Wagon space, saloon performance

Auto Bakkie Race Legend Tests are selected from our extensive road test archive.
This road test was first published in Cars in Action magazine May 2011.

Volvo’s V60 has a sleek design that melds elegant fluidity and aerodynamics with station wagon practicality. It takes all the virtues of the Volvo S60 sedan and adds a little extra space without losing driving dynamics or excitement. This fluid design approach continues on the interior with a floating centre control panel and business class comfy seats. 
Classed as a station wagon, V60 has to be one of the prettiest cars in its class — wagons are by nature not the prettiest of vehicles — they are designed around practicality, rather than looks but V60 quite escapes all that. Never mind, this one’s R-design kit enhances that sportiness even further — it’s more of a sedan with a modified rear in a coupé-like nature.

Safe as Volvos always are, V60 also delivers Pedestrian Detection technology to warn the driver and if he or she does not react in time, the car will apply full braking power and bring the itself to a halt in the event of a pedestrian wandering onto the road. A boon in a country where the vast majority of road deaths involve pedestrians. 

Advanced Stability Control is another V60 advantage complete with a roll angle sensor to detect a loss of control and traction at the earliest possible stage, while Corner Traction Control is another advanced feature that uses torque vectoring to make sure V60 corners even more smoothly. 

On the road, suspension is soft and pliable while NVH levels are low once up to speed. That said, the 5-pot turbodiesel is fat with torque but does make a racket at high revs — it's intrusive and undermines the rest of an otherwise elegant package. Volvo’s user interface also feels dated but the front drive setup works well with this engine. I like this car; it’s honest without portraying any false sporting inclinations. - Andrew Middleton

LEGEND TEST — Volvo V60 T3 R-Design Geartronic
Engine: 120kW 400Nm 1998cc turbo Diesel I5
Drive:    6-speed automatic FWD
TESTED (May 2001):
0-60km/h                3.66 sec
0-100km/h:              8.78 sec 
0-160km/h:                   23.65 sec
400m:                   16.5 sec @ 138km/h
80-120km/h:           4.59 sec
120-160 sec            14.32 sec
Vmax:                  220km/h
Fuel:                  5.5/100km
CO2:                159 g/km
NEW PRICE (2011): R402K 
NEW MODEL TODAY: R735K (XC60 D4 R-Design)
RATED:                  77%