THE COVID-19 lockdown has meant the menial task of getting out and grabbing groceries has become an exciting proposition.

Three of our closest supermarkets are usually plundered of essentials, so driving an extra five minutes to a better-stocked option is something Iíve come to cherish.

The short drive provides an opportunity to crank the wagonís excellent 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and enjoy a moment away from the madding crowd at home.

When youíve run the supermarket gauntlet, the Volvoís keyless entry really proves its worth. Swipe a foot under the bumper and the electronic tailgate opens automatically, leaving you to place your bags on the handy hooks on either side of the cargo bay, keeping all groceries in the bags where they belong.

Itís the little touches you appreciate, like the optional shopping bag holder Ė a panel that lifts from the floor to†reveal more bag hooks and acts as a brace to stop luggage sliding. There are four floor latches should you go for the optional luggage net, plus Volvo offers a barrier grille or protective net to prevent cargo decapitating passengers.

With all these tricks and the wagonís generous proportions, itís easy to be lulled into expecting more than the V60 can deliver. Like the time Inwood requested the keys to pick up a newly purchased framed print, only to discover on arriving at the store that said work of art unfortunately wasnít going to fit in the cargo bay.

Or when I finally got around to building that elusive planter box and returned to the car with the treated pine I needed for the job to realise Iíd been a bit too optimistic on the length it would fit.

Then there was the day I waited a good 20 minutes to shuffle into Bunnings due to queueing COVIDstyle. I found the wire mesh I was after but then it dawned on me I hadnít measured the cargo bay. The 120cm width of the sheet seemed like a stretch, leaving me more confused than usual and unsure what to do next. I settled on 90cm to be on the safe side.

Now I can recite the V60ís cargo measurements: 1000mm wide by 1800mm deep with the rear seats down, and 650mm high. These figures will be forever engraved on my mind.

Here at Wheels we like to champion the mighty wagon as a superior driving option to SUVs, but sometimes thereís just no denying the convenience of the extra space that a high-rider can offer. One of each sounds like a perfect family garage.




Price as tested: $72,390

This month: 940km @ 10.6L/100km