Spare wheels are rapidly becoming an endangered species. The drive for greater fuel efficiency is prompting a growing number of carmakers to dispense with a weighty item we’re told is likely to be needed only once every five years of average motoring.
For all that, I’m one of the many who still prefer to have a fifth wheel and tyre on board to guarantee mobility as the alternative to being stranded in the middle of nowhere on a wet and cold night, after discovering that a chemical kit isn’t up to the job of repairing a serious blow-out.
With that in mind, it was reassuring to find a £150 spare wheel and jack among the long list of options for the V60. However, peace of
mind with regard to punctures does call for compromise in another area of user convenience.
In standard trim, the SE version comes with a neat and useful shopping bag carrier system that’s a boon for keeping items from spilling over the floor on the way home from the supermarket. But as it needs to operate via a split rear deck, there’s no such system on our model because the spare wheel option entails the use of a more robust, one-piece platform.
So two plastic boxes have become a permanent feature in the back of the test car and, while our DIY arrangement is not as elaborate as the factory system, it’s keeping the bags in place, along with their contents.