Volvo can barely put their foot wrong these days and having the XC60 bag World Car of the Year for 2018 at New York Auto Show came as no surprise. This is not to make light off this accolade as the XC60 had to beat the impeccable Range Rover Velar to clinch the honours. If not bagging awards, the car goes toe-to-toe with the likes of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
Recently, we had the T6 Inscription and it was close to perfect. The XC60 in all honesty looks like a smaller XC90, but that is no problem, as other than being based on the same platform (Scalable Product Architecture), they are both good-looking vehicles. It has a large grille with the Volvo logo placed right in the middle; you cannot miss it. It also encompasses the signature “Thor’s Hammer” headlights, which give this car more presence and personality. To set the car apart from the XC90, the XC60’s LED lights extend from the grille to the edges of the bonnet.
The XC60’s rear LED lights are gorgeous at night due to the way they illuminate but polarising during the day. I am a fan but one of our writers felt that Volvo could have done much better here. Overall, they are not disharmonious with the carefully thought out XC60 design. The 20-inch wheels also do not disappoint, they really bring in an element of sportiness to this rather poised car.
Step inside you are greeted by plush leather and a cabin built up of quality materials. The 9 inch portrait/vertical infotainment screen is quite refreshing to see as one is used to a horizontally placed one. The system is easy to use and very interactive. It is a bit distracting however; as the placement would mean that you would have to take your eyes off the road to use it. Only downside would be the fingerprint marks left behind after using it. Volvo provides a cloth to wipe these off but, it can get a bit tedious to do this frequently.
In terms of space the car fares well, the boot is decent at 505 litres and extends wit the back seats folded down. There is good legroom for all passengers. As expensive as it is, the Bowers and Wilkins sound system was thoroughly enjoyable, definitely worth every penny. Another feature worthy of individual praise is the front seats’ massage feature that comes in handy on long drives as it makes for a relaxing drive.
Engine and drive
The all-wheel drive XC60 T6 Inscription is powered by a 2.0 litre supercharged and turbocharged engine that produces 235 kW/400 Nm. Volvo claims a 0-100 km sprint of 5.9 seconds and a fuel consumption of 7.7 l/100 km. The XC60 is quick but can feel hesitant off the mark. The drive is comfortable especially with the air-suspension but it can feel a bit floaty. The trickery of the air-suspension does make you notice the car raising or lowering itself based on the different driving modes – Eco, Comfort and Dynamic. The air-suspension ensures that in Comfort mode, you enjoy maximum comfort levels whereas it lowers the car at higher speeds to ensure fuel savings in Eco mode with the suspension firming up and the car lowering itself at Dynamic mode. Although the 8-speed Geartronic automatic transmission is smooth, you can hear it working at times and that does make the car sound somewhat whiney. Fuel consumption tends to be a bit high. We found ourselves easily achieving 14l/100 km even in Eco mode and driving conservatively.
It would not be a Volvo if we did not mention the safety and technology (some as extras) that is at your disposal in the XC60. The adaptive cruise control works brilliantly and keeps you safe in traffic. The Auto Pilot is one of our favourite semi-autonomous drive systems out there. If you have not heard about this technology, it is the car driving itself and just requiring you to place your hands on the wheel. The system works by reading road signs and markings and copes even with our inconsistently marked roads. It slows down and picks up speed depending on the driving of the vehicle in front of it. It will carry on driving itself even if there is no lead vehicle. You will also appreciate the lane keep feature as well as the blind spot monitoring feature and extra alert front collision warning feature.
There is no perfect vehicle but there is very little to fault in the XC60.
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