Ever since Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) drove a Volvo C30 in Twilight, I’ve wanted one too. He brought sexy back to Volvo, or rather, Volvo has brought sexy back to Volvo.
Their V60, a “sportswagon”, is a good family car that isn’t an SUV or 4×4. Why do I call it a good family car? Well, safety features are excellent, and there is ample space and seatbelts at the back for two car seats, or a car seat and two kids. The boot is big too – it fitted a jogging pram, gym bag, laptop bag and handbag, without even trying to squash them in, and there was space for way more. There are also split=folding rear seats, and an available fold-flat passenger seat in the front.
While I can’t exactly test the safety of a vehicle unless I’m in an accident, which I obviously try to avoid, even in someone else’s car, I can say that the V60 scores five out of five in the European New Car Assessment Programme (EuronCAP). This is an independent body that tests cars on all levels of safety (eg for adult occupant, child occupant and pedestrian). It’s quite a useful site, and I searched for my own car, which fortunately tested highly too. Isn’t it weird – I used to think buying cars was mostly about coffee cup holders and looks and boot space, but my first question now is always safety.
Safety features of the V60 include whiplash protection, roll-over protection (protects passengers from rolling over by keeping them securely in place), pedestrian detection, safety belts with pre-tensioners and load limiters, dual-stage airbags for driver and passenger, side airbags, child safety locks, inflatable cushion (for frontal or side collision), blind spot information system, driver alert control, lane departure warning, and lane keeping aid. There is so much more – I just picked the features that appealed to me.
Volvo have also tested their cars on pregnant women re safety and comfort features so that their cars are as safe and comfortable as possible for those carrying precious cargo.
On a superficial yet important note, the car is beautiful inside and out. It is one of the most powerful automatic cars I’ve ever driven, and it provided much help when I was parking or reversing, thanks to its sensor warnings. Despite the sensors, I battled initially with reversing, and I couldn’t judge well, thinking the car was much longer than it really was. I eventually learnt the distance, which is alwasy something that takes me a while in a new car (distance perception issue and all!).
Did it turn heads? Yes. Did I feel safe, smart and elegant? Most definitely. And did I have a smooth ride? So much so that at times I didn’t feel like I was driving at all.
And FYI, there is a coffee cup holder in the front. And integrated Blutooth. And front and rear heated seats. Etcetera. Etcetera.