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S60 can add to Volvo success 

SPORTY and dynamic were not words you would use to describe Volvo models many years ago when the Scandinavian car manufacturer’s arrivals were highly praised for their safety features and comfort rather than looks and performance.

That, happily for Volvo buyers, was in the past and we have seen some stunning new models coming off their production lines.

My latest test car was one of these – a top-of-the-range S60 D4 R-Design Lux Nav.

This model is an alternative to German offerings in the compact executive sector and has many appealing features.

Not least of these is its stylish, sporting looks and high quality interior.

What may draw you to this model in particular though is what lies under its shining bonnet.

The power line up includes three of Volvo’s new 2-litre four-cylinder Drive-E engines with the 181bhp turbo diesel version in the test car.

It provided sharp, instant acceleration when needed through a super-smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox and purred along quietly when cruising on the motorway.

A sprint time of 7.4 seconds (6.9 in manual versions) was impressive enough in a car that is capable of reaching 143mph.

So there is power aplenty when you need it but there is another BIG plus.

This is the fuel economy figures which show this model can achieve 67.3mpg combined, 76.3mpg extra urban and 56.5mpg urban. And if emissions are your thing then these are also extremely low at 109g/km (99 manual).

With its lowered sports chassis you tend to feel the bumps a bit more in this R-Design model, especially on potholed surfaces, but other than that ride and handling were everything you would expect as ask for from this sporty Volvo.

The standard spec list on this £33,395 car is impressive and far too lengthy to list here and as you would imagine include a top safety features.

These top models are stylish inside and out with R-Design logos on their lower front bumper and front grill and rear diffuser, with twin exhaust pipes as well, and R-Design logos on sports upholstery, sports floor mats, sports pedals, leather steering wheel with chrome trim and silver matt door mirrors.

This latest S60 is set to make a real challenge at the to end of the market.

And that will be even more good news for Volvo as it celebrates record sales in the UK.

The 6,810 Volvos sold in the UK in March were just 233 shy of the company’s largest global market, finishing second behind China and ahead of its home sales in Sweden.

Jon Wakefield, sales director at Volvo Car UK, said: “March is undoubtedly the biggest sales month of the year here in the UK, but even with the boost of the new registration plate, there’s no mistaking the attention our cars are receiving from buyers.

“There’s absolutely no doubt that people are seeing Volvo in a new light, thanks to the desirable design, technology and luxury we offer our customers.

“Customer orders of our cars are running at record highs – 39 per cent up on 2013 – ensuring we will see sustained growth throughout 2014 and beyond.”