chequered fabric and leather seats that show you Volvo has a fun-ish side, while high-spec Inscription models have full-leather upholstery that feels softer and more appealing that you get in the likes of a Mercedes C-Class Estate and some gorgeous unvarnished driftwood-trims on the dashboard.
Go for a sporty R-Design car instead and you get some more supportive leather seats, a softer leather steering wheel and aluminium inserts on the dashboard and doors.
Every Volvo V60 come with a 9-inch portrait-style display that looks great and is slick and easy to use when you’re parked up. You can operate it much like an iPad, swiping between menus and pinching to zoom in and out of maps.
The system responds quickly to your finger movements, but sometimes you’ll wish it had physical buttons to navigate you quickly through the various menus. As a result, it’s trickier to use on the move than BMW’s iDrive system.
On the plus side, the large screen makes it easy to follow the standard satellite navigation system’s directions and it’s quick and easy to enter a postcode using the on-screen keyboard.
It’s a shame that you have to pay extra for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring, though, and it’s annoying that Volvo only lets you use half the V60’s screen to view your phone’s navigation and media-streaming apps.
The standard 12-inch digital driver’s display helps it win back some points though because similar screens cost extra in a Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4. This high-resolution display replaces conventional analogue dials with a customisable screen that can give you a close-up display of junctions as you approach them – just the thing to help make sure you don’t miss any upcoming turnings.
Also in the Volvo V60’s favour is its excellent, 10-speaker, 170W standard stereo that’ll blow the socks off the basic systems you’ll find in alternatives. If it doesn’t scratch your musical itch, you can also choose from a 600W Harman Kardon system with 14 speakers, or go the whole hog and specify the more expensive 1,100W Bowers and Wilkins stereo with 15 speakers and surround sound.