It’s almost 10 years since the just superseded Volvo XC60 midsize SUV was launched, now we have a virtually all-new model with significant upgrades throughout.
Wheels magazine is obviously impressed by the new Volvo SUV, giving it the prestigious Car of the Year award.
New Volvo XC60 sold in three variants; Momentum, Inscription and R-Design. Our test Volvo for the past week was the T6 R-Design.
A good blend of practicality and shape, with Volvo clues like the large vertical taillights leaving no doubt what marque of vehicle you are following.
While the XC60 doesn’t have the tall squared-off rear end of big brother XC90, a shape that was a much loved feature of all Volvo station wagons it can carry decent sized loads. The stylists make no secret of the fact that this is a crossover; smart thinking if they want to compete in this popular area of the market.
The cabin of the XC60 is very Swedish, with simplicity that’s almost minimalist. We love the squared-off dash, instrument panel and air vent shapes.
The T6 powerplant as fitted in our road test car is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder high-performance unit with a turbocharger and supercharger. It gives you control of 235 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque, the latter with a good spread that sits at its peak from 2200 to 5400 rpm.
The engine is transversely mounted to save space and drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
There are also turbo-diesel engines and a plug-in in the new XC60 range. We will try to get into the driver’s seat of at least one of these.
It hardly comas as a surprise that the new Volvo XC60 is fully loaded with safety technology, both from passive (not crashing) and active (surviving a crash) point of view. EuropeNCAP listed it as the safest car ever tested when the results were analysed late in 2017
A new safety system called Oncoming Lane Mitigation uses Steer Assist to alert inattentive and dozy drivers who have wandered over a centre line and automatically moves the XC60 back into its own lane. This system is active between 60 and 140 km/h.
Volvo’s Blind Spot Indication System (BLIS) also uses Steer Assist functionality to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions.
Pilot Assist, Volvo’s advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, can take care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h and is available in new XC60.
Keeping the driver fresh is another safety feature. Volvo’s Clean Zone four-zone climate system removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin to deliver what Volvo Australia tells us is, “Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside”. Didn’t feel any different to our Gold Coast air to us, though…
The large vertical touchscreen is one of the easiest we have ever used, requiring a minimum of eyes-off-the-road time.
Volvo Cars’ Sensus Connect audio, DAB+radio. High quality sound. Connection via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Web apps are available.
We found the navigation system was clear and easy to set and understand.
The front seats are large, supportive and easy to get in and out of. They remained comfortable during several long country trips we enjoyed during our time with the midsize Volvo SUV.
The rear seat has good legroom and there’s space for three children. It’s better suited to two adults than three, but can work without too much squeezing.
Cargo space is voluminous and easy to load, though it has the same problem as many in this class of not being able to accept big boxes when all seats are in use. That’s what the XC90 is for – if your budget’s up to it.
We like the fact that the start-stop button is on the lower centre console. Making it much easier to find and use than the typical “hidden behind the steering wheel” system favoured by so many others.
The steering is lighter than we like but does provide reasonable feel. The R Design we tested has slightly firmer springing than the others, but still has decent comfort.
The very Swedish Volvo XC60 offers something different in the way of style, driving and comfort in this crowded sales area. Well worth considering if you want to get away from the premium German brands.
AT A GLANCE
XC60 D4 Momentum: $59,990
XC60 T5 Momentum: $62,990
XC60 D4 Inscription: $66,990
XC60 T5 Inscription: $69,990
XC60 D5 R-Design: $73,990
XC60 T6 R-Design: $76,990
XC60 T8 R-Design Plug-In Hybdrid: $92,990
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Volvo dealer for drive-away prices.
SPECIFICATIONS (Volvo XC60 T6 R-Design 2.0-litre turbo-petrol five-door wagon)
Capacity: 1.969 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 235 kW @ 5700 rpm
Maximum Torque: 400 Nm @ 2200 rpm
Fuel Type: Premium unleaded
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 8.1 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 189 G/KM
DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4688 mm
Wheelbase: 2865 mm
Width: 1902 mm
Height: 1658 mm
Turning Circle: 11.4 metres
Kerb Mass: 1911 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 71 litres
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc
Three years / unlimited kilometres