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The new Volvo XC60 made its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show in 2017 and Volvo quite surprisingly launched the new XC60 in India just a few months after its global debut. The car had been turning heads ever since it was introduced with its appealing design and never seen before technology. The new Volvo XC60 is based on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture platform which also underpins the XC90, S90 and V90 Cross Country in India.
Exteriors – At first glance, the exterior of the XC60 reminds you of its elder sibling, the XC90. The XC60 looks very similar to the larger SUV which isn’t by any means, bad. On the front, Volvo’s signature Thor LED headlamps strike your eyes instantly, these provide a lot of character to front design of the car which is also accentuated by the sleek chrome grille. The side profile is very proportionate while the rear gets the signature Volvo upswept tail lamps. There is plenty of chrome to be seen around the car as well, notching up the premium quotient of the XC60. Overall, the car has been designed meticulously without being overdone.
Interiors – The seats on the XC60 are good in size and provide excellent comfort and support. Interestingly, the seats on the Volvo XC60 have been designed by orthopaedic surgeons. Starting with the rear seats, the seats are so nicely designed and well-sculpted. Support for the back and thighs is brilliant and the seats are placed at just the right height, allowing you a good view out of the window. However, the car has limited leg room but headroom and shoulder room are more than adequate. While you do get the conventional AC vents at the rear, Volvo has fitted additional vents on the B-pillars along with the conventional AC vents at the rear. The front seats too are extremely comfortable and provide a good view of the outside.
The inside of the XC60 too feels very similar to the XC90. Volvo has used very premium materials for the interior upholstery. The centre console houses a long storage space next to the diamond-cut engine start-stop button. The doors also get bottle holders and enough space to keep small things and the overall practicality in the cabin is good. The XC60 is very feature rich. The sound system for one, is truly a treat to your ears. It is a Bowers & Wilkins system with a variety of settings to set it according to your personal choice. Other features include Ambient Lighting, a massage function for the seats, 360-degree view camera, Park Assist, etc.
Performance – The XC60 is powered by the same 1969cc, 4-cylinder, diesel engine mated to an 8-speed gearbox as seen on the XC90. It produces 235 PS of peak power and 480 Nm of peak torque. City driving is quite effortless and the car pulls very well on the highways too. You never feel like the car lacks power at any point of time. 0-100 km/hr comes up in just 7.2 seconds while you can cruise at 100 km/hr in the 8th gear at around 1500 RPM. The gearbox performs well when you’re driving calmly however, there is a substantial delay in shifts when you push it hard. The gearbox lacks a Sport mode but you do get a manual mode along with paddle-shifters. For driving modes, you get Eco, City and Dynamic which alter steering and suspension characteristics along with engine response.
Driving Dynamics – The Volvo XC60 feels very planted no matter the kind of surface it rides on. The steering provides good feedback without being too light or too heavy. The suspension and the large tyres work very well in conjugation to provide a comfortable ride by absorbing almost everything in its stride. Michelin has designed the tyres specially for the car and the tyres also get a special Volvo engraving on them. While in the Comfort mode, the car feels very relaxed to drive and you do notice some amount of body roll in this mode, however, after switching to Dynamic mode, the car feels much more agile and the body roll is contained very well. The steering gets pretty heavy and the suspension gets firmer in this mode. There is an Off-Road mode that increases the ride height by 1.5-inches, allowing you to navigate through the worst of the roads.
Safety and After Sales Service – There are a slew of safety features in the XC60 just like any other Volvo would have. Features like multiple airbags, ABS, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Collision Warning, Pilot Assist, Blind Spot Information with Steer Assist and Cross Traffic Alert (BLIS), iTPMS, Traction Control, Hill Hold, etc are all present on this SUV. Volvo's network in India is slowly and steadily working its way up there and increasing their reach across the country, however, it is still far away from its German Rivals.
Verdict - The Volvo XC60 is a powerful luxury SUV that isn't too large in size. It offers good driving pleasure, intricate details and mind-numbing features. It is one of the few cars that you can’t go wrong with, however, the rear seat leg space is something that could’ve been a lot better in the XC60. Overall, the Volvo XC60 is a gem of a car and you should definitely take it into consideration when looking at the luxury SUV segment.
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