Volvo V60 - The first 10,000 miles - Avant

(See end of thread for update)

I keep thinking that in semi-retirement my annual mileage will go down from 20,000 a year - but here we are again: on 6 August, three months to the day from delivery, the odometer went over 5,000. Anyway, a good time to post some impressions.

As I've said before, after three Octavia vRS estates I'd have happily had a fourth, but for the firm bolsters on the seats which made it difficult for SWMBO to get in and out. I suppose there was also a thought that - as I'll probably keep this one for more than the usual 3 years or so - a Volvo might age better than a VW Group product.

A BMW X1 would have suited, but my usual method of getting a quote from a broker and seeing if the local dealer can match it didn't work, as BMW (at least at the beginning of this year) weren't talking to brokers. The result was that an X1 was going to be £140 a month more on a PCP contract than the V60. Part of this was because so much equipmemt is an optional extra on BMWs, and discounts aren't given on extras.

So even if it wasn't my first choice, I've generally been happy with the V60. It's the D4 (190 bhp turbodiesel) with torque converter automatic, in quite a fetching shade of light blue.

Good things:

- It's safe and solid, and seems built to last.

- Reasonably quiet diesel engine which is loosening up nicely with pulling away from rest getting gradually livelier.

- Very smooth gearchanges, and an easy shift of the selector to the left bringing in sport mode and a useful immediate downchange. It's particularly useful when going up a hill slowly (as you often have to in rural Dorset); when left to itself the transmission is in a higher ratio than I'd have chosen on a manual gearbox.

- Volvo have some of the best seats in the business, and these are excellent, and adjustable in all possible ways, with standard lumbar support adjustment (scandalously an extra on the BMW).

- A lot of ink is spilt by road testers saying how small the load area is, and how it isn't a proper Volvo estate - but if they actually tried using it they'd find it's perfectly adequate for most normal needs (and there are bigger Volvos available if not). The length with the rear seats down is fine, and the V60 can do two things that the Octavia couldn't: there's a 40/20/40 split of the backrest, and the front seat backrest will fold forward. They should stop measuring load area in litres - I've never been able to fathom why they do that.

The fuel tank is of course measured in litres, and 67 litres is terrific, giving a 700-mile range. Eat your heart out, Nissan Leaf.

Not-so-good things:

- Volvo should take a lesson from BMW in how to set up an 'infotainment' (horrible word) system: the Volvo system is counter-intuitive. At least it's not a touchscreen, which would be worse, but I'd much rather have a rotary controller like the iDrive or the Audi system.

- Turning circle nothing to write home about, but maybe I was spoilt by the Octavia's.

- The space-saver spare wheel takes up the whole of the under-floor compartment, but at least it was available as an option.

- I don't like the electronic parking brake, which is for some reason down by my right knee, and is also counter-intuitive in being push forward for on, pull back for off. Give me a proper handbrake any day.

- Checking the engine oil level requires a fiddly exercise with the trip computer: there's no dipstick, which is just plain stupid.

- The 'manual' is online only, and hopeless at explaining anything.

But overall the pluses well outweigh the minuses. I may never be quite as fond of the V60 as I was of the three Octavias, but it's growing on me.

Edited by Avant on 06/11/2016 at 21:33

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - craig-pd130

Glad you're liking it, Avant - I have the manual box but agree with your comments, especially on the load area.

A couple of observations from my own V60 - I hardly ever bother checking the oil now, after two years and 22,000 miles the oil level has never moved a millimetre from the 'full' mark on the electronic scale, no matter how the car's been driven. This seems to be the experience of other owners with the VEA diesel engine on the Volvo forums - there isn't a single post there that asks about oil consumption.

You do get used to the EPB control being where it is: it would be more logical to have it on the centre console (like VW / Audi) but it ceases to irritate.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - brum

Infotainment? Touch screens, rotary controllers, blah blah, all pains in the neck and accidents waiting to happen due to distraction.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - craig-pd130

Obviously direct MPG comparisons are fairly meaningless as yours is an auto and mine manual, but I've clocked just over 2 years ownership from new and 22,200 miles in my SE (17" 215/50 tyres), and the car has returned exactly 47mpg at the pumps (65% urban / short journeys, 35% long trips and motorways).

My previous V60, the 163bhp 2-litre 5 cylinder, gave 46.8mpg over much the same driving conditions, so the VEA motor gives about the same economy while putting out more power.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - Avant

Comparisons may be more useful than one might think, as although mine's an auto, a higher proportion of my mileage is long-distance.

47 mpg on average sounds about right: checking brim-to-brim (trip computer is about 1 to 2 mpg optimistic) it's about 44 mpg on short trips but 50 mpg when I went to Edinburgh and back. And that's with a brand new car so things may get even better.

I could improve on it if I were to pussyfoot around, but then I wouldn't have had the D4 in the first place.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - skidpan

Avant, can I ask a favour.

The V60 still attracts us (in T4 form) but the boot size is a worry. Visiting a showroom with a tape is the simple solution but the nearest dealer is 15 miles away and the last time we visited the salesman proved themselves to be an idiot so a bit unwilling to travel unless I am happy that its worth investigating further.

Found a Volvo website that details the boot dimensions for width and length but there is no measurement for the height from the boot floor to the underside of the parcel shelf/tonneau. Would it be possible for you to measure this for us.

Thanks.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - craig-pd130

Boot floor to underside of parcel shelf is 17" / 43cm. It's worth noting the V60 comes as standard with retractable cargo nets attached to the backs of the rear seats, which attach securely to points in the roof, so the safe limit of boot filling is not restricted to what fits under the tonneau.

I have posted this before, and will repeat here: before my V60s, I had a Mondeo IV estate. Our family holidays in the UK used to fill the boot of that. When I got the first V60, I wondered if it would take all the same bags and clobber. It did, without have to leave anything behind, or fill the footwells.

People can point at the brochure specs and suck their teeth all they like: from direct experience, my V60s have been able to carry everything that the Mondeo could, from domestic appliances to chests of drawers to all the holiday gear for two adults and three teenagers.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - Avant

Confirmed - thanks Craig.

Skidpan - you may have trouble finding a petrol V60 to test-drive, although one might hope that after the VAG problems, Volvo dealers may get the message that petrol is getting more popular.

Also be warned that the manual V60 doesn't have a rest for your left foot. The automatic does - a sturdy effort in just the right place.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - craig-pd130

Also be warned that the manual V60 doesn't have a rest for your left foot. The automatic does - a sturdy effort in just the right place.

When I got my first V60, that was the most significant niggle for me. Considering that Volvo bangs on about the ergonomics of its cars, it's bizarre that they couldn't find an extra couple of centimetres for a footrest for manual 'box users - especially as the engines are transverse. Must be a geabox / transfer box clearance issue for one of the low-volume 4WD variants.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - skidpan

Thanks for the info. Using the info I found on the Volvo site the width between arches is 1.05m and the length to the base of the rear seat is 0.95m multiply that by a height of .43m and its a volume of 430 litres, spot on what Volvo quote.

My Leon has a width of 1.00m between the arches, a length of 0.75m to the base of the rear seat and with a full size spare fitted a height of 0.49m, a volume of 367 litres. With a glue kit or space save fitted the height increases to 0.56m and the volume to 420 litres. That is virtually the same as the V60. But Seat only quote 380 litres with a glue kit, shows how why measure and not rely on manufacturers figures.

We are currently on holiday and just managed to fit everything into the Leon for trip, and I mean just. The increase in space provided by he Volvo would be useful but I could gain 50 litres by removing the full size spare from the Leon and fitting a space saver, a much cheaper option.

Still need to look but it appears to be a non starter.

I had a Mondeo IV estate. Our family holidays in the UK used to fill the boot of that. When I got the first V60, I wondered if it would take all the same bags and clobber. It did,

We had a 52 plate Mondeo and the boot was huge, swallowed everything with ease. Same with the Kia Ceed SW which using the above method method measured at 530 litres. Have looked at the current Mondeo and with the 1.5 turbo petrol it would be perfect but for 50 weeks a year the overall size is a bit big for my liking in modern car parks.

you may have trouble finding a petrol V60 to test-drive,

Looked on Autotrader, 2 within 100 miles but both are the old 1.6 version.

As I said above its probably a non starter.

Back to the drawing board.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - skidpan

Finally got around to visiting our local Volvo emporium. Last time we went to look at the V40 as a replacement for the 118D the salesman was an idiot so we hoped for better this time.

Salesman introduced himself and took us out to his car which was a V60 D5 R Design. Told him we wanted a petrol and he told us they did not sell petrols, they had none on site. Said we would want to drive a petrol before ordering but he insisted it was unnecessary since the petrol and diesel used the same engine and drove exactly the same. Drive the diesel and order a petrol if we really wanted one, told him NO WAY, more proof salesmen are idiots.

Sat in the R line and immediately felt at home. Asked if the seats would be the same in the Bussiness Edition or the SE and he said they would be other than the covering which surprised me since they looked a bit sporty. Boot space looked OK, just but still need convincing. Looked under the floor where the tempra spare fits and could see no fixing point, salesman said it just fitted loose.

So for you V60 experts does the spare really just sit there loose rattling about or is there a fixing

Asked for a brochure and was told he could e-mail me one. Pointed out I preferred a paper copy but would prefer not to use my ink and and paper and he printed one off for me, he was not all bad.

BUT

When I read the brochure it clearly says the R-Line has sports seats, why do salesmen know fek all.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - Cluedo
Pleased to read you are enjoying the car.
I really like the distinctive styling of the modern Volvos.
I totally agree that their seats are superb. I test drive a V70 and the drivers seat was exemplary, the comfort and support was above anything else I tried since although my current Outback comes close but still not a match.
I also agree that the BMW infotainment system is the best in the business, especially ten traffic management and as you say so intuitive to use.
Good luck in the future with your new motor.
Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - craig-pd130

Salesman introduced himself and took us out to his car which was a V60 D5 R Design. Told him we wanted a petrol and he told us they did not sell petrols, they had none on site. Said we would want to drive a petrol before ordering but he insisted it was unnecessary since the petrol and diesel used the same engine and drove exactly the same. Drive the diesel and order a petrol if we really wanted one, told him NO WAY, more proof salesmen are idiots.

It's amazing, isn't it. The new Volvo VEA motors actually do use the same block, and share some internals / basic architecture so you could construct a weak argument saying they "use the same engine" but driving exactly the same? Er, I don't think so.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - Cluedo
Saying they use the same engine is pushing it a bit although there are component shares but having said that I recently hired a new c class merc and after driving it to empty I went to fill it up and tried to put diesel in it and could not get the nozzle in as it was the base petrol model. I was just so convinced it was a diesel by the wa it drive though. I was very pleasantly surprised.
Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - Wayne Dibbley

I have been looking for a 2nd hand petrol V60 T3 for a year and finally test drove one last week.

The boot is very shallow and in volume probably works out the same as my Mk1 leon (the best car there ever was)

Unfortunately I wasn't happy with the noisy transmission on the vehilcle so didn't buy.

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - Avant

Skidpan - a few things to help you.

The space-saver in a V60 fits snugly in the well designed for it. It doesn't have a fixing but doesn't move or rattle. Volvo supply it as a cheap optional extra - i think they omit it as standard just to keep the quoted overall weight of the car down.

My original test drive was in an R-Design: the seats have a bit more leather but are the same shape as the standard ones in mine. The suspension in the R-Design is firmer than the already firm standard springs: the engine is the same and I don't think the R-Design is worth the extra.

Your salesman may be even more of an idiot than you thought: nowhere, even on Volvo's own website, can I see any mention of the D5 engine in the V60. I'd have looked at it if there had been. There's a new V60 coming out next year, and it would be good if the T5 petrol, available in the V40, was an option. There is a petrol V60, the T4: you can never get a test drive of one because apparently hardly anyone asks for it, and I suppose dealers have to have demonstrators of the models most likely to sell.

The Business Edition looks good value but in practice they offer such big discounts on the SE that you're better off with that. Mine's the SE Nav: you can get an SE Lux as well but I think I remember that the extras are mainly cosmetic.

My money's on you ending up with a Leon estate or whatever they call it.

Edited by Avant on 01/11/2016 at 11:30

Volvo V60 - The first 5,000 miles - skidpan

Sent a message to Volvo and got an e-mail back saying they had no idea what the dealers had in stock or demonstrators and with regards to secuing the spare said to ask the dealer. They did ask who the dealer was which I answered in an e-mail reply.

Got a call from the dealer this AM who says he had checked group stock and no petrols. He did say he had checked with stores and there is a kit available to secure the spare. He said he will keep checking for a petrol. Don't hold out much hope.

My money's on you ending up with a Leon estate or whatever they call it.

As I have said before the Leon ST is too compromised for us. Don't want 1/2 plastic sports seats and sports suspension for starters but would really like a bit more rear seat space. So this morning we went to the local Skoda emporium to look at the Superb. OK, its big, huge in fact but its nicely equipped and nicely finished and available with the 150PS TSi. Best bit, they have one as a demonstator and hopefully will be getting it for a solo test drive one morning next week (hopefully as I said). Compared to the Octavia the interior quality looks to be from a different universe but come the revised Octavia (due in February) that will no doubt change.

Watch this space.

Volvo V60 - The first 10,000 miles - Avant

Uncanny, isn't it! Delivery on 6 May, 5,000 miles exactly on 5 August, as in my OP above, and this morning, 6 November, the odometer goes over 10,000. It isn't as if I do regular journeys: it's just pure coincidence.

Nothing much to report - a good thing - and the pluses and minuses are as before. Now that's it's fully loosened up, the easy cruising is even more relaxed, and it's a good place to be on a long run. For me at least, big engine / medium-sized car is the right balance. And SWMBO is very comfortable getting in and out as well as sitting in the seat, which was what led us to the Volvo in the first place.

Recommended? Yes, as long as your priorities as what the V60 excels in. If it hadn't been for the seat issue, I'd probably have gone for a fourth 2-litre Octavia estate....BUT I've been lucky enough to be able to buy new and not find out how good a Skoda, particularly a DSG-equipped Skoda, would be once the warranty runs out.

Volvo V60 - The first 10,000 miles - craig-pd130

Slight hijack of Avant's thread, so apologies to him. After 3 years in my current V60 D4 SE manual (and 3 years before that in a 163bhp D3 manual), I'll be saying goodbye to it at the weekend, as the contract hire is up.

Apart from the niggling EGR issues (I had three 'fixes' done, and the most recent one seems to have finally done the job), it's been a great car. Swift, punchy, roomy, comfortable and economical.

It gave me a genuine average of 46.4mpg at the pumps during my 30,000 miles of ownership, which is pretty good for a 1.65 tonne family barge that's mostly driven in urban environments with only the occasional long motorway trip.

I've enjoyed Volvo ownership, but as a company car user-chooser, Volvo doesn't currently have a plug-in hybrid that suits my needs. I briefly considered the D5 twin engine but contract hire rates are stupidly high, and as it's a diesel the BIK tax is high too.

Hopefully Volvo will have addressed this in 3 years time, but in the meantime it's a BMW 225xe phev for me.

Volvo V60 - The first 18,000 miles - Avant

No apology needed! Strangely enough, a petrol BMW (either an X1 or a 2-series) would have been my first choice, but when I was looking early last year they were both new on the market and discounts were tiny compared with the healthy £7,000 I got off the V60.

Mileage on the V60 has settled down to about 1,000 a month now, mainly because we both use SWMBO's delightful Audi A1 1.4 TFSI much more than we did her previous Mini. The A1 despite being petrol-powered almost exactly matches your diesel V60, Craig, for economy, my automatic Volvo being about 3 mpg poorer.

If I'd known that SWMBO was going to be as comfortable in the A1 as in the Volvo, as she is, I'd probably have had another Skoda. I'm no boy-racer, but the V60's steering and handling are on the stodgy side compared with the Skodas (all 3 were vRSs), but on the other hand this V60 is one we're likely to keep long-term, so its solidity and (so far) reliability are a good omen.

Good luck with the 225xe, and it'll be interesting to hear how you get on with it.

Edited by Avant on 29/06/2017 at 11:43

Volvo V60 - The first 18,000 miles - craig-pd130

Good luck with the 225xe, and it'll be interesting to hear how you get on with it.

Thanks! That VAG 1.4 TFSI motor seems to one of the best petrol engines available at present in terms of punch and economy.

I'll be starting a thread about living with the 225 long-term.

 

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