Tested: Volvo XC60 D4

I recently had the pleasure of test-driving Volvo’s face-lifted XC60 with a new engine. Not being a huge fan of mummy-mobiles (as so many of these medium to large SUV types can be called), I was naturally skeptical about my latest ride. However, I can honestly state that my flag is still flying for Volvo – I found the XC60 every bit as enjoyable to drive as their V and S range (I’ve not had the pleasure of any of the C-types yet).

Once you climb in, your senses are immediately assailed by the quality interior finishes that pervade all of Volvo’s vehicles. Fine leather, subtle yet sexy chrome detailing, stitching on the seats that pick out the comfortable lines and superior styling. You’ll close your door and hear a satisfying thud of quality materials and perfect finishes that embody these safety-conscious cars.

Like all of Volvo’s models, you’re able to style the new XC60’s interior and finishes to your taste – from the centre floating console (ours had a brushed aluminium finish) to the rear view mirror. Their finishes menu reads like a fine dining experience, you’re completely spoilt for choice – and much of it is available without adding to the price!

On the outside, you can appreciate the slightly chunkier look of Volvo’s larger, raised-bonnet lines, the higher ride that makes many SUVs so popular and the capacious rear end. It’s this latter feature that I’d really like to talk about… especially with regard to space.

We were fortunate to test the XC60 in the middle of a very rushed move. The XC60 already offers a generous storage area (195L) with the seats up, perfect for family holidays, school bags and sports gear. However, the space that is on offer for two stressed out DINKs with a pair of spoilt cats who need to move home and two offices in a rush is unbelievable.

The XC60 easily handled all the fragile goods and little extras that we refused to subject to our moving company’s rough handling. Piles of boxes, said unhappy peedies [Ed: cats], pampered plants, a piano (OK, it’s digital so packs flat), two oversized frat party speakers with accompanying amplifiers and cabling, office paraphernalia and so much more.

The XC60 was loaded to its limit several times…

The XC60 was loaded to its limit several times and made the city-country round trip with ease and efficiency, no small thanks to the fuel-efficient turbo-diesel engine (Drive-E 1969cc four-cylinder, 133kW, 400Nm, average 4.7L/100km) we probably got an extra trip or two out of the 70L tank.

Comfort wise, the XC60 offered plenty of space and leg room up front. The back bench was roomy enough without being too much of a squeeze for three adults. Leg room behind the front seats isn’t quite as generous as in front but would easily satisfy younger family members. The molded front seats are super comfy and the added option of seat heating made one or two of our early morning journeys a lot cozier.

As a prospective XC60 owner, you’d want to know how it drives. In a nutshell, pretty much faultless. Bar a poor turning radius which has plagued every Volvo I’ve ever driven, the XC60 is light and responsive to drive. Driving one is a pleasurable experience whether stuck in five ‘o clock traffic, heading out for an early Sunday morning cruise on empty scenic roads or shuttling half a household and office in the capacious rear. It’s a doddle to park (once you’ve figured how much leeway you need for turning) and with Volvo’s optional blind spot assist as well as City Safety (standard) you could be forgiven for getting lazy in your own driving responses – this car offers so much for the distracted driver.

To close, would I recommend to a person shopping for a family sized SUV to get it? Most definitely. The XC60 retails from N$527,800, ours had the tasty Techno Pack (N$30,500) and it comes with a 5-year 100,000km warranty and service plan.


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