Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Arnold Schwarzenegger and his love of cars
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The Top Gear car review:Volvo V60
For:Lovely interior that's roomy, useful and comfy. Safe, well-equipped
Against:Sometimes you want a car that isn't so relaxing to drive
What is it?
Good grief, cars are getting big these days. The new V60 has jumped a size, so it’s now 10cm longer in the wheelbase than the old one. Overall, it’s nearly 4.8m from prow to stern, slightly longer overall than the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 estates. That means oceans more rear-seat and boot room.
It’s also a much more sophisticated car, having shifted to Volvo’s big-car SPA platform, with all that implies in safety and tech. The old one, whisper it, had far too much in common with a very elderly Ford Focus.
Inside, the designers took a Scandi chill pill, serving up soft materials and colours in their characteristic furniture style. The dash is, as always from Volvo, dominated by a big high-resolution screen that’s called on to do slightly too many things.
Still, if the screen distracts you, the car will do its best to stop you crashing by deploying its vast range of active safety interventions.
It’s more dynamic to drive than the ginormous V90, though not night-and-day different. To reflect that, the design is subtly different too. The T-shaped running lights point closer to the grille, piercing out of the headlamp borders. The shoulder line doesn’t run the whole length of the car, but emerges from the rear door to take a more sweeping curve. There’s less decoration. But frankly you need to be a right spotter for these differeces to hit your conscious vision.
It’s all 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines. For the UK we get two diesels, D3 and D4 (so none above 180bhp) and a 250bhp T5 petrol, all with front-wheel drive only. Air suspension is an option, but the cars we tested had the standard springs, with the optional £750 adaptive damping.
By the end of 2018 there will also be a T6 Twin Engine. That’s a plug-in hybrid, with an electric motor to drive the rear wheels as well the petrol for the fronts.