There used to be a time that if you wanted the premium build of an executive car and the go anywhere ability of a 4×4, you’re options were pretty limited. Now, though, you’re swamped with choice Audi has the Q5, BMW has the X3, Mercedes has the GLC, Jaguar has the F-Pace, and Volvo has this, the all-new Volvo XC60.
Volvo has already established itself in the 4×4 market with the hugely popular XC90, and it too has recently been given a long overdue new look. The XC60 is very much in the same mould, it has the same Thor Hammer daytime running lights and the rear end has a similar look to the V90 estate.
IN THE CABIN
The cabin in the XC60 is one of, if not the best in class, Volvo has really raised its game in this department. One thing you won’t complain about, though is the build quality, it really is first rate. The dash is dominated by this 9 inch tablet sized touch screen which controls everything including the heater controls, sat nav, Bluetooth, DAB radio… even the heated seats.
Obviously getting comfortable behind the wheel is a doddle thanks to adjustable steering wheel and seats, and all round visibility is excellent too. You don’t sit as high in the XC60 as you do in some rivals, which may put some off who like that ‘king of the road’ driving position.
All the occupants will find there’s more than enough space to stretch out in comfort, even tall rear passengers will find head and leg room ample on long journeys. The boot, may not be the best in class, offering just 505litres, but it’s still a good size, and well shaped and the seats can be folded flat 60:40 to extend things further.
ON THE ROAD
When it comes to the engine line up there are two that are really worth considering, both 2.0-litre diesels. They pump out 188 or 232bhp and will average over 50mpg. They’re smooth and refined and while they’re not too focused on performance, they are more geared around comfort. There is the choice of opting for an air suspension, but for UK roads, the standard model is more than adequate.
If you want more bang for your buck, then there is a T8 plug-in hybrid, used in the xc90, which ups the power to 402bhp and an impressive 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds. It makes for an attractive option for business users as it pumps out just 49g/km CO2. At around £60k it is expensive to buy though.
As I said this is a car that’s main aim is comfort not sporty handling, if you want bags of grip and thrills, then the Porsche Macan is more what you should be looking for. Push the XC60 hard into a corner and it does pitch and roll more than you would expect.
It’s not quite as refined as the best in class, the diesels aren’t as hushed as some of its rivals, and other noise intrusions include a suspension clunk over potholes and a bit of wind from the large wing mirrors.
This is a Volvo, and as you’d expect it’s loaded with safety equipment including airbags galore and a system that will steer the car out of trouble if it detects a car in the blind spot, plus there’s a Pilot Assist system that accelerates, brakes and steers for you up to speeds of 80mph. Although its not fully autonomous, you do have to keep your hands on the wheel.
Overall the XC60 is an excellent premium 4×4. It is very much focused on life on the road and comfort is it’s big selling point. The quality and technology is hard to compete with in its class. The only thing that may put buyers off is the price tag which for many will be too big a jump from its predecessor, but once you spend some time in it, you’ll realise the extra cost is very much justified.