By Khulekani Dumisa
Recently we had the privilege of spending time with the Volvo XC60 R-Design D5 AWD. We have spent time with the XC60 but it was in the form of the petrol T6 with 235 kW and 400 Nm. The car was quick as you can imagine but was also a bit heavy on fuel. We set out to find out whether the diesel D5 was the sweet spot in the range if you were looking for a bit of performance without spending a small fortune at that the fuel pumps.
The vehicle has a striking exterior design. The boxy shape, Thor’s Hammer LED lights, black accents, and mirrors in a chrome finish make it look classy. The longer lip on the front bumper, large air-intakes, back spoiler and large exhaust tips all combine to make the vehicle look sporty.
Step inside, you are greeted by a modern and quality interior. The materials are upmarket and the Sensus touch infotainment system stands out for making the cabin feel uncluttered, stylish and easy to use. Volvo models tend to be in between segments and can feel compact than their rivals like the X3 and GLC. The difference is not by a noticeable margin as there’s ample space in the XC60. The boot is at 505 litres and grows to a large 1,432 litres with the rear seats folded flat at a touch of a button. The tailgate is electronically operated and can be accessed with a foot movement. Additionally, the boot can be opened and closed with vehicle’s key. The car can also be opened via keyless entry and started with a uniquely Volvo keyless start button.
Engine and drive
The XC60 pushes a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbodiesel with 173kW/480Nm. The engine feels perfectly matched to the car. Unlike the more powerful petrol engines in the range, it doesn’t feel like it’s acting under duress. The power that seems readily available, makes the car quite eager, which is enjoyable. The transmission is also smooth and accurate. It goes about its business unnoticed really. The ride quality is great and the car is superbly comfortable, and quiet. The former is thanks to the air-suspension in the car which mitigates the (harsher) sporty nature of the R-Design package. Fuel consumption has been high in the city but dropped to 7,9l/100km on the highway. This makes the car instantly better than its petrol counterpart which can see you averaging over 10,5l/100km even on the highway.
The tech is also impressive with safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane keep, blind spot monitor and auto pilot standing out. Truly speaking, the accolades that the car has bagged are truly well deserved.
The Volvo XC60 range is priced from R692,600.
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