Volvo XC60 Review & First Drive

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Volvo XC60 Overview

Nine years is a long time in the life cycle of any car, but that’s exactly how long Volvo took to finally replace the XC60. Why? Probably because in those nine years, the XC60 became the bestselling premium mid-sized SUV in Europe, with sales peaking in its last year! Towards the end, however, the first-gen car started to feel pretty long in the tooth, especially in the cabin that offered a button-laden dash.

So, it was a given that the second-gen car would be significantly better, but just how much was something we saw when we drove it last year. It thoroughly impressed us with its plethora of features, luxurious interiors, immaculate finish and comfortable drive. But how would it fare in a full Autocar road test? That’s what we find out.

Volvo XC60 Look

It speaks the design language of its elders and though I’m not a big fan of the same-sausage-different-size philosophy, the elegance of Volvo’s new design is something that I would openly welcome on various body styles. Like the 90 branded range of Volvo’s, the XC60 too is built on the Scalable Product Architecture – a modular platform that allows Volvo’s engineers and designers to customize the dimensions of the car to suit various body-styles. The distance between the front axle and the dashboard remains unchanged on all SPA cars though and this works in the XC60’s favour by giving it proportions appropriate for a premium crossover. Compared to its highly successful predecessor, the new XC60 is 44mm longer, 11mm wider and 14mm shorter and the result is a crossover that has an athletic stance and looks very proportionate.

The Volvo XC60 does resemble the XC90 in many ways, but its smaller dimensions are evident even when it’s standing by itself. Another quick way of distinguishing the XC60 from the XC90 is the front face, where the Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights poke their way out to reach the grille. The headlight assembly is studded with adaptive LED headlamps and the rear is typical Volvo with the familiar design of the taillights.The side profile looks quite interesting too with the 19-inch wheels beefing up the stance. I particularly like the large doors which now extend all the way down to the floor and integrate the side skirting within the exterior door panel. This prevents your trousers from picking up stains during ingress or egress after an off-road session or a wet weather drive. Quite practical and thoughtful.

Volvo XC60 Comfort

Inside, the layout is similar to other Volvos but that’s hardly a bad thing. It’s a fairly ergonomic setup, though, the central screen needs about 15 minutes to get accustomed to, but there’s certainly a good deal of grandeur. The trim quality is on par with the XC90’s, with a big highlight being the single panel driftwood dashboard finish. Certain plastic panels on the centre console and above the glovebox feel a tad industrial, but that’s forgivable.What’s also appreciable is the attention to detail, like the Swedish flag tags on the seats and the embossed one on the dashboard or the doors that extend almost all the the way to the undercarriage, so the side sills stay clean. No grime on your pants! Check for Volvo XC60 price in Hyderabad.

Nappa leather upholstery makes the cabin feel all the more snooty and they drape seats which have so many abilities that you’d imagine they came with cushioning and a curriculum vitae. They’re shaped to support even the most fast food inspired frames; both front seats are power adjustable with motorised underthigh cushions and memory. They’re heated and ventilated, and to top it off, they get spa quality massagers!Sort of. The driving position is commanding and you do feel like you’re at the helm of an SUV but you aren’t towering above traffic around you.

Purely from the point of view of a commanding driving position, it’s a step down for someone upgrading from a Fortuner or Endeavour. Instead, it replaces intimidation with innovation. The 9-inch central touchscreen is the same unit as the XC90’s but gets revised software. As user interfaces go, this is quite an easy one, almost smartphone like, with only one physical key i.e. the home button. So if you have a kid, or are one at heart, here’s a new favourite toy.

However, using it on the move is no child’s play. With a tablet sized display, it’s hard to know what function is located where without taking your eyes off the road. Luckily, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, like every other feature on this car come as standard. And the USB ports are placed under the driver armrest, so even the rear occupants can connect their phone easily.The 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins sound system is quite the audiophile tickler too with a special Concert Hall mode taking the surround sound experience to a whole new level.

The backseat contouring is bang on, and while the rear bench isn’t ventilated, you do get seat heaters. You also get 4-zone climate control and a cabin that’s easily one of the best in the segment at seating four. There’s healthy all-round space for a family of 6 footers. Though bear in mind that the big floor hump and armrest bump make it a weak 5-seater.Boot space is aplenty for several big bags and there’s versatility here as well. The loading lip is flat, and there are buttons to lower or raise the rear suspension for easy access, as well to drop the rear seats down. On top of that, the parcel tray moves in an upward trajectory so even tall bags are kept out of sight.

Volvo XC60 Transmission

Based on the SPA platform, the XC60 comes with only four-cylinder engines, and Volvo has selected just one for India – the more powerful D5 diesel that puts out 235hp and 480Nm of torque. This is the same spec as on the larger XC90 and thus performance is expectedly very good. 100kph from a standstill came up in 8.36sec, that’s around a second quicker than the XC90’s 9.14sec, and a shade quicker than the Mercedes GLC at 8.56sec. To know more details on Volvo XC60  check Mpculture

An interesting bit about the D5 is the Power Pulse technology – the Swedish firm’s answer to turbo lag. The engine has a compressed air tank that delivers a high-powered shot of air at the turbo, spooling it up quickly at low revs. So, does it work? Yes. There’s virtually no lag and power comes in from about 1,600rpm and the build-up is strong and linear all the way to just below the 4,900rpm redline, where the gearbox will upshift even if you are in manual mode. As far as refinement goes, the engine is silent most of the time, but it’s far from setting a benchmark and it does sound a bit coarse when revved; there’s no mistaking this for anything but a diesel.

Gearbox performance is satisfying too. The eight-speed Aisin automatic transmission is quick enough and does keep pace with the engine performance, and you also have paddleshifters behind the wheel, but bear in mind, the software will always be in nanny mode, downshifting or upshifting when revs drop or rise too much. This is a diesel, so fuel efficiency is expected to be good, and the XC60 does not disappoint. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is a great starting point, and the SUV has other bits like the auto start-stop system and an Eco driving mode that also keeps the body height lower than normal to aid aero performance. In our testing, we managed 10kpl in the city run and 14.31kpl on the highway, both very respectable figures for this class.

Volvo XC60 Riding

The ride quality is cushy too and typical of most air suspensions; it gets a bit floaty at speed. Specifically in Comfort mode, there’s definitely a great deal of body roll and the steering isn’t particularly communicative either. But there are no unpleasant surprises to be had. Swap to Dynamic mode and the mannerisms change significantly. It becomes almost sedan-like with the ride stiffening up for improved stability. That does, however, make the ride juddery over rough patches and even rumble strips will send in a good lot of vibrations your way. The drive modes affect the powertrain, suspension, brakes and steering, and each can be tweaked separately using the Individual mode. That said, no matter what mode you choose, you will want for sharper bite from the brakes.

Volvo XC60 Safety

If the list of safety features isn’t the juiciest part of the brochure, the car wouldn’t qualify as a Volvo. Appreciably, the carmaker hasn’t shied away from bringing in some of its best safety tech to the India-spec XC60 either. For a mid-level offering, the list is commendable and the most notable features and assistance systems are front, side and curtain airbags, collision mitigation support at the front and rear, emergency steering assist, lane keeping assist and emergency braking assist. The City Safety package, which uses most of these systems in its application, had debuted in India on the previous generation XC60. The new one takes its further by being active at city as well as highway speeds, making the new Volvo XC60 a safer package overall.

Volvo XC60 Price in Hyderabad

Volvo XC60 On Road Price is 63,16,375/- and Ex-showroom Price is 52,90,000/- in Hyderabad. Volvo XC60 comes in 4 colours, namely Black Sapphire Metallic,Bright Silver Metallic,Crystal White Pearl,Rich Java. Volvo XC60 comes with FWD with 1984 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 181 bhp@4250 rpm and Peak Torque 400 Nm@1750-2500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Volvo XC60 comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .

Volvo XC60 Final Word

Volvo currently imports the XC60, but given that the company’s newly started assembly operations are set up for the SPA platform, there are possibilities of a locally built car. Don’t expect this variant’s price to drop though; at Rs 55.90 lakh, the XC60 is priced competitively. You get a long list of features, a lot of which you won’t find in the competition, and the safety tech is simply miles ahead. The XC60’s design oozes class and the drive experience is nice and relaxed. Of course, it isn’t perfect. Low-speed ride could have been better and the engine isn’t the most refined either. In addition, Volvo’s sales and service network doesn’t have as wide a reach as its German competitors. But as a luxury SUV, there isn’t much more you could ask for. In areas of comfort, performance and equipment, the XC60 is the best in class.It stands out as a tech-laden SUV that Volvo has thrown everything it possibly can into to set a new benchmark in the class.

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