The new Volvo XC60 had barely touched down on our soil before we were whisking it away. Despite its size, this 2L, four-cylinder turbo-charged beast feels as light as a feather, gliding to 60mph in just 7.6 seconds.
A gentler XC90
We had the pleasure of testing the XC90 back in summer. While the XC60 may not pack quite the same punch as the 90 in regard to features, it’s certainly on par when it comes to style. Those who regard colour palettes highly may be advised to try a “Bursting Blue”, as we did – the bold shade certainly stands out on country roads.
On the interior, style meets simplicity, and indeed, practicality. There is ample storage space alongside the automatic gearbox, with a large on-board computer that is not over-complicated by extraneous buttons. Said computer does not require a PHD to operate either – drivers can happily hook up media devices or program their destination without a fuss. The satnav also says “please”, which is always a bonus.
Prepared for all the elements
Testing the XC60 in December, we were more than happy to make use of the heated seats, and the heated steering wheel. Little features such as this give the XC60 a certain charm, though this can at times be at the expense of more practical elements, such as a reverse camera.
So how does it drive? There are four driving modes to choose from, including eco, comfort, high performance and off-road. There’s also the option to switch to paddle gear shifts, which are very responsive at all speeds. Notably, the Volvo lives up to its name when selecting off-road at too high a speed: there is a convenient warning sign to alert the driver that he or she is going too fast for this option. Similarly, speed limits flash up on the on-board computer whenever these are exceeded, so once again, safety is a top priority for the latest model.
Built for speed and comfort
Safety aside, the XC60 has an impressive top speed of 130mph, while steering is light and comfortable. Unlike other SUVs we’ve tested, everybody’s comfort seems to be taken into consideration, with ample room in the back, front and even the boot, which can hold an impressive 598 litres. There’s also a generous amount of headroom, providing perfect visibility.
While the XC90 may be the classier choice for flashy individuals, its little brother provides the perfect alternative for cost-conscious drivers. With a market value of £38,750, it’s considerably easier on the wallet than both the XC90 and its competitor equivalents from Audi, BMW and Mercedes. However, it still provides a quiet, comfortable drive that would be ideal for family trips or countryside getaways.
With cruise control, a keyless start, and more than 50MPG, the XC60 offers a range of handy features in conjunction with a very comfortable 190hp. For something slightly less imposing than the XC90, its baby brother ticks all the boxes.