At Car Dealer Magazine, we particularly like cars that have a bad badge on their noses but in actual fact are really very good cars.
Take the new Kia Sportage for instance. If you hear someone say ‘Hey, the new Kia Sportage is a great car’ you probably wouldn’t believe them.
Here is a car that has, let’s be honest, a not very desirable badge on its grille, and is made by Koreans who have not been building cars for as long as, say, the British or the Germans. This, naturally, makes us all very suspicious. But once you’ve seen its Peter Schreyer-penned looks, its LED lights, its range of bold colours, its seven year warranty sticker in the back window, and felt its sturdy build-quality,you realise what a great car it is.
And that brings me onto the Volvo V60. This does not, by any means, have a bad badge on its nose. But in a market flooded by some very confident Germans, the Volvo iron logo can’t help but struggle to impress the majority of badge-obsessed Brits.
That might have been the case until recently, but the new V60 aims to do battle with the creme of the small executive estates – namely mein Herrs Beemer, Audi and Merc.
To see whether we like the new V60 or not, you will have to read the next issue of the magazine. In the meantime, however, we can talk about the public’s reaction to the car. If you are a Volvo dealer, be prepared to get some people pressing their noses against your windows and asking ‘What is that car?’
I’ve already experienced it. After a morning of spending far too much on myself when I should have been buying Christmas presents, I returned to Southampton’s West Quay car park to find not one, not two, but three separate people eyeing-up the V60.
On discovering I had the keys to this flamenco red stunner, I was barraged with questions such as ‘What is it?’, ‘How much is it?’, and a most intriguing ‘I’m chopping in my 3-Series for that.’
And that’s not all. Leaving Southampton and heading towards home, one Audi A4 Avant driver stuck his thumb at me (at least I think it was his thumb…) and last week, whilst taking photos of the V60, a V50 pulled up and out stepped the driver and his wife asking the above questions. ‘It’s a looker isn’t it, dear’, he said. ‘I love the silvery bits’, she said.
But parking the V60 next to the V50 really showed how different this new Volvo wagon is. The 60 is rakish where the 50 is rational; the V60 is daring while the V50 is conservative. It creases and bends in ways that Volvo have never done before, and it shoves that chap’s Audi A4 Avant into last week.
The Kia Sportage and Volvo V60 are probably the best examples of cars not following the establishment. They bring something new to the party.
The V60 meets its baby brother – the V50.