Welcome to the much improved Volvo XC60

By Geoff Maxted on 24 June, 2017

Back in 2008 after a few shaky years under the Ford banner, Volvo knew it had to create its own platform to make a success of their future cars. The solution the Swedish brand came up was with Scaleable Product Architecture. This made its debut with the XC90 SUV, followed by the S90, V90 and V90 Cross Country estates. The new and very impressive Volvo XC60 SUV, which is now available to order in the UK, adds to the list with UK prices starting at £37,205 for the D4 AWD Momentum version.

The previous XC60, whilst good in many ways, was a bit lacklustre. First impressions of the new car though are very positive indeed. The XC60 crossover is the first of Volvo’s mid-sized 60 series models to be built. It is powered exclusively by Volvo’s efficient Drive-E power-trains, and features much of the advanced connectivity, entertainment and safety technology from the larger vehicles in the Volvo range. A choice of three 2.0L, four-cylinder engines will, for now, are available – the D4 and D5 PowerPulse (see below) diesels, and the T5 petrol. A T8 Twin Engine petrol-electric plug-in hybrid will be available later this year.

Every XC60 that comes off the line does so with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard. That’s two customer decisions taken care of.

The D4 offers 190hp, combined fuel consumption of up to 55.4mpg and fairly modest CO2 emissions from just 133g/km. The D5 has a beefier 235hp, combined fuel consumption of 51.4mpg and CO2 emissions only a little worse at 144 g/km. The T5 offers 254 hp, combined fuel economy of up to 39.2 mpg and CO2 emissions from 164 g/km. 25% is your BIK starting point.

Importantly, the XC60 also benefits from the brilliant PowerPulse, an ingenious Volvo invention that uses compressed air to spin the engine’s two turbos when they would otherwise be dormant, such as very low engine revs, thus boosting responsiveness. It really works and answers the criticisms of lacklustre performance in the previous model.

It’s a Volvo so as you would expect every version of the XC60 is sumptuously equipped. As standard, even entry-level Momentum variants come with leather-faced upholstery, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone climate control with ‘CleanZone’ air-filtration system, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and 18” alloy wheels.

Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system is also standard. This brings a 9” portrait-style touch screen, satellite navigation – including lifetime annual map updates (a bonus) and Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) – plus an intuitive voice-activation system. It even provides access to the internet and a range of cloud-based apps such as Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher and Yelp if that’s what floats your boat.

Volvo’s City Safety system is fitted to every XC60. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and the world-first application of Steer Assist. This feature helps to avoid or limit the severity of collisions at low speeds by assisting with the steering in an emergency, such as when swerving to miss an obstacle. Unquestionably Volvo are committed to their promise that by 2020 no one will die in a Volvo. With the addition of Pilot Assist (another step towards autonomy) in the safety arsenal, this is one safe car.

There’s smartphone integration, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus optimised apps directly via the XC60’s touch screen, voice-activation system or the buttons on the steering wheel. Good vibrations are taken care of by a Bowers and Wilkins premium sound system. Fifteen speakers!

Once again with their new range of cars, Volvo have stepped up. The XC60 has always been a best seller and this new car is sure to enhance the model’s prospects. A winner, no question.

Geoff Maxted, Drivewrite