PACK IT†ALL IN

SWEDES HAVE APPETITE FOR BULK GOODS

FELIPE UBILLA

REPORT FOUR

VOLVO V60 T5 INSCRIPTION

Price as tested: $72,390

This month: 1563km @ 10.4L/100km

AFTER months of trying, Iíve finally managed to organise time off work for a small trip to properly test the V60ís family hauling capabilities.

If youíve been keeping up with the carís recent escapades, you would be aware it is accomplished on long drives, as proven on the 160km journey home after Wheels Car of the Year testing at Inverloch, south-east of Melbourne.

Iím not sure how everyone else goes with family trips, but for my brood just getting out the door is a stressful experience. Between the wife freaking out and the kids waging World War III against each other, sometimes I wonder why we bother.

During the whole process I watch a pyramid of luggage build near the front door, growing fearful of the poor Volvoís ability to swallow all this crap. Finally given the green light, I gleefully head out to play Tetris.

The V60 has a 529-litre luggage capacity, but it never really stood a†chance with our tendency to take more stuff than we need. It was stacked almost to the top, leaving a pile of extra bags to place around the kidsí booster seats. If we could have shown more restraint when packing, I think we would have easily needed only the back and I would have had better rear visibility. Live and learn (I hope, foolishly).

Not having great rear vision isnít too much of a problem though. The V60 is fully loaded with safety features Ė pedestrian, vehicle, large animal and cyclist detection; intersection collision and oncoming mitigation; AEB; and front and rear collision warning, to name just a few.

Having all these is great, but they can go off at awkward times. Rear collision warning, for instance, has activated when another vehicle has driven alongside while Iíve been parking. Another niggle I have is with the sometimes flaky 360-degree cameras; the ones in the side mirrors donít always activate.

These are minor issues that are far from deal-breakers though. Iím not aware of the date for the V60ís return to Volvo HQ, and frankly itís something Iím blissfully ignoring for as long as possible.

FELIPE UBILLA

MEET MY CUZ

If, like me, you happen to be useless at packing only the bare essentials and always need more space, the larger Volvo V90 offers 560 litres of cargo space, and recently copped a massive price drop to $80,990.†The often overlooked Skoda Superb is another great option, boasting a cavernous 660 litres at a much lower price.