Motors > My Wheels - Kieran O'Donoghue
V60 1.6 R-design DRIVE Diesel
Q. What car do you drive: make, model, year, engine size, petrol/diesel/hybrid, optional extras?
A. I never thought Iíd hear myself say this, but I drive a Volvo. I always considered a Volvo to be the rich tea biscuit of the motoring world. Symmetrical, dull, guaranteed not to offend anyone and safe. In fact I saw the accountant from a few doors down eyeing it up when I first parked it outside the office. I definitely never expected to hear myself say that I actually rather like it.
Q. What, if any, modifications have you or previous owner made to it?
A. Itís a V60 (Which means itís an estate) 1.6 diesel R-design DRIVe, so it comes with low profile alloy wheels, leather trim, twin exhausts and some other bits that make it look not like a Volvo. The DRIVe bit means it cuts the engine when you stop to improve fuel economy.
Q. Do you let anyone else drive it?
A. The wife can drive it but sheís not too keen on the electronic handbrake, which I must say, takes a little getting used to. As does the engine stopping, for fuel economy.
Q. How long have you had it?
A. About two months. It turned up looking all shiny and new until the seagulls spotted it.
Q. What did it replace?
A Ssangyong Rexton which was a big 4X4. A 2.7 litre diesel with an automatic gearbox it was a bit of a beast but easy to drive.
Q. What attracted you to it?
A. Iíve leased my cars for about the last 10 years now and so my car choice is almost entirely financial. Whatever is the best deal at the time. To be honest I hadnít even test driven a Volvo before the delivery driver turned up with this one.
Q. What are its best qualities?
A. Itís surprisingly nippy. It has a six speed gearbox so the ratios work really well in those mid range speeds where you need more response. Being diesel it has tons of torque and so flies uphill. Birdlip is a breeze. The steering too is very responsive and it actually looks OK too.
What are its worst?
A. Itís reasonably well specíd but there are a few things it lacks; reversing sensors, cruise control and annoyingly thereís no foot rest next to the clutch pedal.
Q. Has it ever let you down?
A. Itís brand new. It had better not!
Q. What sort of mileage do you clock up every week/year?
It varies but itís not very much really. The lease contract allows 10,000miles per year but I expect it will go back with abit less than that. Work and family life makes being a two car family very difficult to avoid but if we could get away with one car we probably would.
Q. What is your commute to work?
A. Itís only about a mile to work so 3 days out of 5 I walk. The car gets more use running around the kids to school and their various clubs.
Q. Would you buy another of this model/marque?
A. I never thought I would hear myself say this, but yes, I would have another Volvo.
Q. If cost was not an issue, what would be your dream car and why?
Difficult to answer because cost always is an issue. Plus having a really nice expensive car in Gloucester you would always be worried that some idiot would run a key down one side of it, or it would always be covered in seagull poop! The Audi R8 would be nice.