Aug 14 2009 Steve Hughes
MOTOTISTS aiming to minimise their costs may not consider the premium Volvo brand as their automatic choice but they could not be more wrong.
Despite the upmarket image of the extensive range of models in the line-up, there are several new eco-friendly models that qualify for lower road tax because of their reduced carbon emissions.
The newcomers are economical sub-120g/km diesel variants of the C30 SportsCoupe, S40 Saloon and V50 Sportswagon.
Taking the name of DRIVe, they cost from £15,995 for the C30, £17,745 for the S40 and £19,095 for the V50.
The 1.6D DRIVe models achieve economy of almost 65mpg and qualify for band B road tax with CO2 figures of 115g/km for the C30 and 118g/km for the S40 and V50.
These emissions make the S40 and V50 the cleanest cars in their segments.
All three models are equipped with a special set of efficiency-enhancing features and are marked with the DRIVe emblem.
The 1.6D DRIVe range is available in S, SE and SE Lux specifications and replaces the 1.6D models in these trim levels.
In addition to their distinctive flat-faced alloy wheels there is a tailgate spoiler, lower rear bumper diffuser and a partly covered grille.
Standard features on the S versions include climate control, electric windows, six-speaker radio/CD system and Bauxite trim.
The SE trim level adds rain sensors, cruise control, information centre and aluminium trim.
The SE Lux models gain leather-faced upholstery, heated front seats, auto-folding power door mirrors with ground lights, a headlamp cleaning system and electrically-operated driver's seat with seat memory. SE and SE Lux models have 17-inch alloy wheels as standard or 16-inch Libra alloys as a no-cost option.
Irrespective of the wheel specified, the cars remain below the all-important 120g/km mark for CO2 emissions.
A new front-wheel-drive variant of the Volvo XC60 is now available with the upgraded 2.4D 175bhp engine. This combination with manual transmission reduces CO2 emissions to 159 g/km and is badged DRIVe. In addition to the lower CO2 emissions, fuel economy is also dramatically improved from 38 mpg to 47mpg, which is a significant 25 per cent improvement. The new D5 engine is also now available in the XC60 offering up to an 11 per cent increase in performance and an eight per cent reduction in CO2 emissions to 183g/km.
Prices for the XC60 range start at £24,995 for the 2.4D DRIVe S model, with the new D5 engine joining the range at £26,745.