By Seán Creedon

Colour plays a huge part when a person is thinking of buying a new car. Obviously you will have a brand in mine, also the price will have to suit your budget and you may think about residual values.

But an attractive colour could possibly tempt you to think of a different brand than the one you initially had in mind.

No doubt you remember Henry Ford’s old saying about ‘any colour you like once it’s black,’ and over 60% of owners of new cars order black, white or grey.

Plain colours hold their value better because they are likely to have broader appeal when it comes to trading in, but I remember a car salesman telling me that red is one of the best colours to have when trading in.

The new Volvo S60.

Practical considerations aside, it’s claimed that our choice of vehicle colour reflects our personalities but we will leave that for another day.

The publicity photos for the Volvo S60 which I drove recently are red, but my test car came in Onyx black. While I have driven some gorgeous black cars, I honestly think that this time round black didn’t do anything for this Volvo.

The new Volvo S60.

However, inside it oozes class, comfort and safety. You certainly won’t reverse into another car while parking as the technology will slam on the brakes if a collision looks imminent.

City Safety also recognises pedestrians, cyclists and large animals and is part of Volvo’s great reputation for safety.

When I sat in and began to drive away the first item that struck me was the heads-up display right in my line of vision, letting me know the speed I was doing and the speed limit on that particular road. I find this so helpful with many speed vans lurking round every corner!

The interior of the new Volvo S60.

Cabin ergonomics are brilliant, with many of the car’s functions controlled via the large touch screen located in the centre of the dash. And the seats are so flexible and comfortable, especially on long journeys.

The boot is massive and there is a ‘well’ for a spare wheel, but none was provided. So once again the advice is, to haggle for a spare wheel if buying new.

It used to be said that Volvo cars were built like tanks and in Sweden they have their moose or elk test where a car is tested at various speeds to see how it reacts if the driver suddenly swerves to avoid an object. I didn’t see any elk or reindeers over Christmas, but then maybe I was out and about at the wrong time of the day.

Prices for the S60 R-Design start at €46,495 for the T R-Design with the Inscription model starting at €47,495. A few extras in my test car brought the price up to €55,704. Road tax is €390. There are so many goodies included I would need another page to list them all.

It was gorgeous to drive and my passengers all remarked on how comfortable it was for them to travel in. And they also loved the heated seats. However, it was definitely a bit thirsty, especially in urban driving.

Only available as a 2.0-litre petrol, but with 250 brake horse power, you won’t be left behind at the traffic lights as you can get from zero to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds.