Volvo V60 D3 Preview

Volvo Motors India haven’t been much in the news for their cars as they are for their buses. In the busy Indian car scenario, Volvo have barely managed to maintain an existence. They have the very capable but no so much desirable Volvo S80 and giving it company is the Volvo XC90 and the much smaller Volvo XC60. The XC90 was made famous by the recent Bollywood hit movie, “Three Idiots”. The other car that is now widely in the news is the Volvo S60 car. This been a global platform and all and not a made in Sweden made dumped in India types. It has been globally acclaimed and would be launched in India soon. However the heading for this story as well as the car I am praising don’t go hand in hand. The reason I am waxing eloquent on the Volvo S60 is because the car I am referring to is built on the same platform.

Now, station wagons have never been famous in India. Don’t believe me, take the example of the Tata Indigo Marina, Maruti Suzuki Baleno Altura, Fiat Palio Adventure and Weekender series and the premium Skoda Octavia Combi. All of these are very capable machines in their own right however due to some or the other reason, they didn’t fare well. It might have got to do something with the station wagon image that these cars carry. No one cares for the kind of luggage capacity these provide for. Mind you, in the US or European countries, station or sports wagon as they would like to call it, are more famous than their sedan versions. Hinting at such a success in India is Volvo Motors India. On the lines of the yet to be launched Volvo S60, they are planning to bring in the Volvo V60 D3 station wagon to the Indian market.

Typical of wagons is the boxy shape and that cumbersome looking rear end. None of the those are exhibited in the Volvo V60 D3. Volvo Motors India actually invited us to the unveiling of the car and hence I can can give you a first hand report about the Volvo V60 D3 on Indian soil. Viewed from the front end, station wagon looks exactly like the Volvo S60. This is to be expected since they use the same platform. It however has slightly tweaked front along with new head lamp cluster. The head lamps by the look of it were HID ones. Those same subtle design cues from Volvo’s R-design theme continue throughout the length of the car. The Volvo V60 D3 is more of a coupe rather than a station wagon. The side profile shows 18 inch wheels to that of the sedan’s 16 inchers.

The rear is usually the most boring in any sports stations wagon however in the Volvo V60 D3, it is quite the opposite. The term sports station wagon is used because the Volvo S60 is a sports sedan and competes with the BMW 3 series, Audi A3 as well as Mercedes C class in India.In foreign markets, Audi sells the sports wagon version named as Audi Avantgarde whereas BMW sells their sports station wagon by the name of BMW 3 Series Touring. Coming back to the rear of the Volvo V60 D3, it is one of the best in this country as of now. It looks exactly like a concept one and is in shape of an outwardly angled L. The tail gate also looks like one from lifted from a concept vehicle. There is only a single tail pipe doing duties and much as I would have liked, Volvo Motors India don’t seem too compliant in adding another unit.

Enough of the outside thingy and move on to the inside of the Volvo V60 D3. It looks exactly like the Volvo S60’s, if not sporty. The same waterfall console is present as well as most of the electronics. Everything is driver centric here and this means that the dash is also slightly tilted towards the driver. There is enough of space at the front as well as for the rear passengers. Nary did I find any of the passengers{I mean co-journos} complaining about the lack of space. The boot space for the sedan was about 435 liters and now with the extended wheelbase, the cargo space has become 542 liters. Also the rear seats are now 60:40 split ones. Even the front passenger’s seat is fully foldable. All this makes for a huge 1341 liters of luggage space. The low loading lip aids for easy loading of cargo.

There are a slew of engines on offer with the Volvo V60 D3. There are two petrol motors and one diesel engine. The diesel is what interested me and as will interest most of the Indian buyers as well. Taking it out for a spin made me realize that this car doesn’t feel like it is carrying excess baggage and the performance seemed as effortless as its sedan version. The diesel motor though feels a tad slow than say, the BMW 3 series  or even the Audi’s. The accelerator also feels a bit sluggish. There is a bit of turbo lag as well. The handling of the sports station wagon is also excellent with body roll well curbed within the wagon body shell. A 6 speed manual is on offer along with a 5 speed auto tranmission. The one I drove was the manual one. The gear box feels light and smooth to operate.

Now comes the most important however boring part in any Volvo. Yes, it is the safety aspect. It is for given that any Volvo would be loaded to the gills or should I say Geely{they are the new owners of the erstwhile Ford group Volvo Motors}. The Volvo V60 D3 comes with 4 channel advanced ABS, ESP, latest generation all wheel drive system, adaptive radar controlled cruise control, pedestrian warning, auto braking and so on. The list is literally endless.

As of now, Volvo Motors India are tight lipped about the launch of the Volvo V60 D3 in India. Expect it to be launched in the mid of 2011 and to be priced around Rs. 32 lakhs.

Technical specifications of the Volvo V60 D3

Engine Name and Type: D3 Five-cylinder common rail turbodiesel
Power Train and Engine Displacement: Front wheel drive and 1984 cc
Engine Bore: 81 mm
Engine Stroke: 77 mm
Maximum Horsepower (Bhp): 163 Bhp @ 2900 rpm
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm @ 1400 – 2850 rpm
Rev at max engine power: 2900 rpm
Fuel type: Diesel
Transmission: 6 speed manual/5 speed auto
Fuel Capacity: 68 liters
Cargo Capacity with all seats down: 1341 liters
Kerb Weight: 2190 kg
Height: 1494 mm
Length: 4638 mm
Width: 1845 mm
Width inc Mirrors: 2087 mm
Wheel Base: 2766 mm
Track Front: 1558 mm
Track Rear: 1585 mm
Front Head Room: 955 mm
Rear Room Head: 951 mm
Front Shoulder Room: 1447 mm
Rear Shoulder Room: 1401 mm
Front Leg Room: 1064 mm
Rear Leg Room: 856 mm
Front Hip Room: 1385 mm
Rear Hip Room: 1360 mm

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