Expert Reviews

First drive: Volvo XC60

Friday 19 May 2017

First drive: Volvo XC60
Summary

The Volvo XC60 sits within the ever-flourishing mid-size SUV market, and has proved to be an immensely popular car for the Swedish manufacturer with close to a million units sold since it first went on sale nine years ago.

Now, there’s a new one. It uses Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture, which is helping drive down vehicle costs. The XC60 receives the instantly recognisable ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, as well as a chunkier grille.

Looks & Image

The Volvos of old are gone. This means practicality is no longer the top priority, though the XC60 is still impressively spacious. There’s a big focus on quality that is evident throughout the car, and the revamped front end gives the XC60 a distinctly upmarket look – something that is lacking in the rest of the segment.

You’ll only find soft-touch materials inside the cabin, and they surround a large tablet-like touchscreen that does well to de-clutter the dashboard of anything unnecessary.

Space & Practicality

Hold the boot button on the key for a few seconds and you’ll be given access to a usefully-sized boot. At 505 litres it is somewhat below the class average, but it’ll still easily swallow up a few large suitcases.

Safety remains a top priority for Volvo with the XC60. There’s a suite of safety features fitted as standard, with crash collision sensors helping to detect an imminent impact. It also gets steering assistance that can improve the car’s ability to swerve around danger.

Behind the Wheel

From the moment you get the wheels turning, it’s apparent that Volvo has placed comfort at the top of its rather large list. Our test car came fitted with optional air suspension, and it rode impressively well with a surprising lack of body roll through corners.

It’s best-suited to motorway driving, with the D5 engine pulling hard when required but settling down and delivering good economy figures in daily driving.

The XC60’s steering certainly lacks any feel, and although the air suspension does well to iron out most of the car’s body roll it simply can’t hide its sheer size when going through twisty corners.

Value for Money

There’s a decent amount of standard equipment to be found on the XC60, with LED headlights, leather upholstery and the impressive City Safety driver aid package all included in the car’s price.

The infotainment system in the XC60 is responsive and easy read, though the layout isn’t immediately intuitive. Volvo says that this shouldn’t be too much of a problem for owners, however, as the system will learn which menus are the most used and tailor the main screen to make navigation quicker and easier.

Who would buy one ?

Volvo is aiming the XC60 at families who are looking for something slightly different, rather than the traditional offerings from manufacturers like Audi or BMW. It’s proved successful in doing this, and it’s likely that the XC60 with its updated styling and impressive amount of standard equipment, will be just as popular.

Facts at a Glance

Model: Volvo XC60 D5 Inscription
Base price: £37,205
Engine: 2.0-litre diesel
Power: 232bhp
Torque: 480Nm
Max speed: 137mph
0-60mph: 7.0 seconds
Economy: 51.4mpg
Emissions: 144g/km

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