Even so, the Volvo, still so slightly flabby, turns out to be the least dynamic here. These keep-in-shape shocks control vertical movements very well when you’re rushing hard, but the light steering is distant and slow, with the V60 proving to be lazier and more vague in its actions. It’s not that the Volvo isn’t capable or grippy, just that it’s rather one-dimensional in its delivery and, unlike its rivals, offers little reward when you push harder.
So that’s the wooden spoon for the Volvo, but that’s probably too harsh a verdict because the sleek, sybaritic Swede (aside from the jarring drive) is still a quick and capable family wagon. Considering the price, sophisticated shocks, and Polestar expertise, we would expect more from the V60, but in the end, it just lacks dynamic shine or a solid sense of what it’s trying to be. .
Separating BMW and Peugeot is more difficult. On paper, the less expensive and more engaging 3 Series makes the most sense, although in Peugeot’s specs as tested it was a similar £ 55,000. In an increasingly electrified world, it’s a smart choice, feeling little different from its more traditional siblings.
However, 2030 is still a bit far away, and unless you’re a company car user, there are equally talented and traditional Touring alternatives that cost a bit less.
The big budget of £ 55,000 is a big demand for even a very attractive Peugeot. Still, there’s something appealing about the PSE, and its chassis in particular, that makes it tough to resist. It’s not without its flaws, but it’s a plug-in with personality and also represents a welcome and long-awaited return of the truly desirable fast Peugeot. Long live the difference, as they say in France.