Several long runs across East Anglia during the Christmas holiday period, usually with four adults on board and its huge boot crammed with bags, has enabled this S60 to begin proving its worth.
One of its biggest strengths is the five-cylinder turbodiesel unit, which is smooth and powerful, and gives the car a real turn of speed even when fully loaded. This can make it tough to resist unnecessary hard acceleration. Dawdlers can be overtaken with ease.
Despite the occasional heavy use of the right foot, the 38mpg average indicated by the trip computer from its last 1,500 miles’ usage is respectable, though a little way from Volvo’s claimed 42.8mpg.
Not all those miles were in complete comfort, though. With this being the Sport version, it comes with large alloy wheels on low profile tyres and lowered, stiffened suspension. And stiffened is certainly the effect.
All the interior pleasantries of our option-loaded test car, such as plush leather upholstery, satellite navigation, TV and an iPod connection, don’t stop occupants from noticing every bump in the road. We predict this becoming a little tiresome in the long term.
Thankfully, the rough road surfaces haven’t shown up any problems with the S60’s build quality. It seems as solid as any Volvo stalwart would expect.
In fact the car’s overall size and its girder-like door pillars enhance the sense of granite strength and security for occupants. This is only let down by the resultant blind spot created by the A-pillars.
Engine: 2.4-litre, five-cylinder turbodiesel; 185bhp at 4,000rpm; 295lb ft at 2,000-2,750rpm
Performance: 0-62mph: 8.2sec; top speed: 143mph
Transmission: 6spd manual
Test Period: December-February
Start mileage: 180
Mileage now: 1,692
Efficiency: 38mpg (actual); 174g/km CO2
CAP RV 3yr/30k: £8,825 36%
CAP RV 3yr/60k: £7,625 31%
Key rivals: BMW 3-series, Audi A4, Mercedes C-class
Likes: Versatile engine, superb specification
Dislikes: Hard ride, expensive