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In what is called the most extensive development of existing models in the company’s history, Volvo has given a comprehensive round of facelifts to its entire 60 cluster. The S60 sedan, V60 estate and XC60 SUV have all been redesigned with a new focus on quality and attention to detail, as well as efficiency and equipment gains all around.

They are now more distinctly Volvo than ever – the traditional chrome frame on the front grilles are gone, and they now wear bigger and more prominent ironmark badges. Round the back, the neatly integrated tailpipes are new.

With the aim of giving it more road presence, the new S60 and V60 possesses a more focussed and expressive face that takes inspiration from 2011’s Concept You. They get smaller but more shapely lights (now without the standalone auxiliary lamps), wider grille and longer horizontal lines to make them appear wider than before and accentuate their sporting nature further. Details on the new LED rear lamps are introduced for the same reasons.

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Known for their minimalist appearance with exemplary ergonomics, the 60 range’s interiors have been subtly reworked with an emphasis of enhanced attention to detail. They now get updated graphics for the user interface screen and driver instrument panel taken from the V40 hatchback, as well as silk metal frames around the air vents to go along with the updated gearknob and interior lighting. For the first time, steering shift paddles can now be specified.

All new is the Sensus Connected Touch system, using infrared, beam-scanned touch screen that can be used even when wearing gloves – a world first in cars and handy in winter. With it installed, the user will have Internet connectivity (via a car-mounted 3G/4G dongle or the driver’s mobile phone) as well as various interactive functions. This new HMI (Human Machine Interface) can also be fitted to older models specced with Sensus.

As before, both the S60 and V60 are offered with a choice of three chassis types – Dynamic, Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) and the R-Design Lowered Sport Chassis.

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The older X60 gets a more significant visual facelift, removing all the exterior black trim to give it a more urban twist. The front fascia mirrors those of the updated S60 and V60, and the reshaped front hood makes it appear even wider still. It now looks as modern as ever, hiding its considerable age with grace.

Corner Traction Control now comes as standard on the XC60. The new torque vectoring system quells understeer by braking individual inside wheels on corner entry, and then sending more torque to the outer wheels while powering out. Volvo claims that the new XC60 is now every bit as nimble and agile as a standard height road car.

The S60 and XC60 are two of Volvo’s best selling models in major markets, and customer feedback and comments have been studied very closely for this model update. Most of them wanted the option for bigger wheels, so the S60 and V60 can now be had with 19-inch items (XC60 maxes out at 20s now) while keeping the same tyre profile height as before, so no comfort is lost.

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Buyers who opt for the R-Design package will benefit from the fitment of new, lower mounted sport seats that offer more support without obstructing comfort or rear passenger space.

Power across the board have been kept largely unchanged, but there are big gains on the efficiency front for all engine choices. The S60 and V60 can be had in 115 hp D2, 136 hp D3, 163 hp D4 and 215 hp D5 diesel forms, the cleanest of which returns a class leading 24.7 km per litre while emitting just 106 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. Petrol lovers get the existing 150 hp T3, 180 hp T4, 240 hp T5 and 304 hp T6 options, each with improved efficiency figures too.

Also getting the new face and interior enhancements is the V60 Plug-in Hybrid (badged D6 AWD), which is rated at 215+70 hp and maximum torque of over 600 Nm to cover the 0 – 100 km/h sprint in just 6.1 seconds. It offers a class-leading 48 grammes of CO2 per kilometre emissions.

The XC60 on the other hand is available in either 163 hp D4 or 215 hp D5 guises, both delivering a combined fuel consumption of 18.6 km per litre (139 g/km).

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On the safety front, all models get new Active High Beam Control (automatic switch between low and high beam), Cornering Light for better visibility and IntelliSafe, which is Volvo’s blanket name for all active safety systems.

New to the market is the Cross Traffic Alert, which uses radar sensors to alert the driver to crossing traffic from the sides when reversing out of a parking space, while Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs on the instrument display.

Now available on all models are Pedestrian Detection with full auto brake, and the enhanced Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which is now radar-based instead of camera-reliant. The recently updated Nissan Teana has a similar radar-based system too.