The Volvo V60 Sportswagon is the estate version of the S60 saloon, its designated job is to give Audi A4, BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C Class owners pause for thought. On style alone its job done for the V60s’ exterior and equally uber stylish interior. The interior isn’t just about the styling alone, there is a sense that each surface finish has been carefully considered and chosen to give a premium feel on par if not better than its key competitors. All R-Design spec models sit on 18 inch alloys as standard, have unique to specification body styling and high levels of kit. Additional Lux Nav trim means its seriously packed with toys such as DAB Radio, Digital TV, Sat/Nav. Driver assist highlights include radar guided cruise control which virtually drives the car for you under motorway conditions, and automatically keeps a variably safe distance to the car in front, a demonstration of the high levels of tech Volvo now offer. Stop/Start, Lane departure and Distant Alert are just a few more examples of what is a geek laden feast of tech, even rear seat passengers get headrest mounted DVD/LCD screens and Bluetooth headphones. The R-Design brand has performance intentions and is comparable to BMW’s M range or Audi’s S Line, Volvo’s engineers have lowered the ride height, increased the stiffness of the springs and bushes by 15 percent, placed new monotube dampers at the back, and fitted a strut brace under the bonnet which offers improved chassis stiffness, handling and steering feedback. And its safe to say the V60 in R-Design trim is a rewarding car to drive with incisive handling. Those 18 inch low profile tyres should rebound a harsh ride, but at low and high speed the V60 remained comfortable what ever the road conditions. Audi can’t match this, nor can BMW and Mercedes sit on the comfort or too harsh fence, the only other brand to offer this comparable balance of comfort, ride/handling and speed is Jaguar. The 2.0 litre, 5 cylinder engine delivers 163bhp and a whopping 400Nm of torque which powerfully propels the V60s’ mass with un-fussed smoothness, aided by a six speed manual transmission which is crisp and engaging to use. Standard Boot space, at 430 litre’s (1,241 with seats folded) is more than enough for this class of car, but the V60 R-Design shouldn’t be defined by its boot space, very low VED bracket or C02 emissions, because it should be defined by its quality of ownership which is better than a Mercedes C Class, that is until Mercedes launched the new C-Class.