Tested: 2023 Volvo XC60 B5

(starting from R957 900)

Volvo’s XC60 was crowned World Car of the Year in 2018 and, still today, for me it’s one of the most complete cars on the road. Volvo has perfected the automobile with its XC60, and let me explain why.

It’s an SUV with car-like driving dynamics, because of its stance on the road. If you look closely, it’s almost like it’s hunched down on its four wheels; unlike like the model before it. The previous one still carries presence (and sells well on the used market), but the successor and still very current iteration is dynamic on the road, especially in B6 and T8 guise.

It handles well due to that low center of gravity, yet still it has good ground clearance for those moderate gravel conditions, or as the Brits will say, unsealed roads.

I was slightly skeptical when we received the B5, as I am usually the guy who will make a run for the model that’s all about horsepower, with plenty of kW’s and waves of torque. Yes, I adored the D5, but wow. I was pleasantly surprised as this model can put on a proper shift if you want to overtake, before that approaching traffic stops you.

We were five people in the car on a trip around the Cape, and you don’t need much planning to even overtake a few cars before the next turn-off; when you are in a hurry to still find Cafe Roux open in Noordhoek!

All this adventure is also accompanied by surprisingly good fuel consumption. Please don’t quote me, but I even want to say that this car is more frugal than a V90CC D5 I once drove. I am referring to real-time dashboard figures here. We saw 8.6 l/100km, which is exceptional for a car delivering 183 kW and 350 Nm.

The mild hybrid 48V battery system certainly aids to the lower fuel consumption, which was definitely obvious during our weekend excursions. Volvo’s mild hybrids recover energy when braking and store it in a 48V battery. When this energy is used, fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions are both reduced.

Interior space is defined by the usual Volvo materials of exceptional quality. From driftwood look-alike finishes, to leather-style crafted seats, where no animal was involved.

If I were to “spec” my perfect Volvo XC60, it would certainly include the amazing harman/kardon sound system, amber-colour seats and Thunder Grey metallic exterior paint. Have your pick of what you want. You can configure your car online, or with the help of a sales executive.

Cabin space is certainly enough for a family of five, with class-leading boot space, not much smaller than that of a V90 Cross Country. Ride quality was certainly a stand-out experience, which is the result of an active chassis with air suspension that constantly adjusts the ride height and adapts the shock absorbers to enhance stability.

It was a big talking point every once in a while during the weekend.

Like in the XC40 range, the current XC60 “B-range” mild hybrid models (B5 and B6) have a unique place in the market, helping a certain crowd of people to get used to Volvo’s move towards pure electrification in the near future.

Each new Volvo XC60 B5 is sold with a 5-year/100,000km warranty and identical maintenance plan.

Leave a Comment