Although the spring weather didn’t allow us to fully test it, the V60 comes with an optional Winter Pack that included a heated windscreen for rapid de-icing on chilly mornings.

Although the spring weather didn’t allow us to fully test it, the V60 comes with an optional Winter Pack that included a heated windscreen for rapid de-icing on chilly mornings.

Continuing QUBE/just-auto's review of interior design and technology trends, we take a closer look inside Volvo's premium mid-size V60. Its uncomplicated cockpit swathed with soft-touch trim and supportive leather seats make this a comfortable place to drive from A to B.

The SE level estate model we borrowed featured a clutter-free cockpit and rotary jewel-like knobs in the centre floating stack, identical to the S60 with its intuitive pictogram ventilation control layout. Other refined interior touches include black leather sports seats and a frameless interior rearview auto-dimming mirror.

The seven-inch Sensus infotainment features a DAB radio, sat-nav and Bluetooth. The SE includes power adjustable driver's seat, xenon headlights and keyless entry. Although the SE model comes with a slightly larger screen than found in lower trim levels, it is still small compared to the classy iPad-style touch screen fitted in the S90 used to control the sat-nav, media, and a host of advanced driver assistance systems.

We clocked up almost 400 miles in the V60, most of that cruising along some of Britain's busy motorways than winding through its country roads. Seated for such long journeys felt quite comfortable surrounded by a sleek cockpit. In the back, the V60 comes with two-stage integrated child booster cushions that pop-up from the seat base. The rear seats can be folded flat in three 40/20/40 segments, providing 430 litres of load space. The tapered roofline, however, reduces headroom for tall rear seat passengers.

While the sloping roofline distinguishes this estate from others, giving it an almost 'coupe-like' appearance as Volvo bosses point out, it further compromises the boot space somewhat with squashed sides and roof.  The front grille and hallmark vertical rear lighting cluster mark this car out as unmistakably Volvo.

Our top-spec petrol 2.0-litre turbo producing 190bhp model, the T4, also came with a 6-speed automatic transmission and paddle shifters that allow you to shift the gears manually with both hands on the wheel. Three diesel engines are also available for your delectation.

Connectivity

Volvo's Sensus Connect cloud-based service allows drivers to locate and pay for parking from their car, find places to eat nearby and stream music. The connectivity package includes Volvo On Call that further allows them to use their smartphone to lock, unlock, check fuel levels, pre-heat, pre-cool, locate and check the mileage on the car.

Last November, Inrix, a provider of connected car services, divulged that its Traffic will be integrated globally into the V40, V40 Cross Country, S60, V60 and XC60. Volvo Cars worldwide are now equipped with Inrix real-time and predictive traffic flow information for routes, travel times, and alerts to accidents and incidents on over five million miles of roads.  In 2015, Inrix was selected as the global traffic provider Volvo Sensus Connect.

The Sensus family includes a premium sound system by Harman Kardon.

The Sensus family includes a premium sound system by Harman Kardon. During an interview with QUBE/just-auto, Harman's Michael Mauser, EVP and President Lifestyle Audio Division, told us: "Harman remains the world market leader in branded car audio and we currently enjoy 40 per cent global market share. That means there are more than 25 million cars that are 'Harman' equipped on the roads today. Remember too that we have an unparalleled 'house of brands' to offer to our customers. That now includes Bang & Olufsen, B&O Play together with JBL, Mark Levinson, Infinity, Harman Kardon and our licence agreement with Bowers & Wilkins. This all means we had a lot of OEM partners showing audio systems at Paris, including … Volvo. Both the Volvo V90 and S90 that have a Bowers & Wilkins system similar to that in the XC90, which has been really well-received."

Safety technologies

As you would expect, the V60 is brimming with safety technologies including a City Safety system that is active at speeds of up to 31 mph. The car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too quickly.  

Also fitted as standard on the V60 is adaptive cruise control (ACC) that uses radar. For its part, Delphi developed and is supplying an electronically scanning radar (ESR). Delphi claims its ESR provides wide coverage at mid-range and high-resolution long range coverage to enable ACC, forward collision warning and brake support. The Volvo system fuses radar and camera data to warn drivers of a potential collision with a vehicle or pedestrian and automatically brakes if the driver is unable.

Delphi worked with Volvo Cars to develop the collision mitigation system.

Delphi also claims that its collision mitigation system (CMS) is the world's first driver assistance sensor system that automatically activates a vehicle's full braking power to avoid or considerably reduce the effects of a collision with pedestrians and vehicles. Available on a number Volvo models (S60, S80, V40, V60, V70, XC60, XC70), Delphi worked with Volvo Cars to develop this system. Delphi developed the sensor system while functions were developed by the carmaker.

The CMS uses algorithms to combine and process data inputs from the system's electronically scanning radar and forward looking camera to detect and classify objects. Subsequently, the system determines an appropriate mitigation strategy and enacts a defined set of countermeasures defined by Delphi or in this case by Volvo Cars. CMS enables multiple safety features including full speed range ACC, forward collision warning with full autonomous braking for pedestrians and vehicles, pre-crash sensing, lane departure warning (lane keeping aid on the V40), as well as automatic headlamp control and traffic sign recognition.

On balance, what the V60 lacks in boot space and rear seat head and legroom is more than made up for in advanced driver assistance systems and safety technologies. Its classy, connected interior and comfortable seating position make it a pleasure to drive over long distances. See also Glenn's review of the V60 Polestar.

Connected vehicle technologies - forecasts to 2031