Think of Volvo and many of you will think estate car.
Mythically beloved of antique dealers, the Volvo estate has been part of the company’s heritage for decades.
Usually with vast luggage capacity and a very practical shape, Volvo’s estate cars have always sold well in the UK.
Even when Volvo made its foray into the British Touring Car Championship in the 1990s, with the 850 estate when they could have easily used the saloon.
It was a company so comfortable in the image people had created, it was able to have a little joke at its own expense.
Except the latest estate – the V60 – we’re told is a ‘sports tourer’. What does that mean exactly? Road cars usually have very little to do with ‘sport’ and ‘tourer’ implies a vehicle of leisure.
The V60 is no track-day car while the vast majority – more than 70 per cent – will be sold as company cars. Selected by user choosers, granted, but driven while on business most of the time.
So the V60 is quite nice to drive, equipped with responsive petrol and diesel engines, and feels comfortable and composed on the road.
But when it comes to luggage capacity, with the rear seats in place it has among the lowest in the class.
At 430 litres, it is less than the German premium brands with which Volvo aspires to compete for sales, and substantially lower than estate cars offered by mainstream brands.
We were told that Volvo defines estate by whether a washing machine (complete with packaging) will fit in the boot without having to fold the seats.
The V60 will not accommodate a washing machine, although the rear seats fold flat and the front passenger seat also folds flat to allow long items to be carried on one side.
Given its size and position in the market the V60 should count the 240 estate as one of its ancestors.
Unfortunately, Volvo traditionalists might well be disappointed.