Sprint Review: Volvo XC60 T6

One new car, lots of information in random paragraphs.

What you need to know: The Volvo XC60 is a mid-size luxury SUV whose mould is similar to a BMW X5 or Audi Q5. Available with your choice of four engines, two gearboxes, four trim levels, front- or intelligent all-wheel-drive (certain models only), this stylish Swede easily matches its competitors for variety.

Some more facts: Volvo is phasing out its older engines and replacing them with two modular “Drive E” units (turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel) in different states of tune. D4, T5 and T6 (as tested here) are already based on these, the D5 AWD and T6 AWD models still use older five- and six-cylinder power plants.

The former trio uses a super-smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, D4 can also be shipped with a six-speed manual, while the two AWD XC60’s use a six-speed auto’box. All variants crack 200km/h and this T6 reaches 100 in 6.9 seconds. Our testing equipment disagrees; we clocked 6.54 seconds at sea level.

Where we went: The colourful reality of everyday life. Supermarkets, traffic jams, braais, meetings and Thai dinners in the crowded city. Every driver noted that the XC60 is not too big but with a desirable seating height, easy to pilot and crammed full of luxury and techno goodies. Thumbs up all ‘round.

You should watch out for: Not much, really. Fuel consumption can get scary around town, at low speeds and in undulating conditions. The new T6 engine is extremely responsive and eager to please (especially in Sport Mode) but it can also get greedy. Long, constant journeys get closer to the claimed 7.3L/100km.

Resale values aren’t that great but that goes for many vehicles in this class; buy with your heart and keep it forever or buy with your head and swap it within five years (5-year/100,000km Plan). Volvo’s dealer count is quite low but so is the pricing of their optional extras and packages – spec it up a bit!

Why you’ll want one: It’s easily as comfortable, luxurious and elegant as any aforementioned competitors without being so – what’s the word – obvious.

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