V is for Volvo

BY Kelly Taylor. Sep 16 04:00 am

‘Is the car big enough? You know Nigel is bringing his bow case, too, right?”

That’s my wife, sending shivers of panic up my spine. The car has been booked for weeks, and the Canadian National Archery Championship in Peterborough, Ont., is a week away. To say it’s too late now to ask for another is an understatement.

“It’ll be fine,” I say, only partially comforting myself.

But as we swing over from Toronto’s Pearson Airport Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 to pick up my son’s coach, I’m already feeling better. The car, in this case, wasn’t a Mini anything and it wasn’t a Fiat 500. We got the case for my and my son’s bows in without a worry and even with our luggage, we still had room for an extra one.

The car was the 2016 Volvo V60 T6. The V, in this case, stands for vagon — I mean wagon — and while we had to fold part of the rear seat to fit the bow case, our main piece of luggage — a full-size suitcase — fit comfortably behind the remaining upright seat back.

Turns out the panic was for naught, since Nigel wasn’t going to be shooting anyway.

We had the Volvo for a week, for the drive out to Peterborough and back, and 50 minutes twice a day between our rented cottage in Bobcaygeon and the shooting sites in The Patch, as locals calls Peterborough.

There was lots of time to evaluate the car, which on most counts comes up roses. Comfortable seats for long rides, lots of power on tap, decent fuel economy, generous cargo and passenger space and a luxurious feel inside and out.

Handling was very good, though the front-drive origin of this all-wheel driver was never far from mind. Ride comfort was superb, not at all floaty and never too harsh.

“These seats are great,” Nigel said after waking up from one of many naps in the rear seat. “I can’t feel my neck, so if you could just adjust the head rests, it would be great.”

We turned the car in after the week with an average fuel consumption of 8.9 litres per 100 km, which was primarily highway driving. In the city, expect that figure to climb. And that was with no attempt to save fuel and plenty of attempts at checking out the car’s acceleration.

The T6 comes with a 3.0-litre turbocharged V-6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting mode. As an all-wheel-drive model, it comes with what Volvo calls electronically controlled all-wheel drive with instant traction. On gravel roads, it laid down power effortlessly with little sign of wheelspin.

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