Volvo is a brand that conjures up thoughts of safety and comfort. The new XC60 doesn’t disappoint here, but it also adds a smidgeon of sexiness. Who’d have thought you’d equate a Volvo with that? It’s true, though, as I discovered driving the mid-sized SUV in basic D4 Momentum trim.
However, there’s nothing basic about the entry-level XC60. This car comes bursting at the seams with kit. My test car came with factory-fitted leather seats, sat-nav and rear parking sensors. It also had keyless start, a power-operated tailgate and cruise control. Non-obligatory Pro trim adds a heated steering wheel and front windscreen, as well as active-bending headlights.
Looks-wise, the XC60 is very like the larger XC90 SUV. But the more compact dimensions make the Volvo even more compelling, not to mention easier to manoeuvre. Step inside, and the car sets new standards in the SUV sector. The dashboard centres around a large touchscreen, while, elsewhere, soft-touch materials are plentiful.
While the fresh XC60’s handling can be thought of as safe rather than dynamic, the Volvo is completely predictable and undemanding to drive swiftly. The Swedish machine’s steering is accurate and the car feels nicely balanced in the corners. The Volvo just gives up a bit of sportiness for more comfort. Zero to 62mph arrives in 8.4 seconds and the top speed is 127mph.
The new XC60 is hushed and steady on the motorway – indeed my D4 diesel test model’s engine was all but inaudible at 70mph. There’s hardly any road and wind clamour, either, making the new arrival a soothing mile-muncher. It’s also an economical cruising machine – with up to 54.3mpg possible on an average run.
All models in the range get selectable drive modes, with user-friendliness being another strong forte. Kneeroom is more than satisfactory and headroom is plenteous, putting the XC60 on an equal footing with the most commodious cars in this segment. The powered tailgate makes loading stress-free, while the seats fold over without difficulty to create a sizeable 1,432-litre boot, too.
2.0 D4 Momentum Pro – as tested, price: £39,005
Reviewed by Tim Barnes-Clay, Motoring Journalist, tweeting @carwriteups.