Picture this… we arrive at the Cape Town International Airport and handed keys of the outgoing models of the S60, V60 and XC60 to drive ourselves to the Rhodes Memorial, where the new models await. Having switched to the new models, we make our way to the Hout Bay Manor Hotel, where we would put the different derivatives through their paces.

Nip and tuck

Volvo interior The list of updates in the V60 range is quite long, and there’s even a lot on offer for sporty drivers. Manufacturers say new “sporty exterior design” is focused on both quality and detail. Some engine derivatives even come with paddle shifters while sports bucket seats are offered at an extra cost. Other minor, but clever, updates include an even bolder ‘ironmark’ that emphasises the logo and windscreen washer nozzles that have been tucked away and placed under the bonnet. The tailpipes are now nicely snuggled inside the lower bumper – a perfect fit. But the most wonderful news for those who want their Volvos with a difference – and maybe a bit of drama – is the arrival of the sporty R-Designs in November.

V60: Premium Estate

I have a love-hate relationship with most station wagons, yet I have always been on steady ground with Volvo estates since the introduction of the 850 Wagon in the early 1990s. The V40, the V50 and the current V60 have all endeared themselves in the hearts of those looking for extra luggage space in the premium segment. But, there’s more than just a big derriere to the V60, it also oozes style and refinement, while it boasts enough space for groceries and golf bags.

S60: Scandinavian Flair

When we think luxury, we often find ourselves ogling German cars. We overlook some of the best cars at our peril, including the S60 – which I think is quite understated. It was the rather hasty Volvo S60 T6 that had my heart pumping faster than a pole dancer on steroids. It clawed on the tarmac like a drowning man would on the riverbank. But the one thing that the S60 taught me is that, if you take a car on a brilliant road, you’ll have great fun. But if you take a brilliant car on a brilliant road, like Chapman’s Peak, you’re likely to remember that for life.

XC60: Wagon on steroids

There’s no overstating the element of safety in any Volvo – it’s what makes it the car it is today. In the XC60, you get more than the perceived element of safety that’s associated SUVs – coupled with the good clearance is the Corner Traction Control that comes standard in the new XC60. Manufacturers say this torque vectoring system helps the driver avoid understeer by applying just the right amount of brake force to the inner wheels while powering the outer wheels when accelerating out of a corner.