Remember when dashboards had so many switches and buttons that drivers felt they were at the flight deck of a Jumbo jet?
Things are much different now: all unnecessary switchgear has been banished and minimalist fascias are promoting less complicated car control.
For all that, a fresh button is finding its way on to many instrument panels as part of the quest to improve fuel efficiency, an example of which in our V60 certainly proving its worth. Pressing it puts the 2.0-litre powertrain into Eco+, which shuts down the engine to idle speed each time the driver eases on the accelerator.
The idea isn’t new – Rover offered an option that allowed its models to coast while still in gear 60 years ago. But Volvo’s system works only with automatic transmission, to slip out of drive and re-engage with remarkable smoothness. It also remaps the gearshift change pattern, brings auto-stop into action before the car comes to rest and alters climate control settings to produce potential fuel savings of 5%.
This button is paying dividends, with an average return of more than 50mpg – a satisfactory figure indeed for a load-lugger of this size.