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Volvo is bringing its sexy back with the Polestar

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People in the UAE are known for their love of SUVs, sedans and supercars. You will rarely find someone interested in a station wagon (unless of course, he is in charge of purchasing cars to safely chauffeur business and first class passengers to and from the airport).

As a long-time UAE resident, I have struggled to comprehend why anyone would buy a station wagon over a full-size SUV. In fact, I was sure I would unfairly review the V60 because of my dislike for station wagons.

Surprisingly, the design of the Volvo V60 Polestar did not put me off at all. On the contrary, I appreciated the Swedish subtleties. The exterior looks more like a long hatchback than a station wagon. The design lends itself to a young and sporty demeanour. And once you put your pedal to the metal, all you see are cars disappearing in the rear view mirror.

What’s Amazing?

The V60 Polestar packs quite a punch with 350 horsepower and 500 nm of torque. The torque kicks in instantaneously when in ‘Sport’ mode and is a delight at high speeds.

The Polestar team, which I believe is in charge of shifting the Volvo brand perception from ‘boringly safe’ to ‘sporty yet safe’, has done a commendable job with their first attempt. It may not rival the AMG yet, but if they keep innovating at the rate they have for their first cars, I for one won’t be surprised if they do manage to give AMG a run for their money in the coming decade.

They did a marvellous job at tuning the driving dynamics for performance but did very little for visual impact. Polestar ensured the trademark blue is seen on the gear knob, the seat stitching, and the car exterior. Polestar branding is all over the car (it’s on the door-sill, the exhaust pipes, the gear knob, the performance brake calipers, on the front grille and on the back door). And yes, there is a roof spoiler that is a tad longer than the one on the V60 R-Design. That’s all.

Volvo in true Swedish fashion has ensured none of the exterior Polestar touches are overbearing. In fact, it’s so subtle, you have to look closely to understand that you are driving a car that is tuned for high impact performance on the road.

In simple words, if you are someone who hates being loud and prefers your work to do all the talking, this is perhaps the car of your dreams.

The handling of V60 Polestar is so amazing and precise, you have to pinch and remind yourself that is not a German luxury car. The sound system is fantastic and everything from hip-hop to house music sounds really good. The sports seats are the ideal balance between comfort and bucket seats and is great even for those with wide hips to comfortably get in and out of the car. The navigation system and the centre console as a whole are gorgeously straightforward.

The safety features are a plenty with airbags and inflatable curtains all over the car, radar assisted cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot system with cross traffic alert, and a system that forces you to use the left and right indicators when switching lanes.

Safety features also include front & rear parking sensors with rear parking camera, active bi-xenon headlights, Brembo® brakes, Sensus navigation, road sign information display, paddle shifters (well, not exactly a safety feature), and a lot of abbreviated stuff that I am sure is important such as ABS, EBA, DSTC, ABL and IDIS. The fuel economy is great too with a full tank getting us 430 kilometers of road time.

Believe it or not, all of these amazing features come standard for a flat rate of AED 180,000 at Trading Enterprises.

If you still don’t believe the car is as good as I say it is, then you should try this. Test drive the similarly priced turbocharged EcoBoost Mustang and then compare it to the 3.0L turbocharged Volvo V60 Polestar to understand which is more fun to drive. Or try driving the Golf R and then the V60 Polestar to realise which has better sports suspension.

What’s missing or could be better?

Polestar needs to focus on tuning its cars to be fun to drive even on slow urban roads. I say this because the car is constantly urging you to hit the accelerator and at times all I really wanted was a button that could switch off the sportiness and go into super comfort mode. Maybe I’m turning old but this for me is an essential daily driver feature.

Storage space is another aspect that needs improvement. If you are carrying a large bottle of water, a cup of coffee, a wallet and a mobile phone, you will fall short of practical, easy to use storage space.

And if I had to really nit-pick, I wish the lane departure warning system also included a Lane Keeping Assist technology. This would work amazingly well with the radar cruise control when driving on a particularly busy day across the length of Sheikh Zayed Road. I also wish the centre console had a large integrated touch screen like in the XC90.

Conclusion

While returning the car, I was approached by a young European couple deciding to buy either the Golf R or the V60 Polestar. I’ll sum up by saying what I told them. “Check out the storage space and feel the car comfort at low speeds. If these two are good with you, then go for the Volvo V60 Polestar. I doubt you will find a more powerful, fun and safe car to drive than this one for under AED200,000.”

 

TECHNICAL DATA

ENGINE DESCRIPTION: 3.0L Six Cylinder Turbocharged

MAX POWER & TORQUE: 350 bhp & 500 Nm

FUEL CONSUMPTION: 9.9L / 100km (mixed)

TRANSMISSION: 6 Speed Automatic

CONVENIENCE FEATURES

  • Cruise Control
  • 2-Zone Electric Climate Control
  • Power Driver & Passenger Seat with Memory Seating
  • Active TFT Drivers Information Display
  • Power Side Mirrors
  • Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror
  • Steering Wheel Mounted Paddle Shift
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Sunroof with Power Sunshade
  • Chronograph Instrument Dials

EXTERIOR FEATURES

  • 20-Inch Lightweight Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels –
  • Polestar Front Grille
  • Front & Rear Parking Sensors
  • Rear Parking Camera
  • Active Bi-Xenon Headlights
  • Roof Spoiler
  • Ground Lighting
  • Ohlins® Adjustable Sport Suspension
  • Brembo® Brakes

UPHOLSTERY FEATURES

  • Polestar Sport Seat in Leather / Nubuck
  • Polestar Carbon Finnish

TECH & SOUND

  • Harmon Kardon® Premium Audio
  • Bluetooth® Hands Free / Audio – USB / IPod / Aux Input
  • CD Player
  • HDD Audio Storage
  • Sensus Navigation
  • Sensus Connect
  • Wi-Fi Connection

SAFETY FEATURES

  • Anti-Theft Alarm & Immobilizer
  • City Safety with Full Auto Brake
  • ISO Fix Child Seat Attachments
  • Whiplash & Side Impact Protection
  • Dual Stage Driver & Passenger Airbag
  • Blind Spot System with Cross Traffic Alert
  • Road Sign Information Display
  • Inflatable Curtains
  • ABS / EBA / DSTC / ABL / IDIS
· · · · · · ·

Taurus is a technology and automotive enthusiast

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