Volvo has quite a history in building classic estate cars and their expertise in family cars has transferred well to their current crop of SUVs. The arrival of the new Volvo XC90 in 2015 heralded a renaissance for the Swedish brand with sharper styling, more modern interiors and cutting-edge safety equipment, and now it’s the turn of the mid-size Volvo XC60.
The Volvo XC60 is now a well-established family name, representing about 30% of Volvo’s global sales and is Volvo’s bestselling model in Ireland.
In term of design, the new Volvo XC60 has had a complete makeover with strong XC90 DNA evidenced in the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, upright grille, boxy silhouette and tail lights extending to the roofline. This car has kerb appeal in bucket loads.
The XC60 has a brand new interior built around a 9” portrait style touchscreen that comes as standard and controls many of the car’s functions removing the need for a lot of buttons on the centre console. The result is clean, high quality dashboard with an interesting mix of materials and textures. The 12.3” digital instrument cluster is another highlight, standard on R-Design and Inscription trims.
Passenger accommodation is good for five, while in the back the transmission tunnel does not impede too much into legroom for the middle seat passenger. The powered tailgate reveals a 505 litre boot that can be stacked to the roof.
In Ireland, the XC60 is offered in three trim levels Momentum (from €53,950), R-Design (from €58,150) and Inscription (from €60,450). All cars come with four wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic gearbox, with front wheel drive models to join next year. Engine options include the popular 190hp D4 2.0-litre diesel and 235hp D5 diesel (from €59,950), and a T8 petrol/electric hybrid model (from €69,950) with 407hp.
Standard equipment is good including cruise control, hill descent control, heated front seats, keyless start, LED headlights, 18” alloys, rear parking sensors, Driver Alert Control with Lane Keeping Aid and Road Sign Information Display.
My test car was an XC60 R-Design D4 AWD retailing from €58,150. From the get go, the XC60 bears all the trademarks of a premium car: the cabin is well isolated from engine and road noise and the diesel pulls the XC60 briskly and smoothly through the smooth automatic gearbox. My test car had the optional air suspension (from €2,840) with a number of different driving modes, but the ride is very soft and cosseting. The steering is light and the Volvo XC60 is very easy to drive and manouvre for an SUV of its size. It’s not as athletic as a Jaguar F-Pace for example but the refinement and smoothness of the Volvo XC60 is truly commendable.
It’s easy to feel instantly at home in the cabin of the new Volvo XC60. The XC60 has moved on in leaps and bounds in terms of design. Smooth and comfortable, powerful and spacious, the Volvo XC60 makes a compelling choice for buyers seeking a premium mid-size SUV.
Model tested: Volvo XC60 R-Design D4 AWD
Price: €58,150 (Range starts €53,950)
Engine: 2.0-litre turbo diesel
0-100km/h: 8.4 seconds
Top speed: 205km/h
Claimed Economy: 5.1/100km
CO2 emissions: 136g/km
Motor tax: €280 per year