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FIRST DRIVE REVIEW: Volvo V60 D4 R-Design Nav Geartronic

Published: 6 February 2014

This is arguably the sexiest looking Volvo estate ever created. And the colour, Rebel Blue, says what Volvo and Swedish design is all about. 

We test drove the Volvo V60 D4 R-Design Nav last week. The D4 is Volvo’s new four-cylinder Drive-E turbodiesel. And it blew us away. We can’t wait for the 230hp D5 engine to come out. The V60 will set you back a pricey £32,095. 

Pictures: Danny Hewitt

But for that, you’ll be driving a beautiful car with good fuel economy, heavenly seats, a pleasant interior and a new friend that will make you feel very happy. 

Volvo says its new two-litre 181bhp D4 engine has the best-in-class combination of power and CO2 emissions. With Volvo’s Geartronic transmission system, you have the ability to drive in either Auto or Manual mode. 

It’s more fun to drive in Auto, less stressful and allows you to take in the scenery and to free up your mind for more important matters than changing gear every so often. 

But in Auto, it does burn up more diesel, with CO2 emissions of 112g/km and a combined fuel economy of 65.7mpg. Switch to manual, if that’s your preference, and CO2 emissions are slashed to 103g/km with an increased fuel economy of 72.4mpg. 

Volvo has achieved performance and efficiency gains by reducing the weight of the new engine in addition to incorporating new innovations such as Denso’s i-ART technology – thought to be the driver behind the increased fuel economy. It uses pressure feedback from each fuel injector to give improved power but with lower emissions. It’s said this alone improves fuel economy by at least two per cent although it is thought to be much higher. 

It’s a significant milestone for Volvo, the manufacturer behind a major driverless car project in Gothernburg, beginning this year. By 2017, the project aims to have 100 driverless vehicles on the roads of the Swedish city.

The V60 feels smooth, refined, and the driving is superb. It sounds like it has a larger engine. It feels like it has a larger engine. But it holds the road well and glides around corners with responsive steering. 

Inside, it’s quiet and the engine noise is muted while cruising at high speeds, especially on motorways and dual-carriageways. 

So why buy the Volvo V60? The running costs are far lower than its German rival, the BMW 320d M Sport Touring. The BMW is £700 dearer and is costly to run. On top of this, we feel the Volvo has near-perfect seats. The interior is pleasant, minimalistic and not over-the-top. 

The V60 D4 R-Design Nav Geartronic is set to gain a whole new motoring audience and fleets are likely to flock to any model in the Volvo range with this powerful and economical new engine. 


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