The Swede company’s comfortable, medium-sized SUV is made for an active lifestyle, in or out of the city.
By motoring journalist Tim Barnes-Clay. Follow on Instagram @tbarnesclay.
I like Volvos. So does my dad. He’s owned lots of these Swedish cars over the years. When I was younger, I loved their plush, comfy interiors, but I wasn’t so keen on the brick-like exterior. Volvos, especially the estate models, weren’t called “wardrobes on wheels” for no reason back in the day.
The automaker is still making estates, but they are now beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. The V90, but particularly the V60, are very handsome cars. Yet, SUVs have become the mainstay of Volvo in recent years. The all-wheel drive ability of these high riding vehicles has given the product a different perspective. The models blend luxury and off-road talent in one package.
The XC60 is a medium-size SUV, sat between Volvo’s baby XC40 and large XC90. It’s the perfect compromise – not too small – and not so massive that urban driving becomes stressful. I mean, have you ever tried taking a really big set-of-wheels up a multi-story carpark? It’s a sweat-on-the-forehead inducing experience.
The XC60 B4 Diesel, as tested here in sporty R-Design guise, is a cinch to munch miles in. It seems to glide over the tarmac, with its automatic gearbox changing so fluidly, you almost forget it’s there. You get a good view out, with lots of adjustment in the seat and steering wheel to achieve the perfect driving position. This not only makes motoring pleasant, but it also makes it safe – especially when it comes to manoeuvres, like parking.
“Comfort takes some beating”
Performance-wise you can expect this five-door, five-seater SUV to get from 0-62mph in 8.3 seconds, and the maximum speed is 127mph. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll see around 50mpg out of this Volvo, too.
The XC60’s challengers are the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and Audi Q5 – and prices are similar. These are all vehicles with “prestige” badges, but the comfort of the Volvo’s seats takes some beating. The Scandinavians seem to be able to create the right level of support and cushioning in their products, no matter which model or trim level you opt for.
Furthermore, the XC60’s kit is generous, with many safety features to keep all occupants as protected as possible. And, depending on your driving needs, the car will switch from handling bustling urban life to twisty dirt roads with ease. Because, let’s face it, if you have an active lifestyle, you’ll want an active vehicle – and this SUV is built to ensure you get the best of both worlds.
Fast Facts – Volvo XC60 B4 AWD R-DESIGN PRO AUTOMATIC as tested:
- Max speed: 127mph
- 0-62 mph: 8.3 sec
- Combined mpg: 50.4
- Engine layout: 1969cc, 4-cylinder turbo diesel
- Max. power (PS): 197
- CO2: 151g/km
- Price: £48,010