- Published On: 19 March 2018
- 7 min read
Sharp-looking, luxurious and nice to drive, the XC60 is proper competitor.
It took the Swedish car maker nine long years to replace the XC60. If you are wondering why so, it is because the SUV had become a big seller in Europe – especially towards the end of its life cycle. However, towards the end of the year the car did begin to feel slightly dated mainly in terms of the interior.
This meant the latest model was bound to be considerably better, but by just how much was yet to be seen. The SUV has impressed us with just how feature rich it is while being luxurious as well. The overall quality and good driving mannerisms were also a plus point.
On the outside
The New XC60 is based on the company’s new Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). It is platform where everything between the front and rear wheels remain the same, with only the overhangs and height being adjustable. Thanks to this, there is increased standardisation of parts among many models. Not only that, but the company can also produce the cars based on this platform on the same line in the factory.
Thanks to this platform, the Swedish brand can manufacturer can design their offering to have the right stance and design flow. This means, the XC60 continues to be unmistakably Volvo. The XC90 looks tall and has a design based around its height, the XC60 on the other hand is wide and has been styled to suit its proportions.
At the front of the car, the SUV has the typical Volvo design philosophy. It has the DRLs and rectangular grille that is seen on most other Volvo models. One could miss the neatly-integrated fog lights that sit in the bottom corners of the bumper. Towards the side of the car, one will notice the sleek styling with a lengthy bonnet and sharply raked front windscreen. The window line also rises towards the rear of the car and the large 19 inch alloys fit the car well. The rear of the SUV is dominated by the boomerang-style tail-lights and Volvo lettering that is spread out.
On the inside
The XC60 may be uniquely styled on the outside, but in terms of the interior the SUV shares a lot with the XC90 and S90. This isn’t a bad thing considering the levels of quality seen on the inside. The XC60 interiors are impressive and once you open the door you will be greeted to well-designed seats. High levels of quality are seen on the inside and out.
The drift wood that has an ash finish on the inside may not be to everyone’s taste since it isn’t the regular brown colour you are used to seeing. Nonetheless, it does offer a good contrast against the tan-coloured interior. While the older XC60 had more buttons than one would like, the new one replaces these with touchscreens.
The seats in the front of the car are nicely designed. They are soft but for some reason feel especially wide for people with narrow frames. However, the seats do have an extensive amount of adjustments along with good support in certain areas. These seats also feature heating and cooling and massage. However, once you get into the back of the car, an immediate observation is that the doors don’t open too wide. But, the car does offer decent levels of legroom and headroom making it comfortable for longer journeys.
In terms of storage, the car offers sufficient amounts but not extensive. The door holes can store large water bottles and the centre-console has enough room for small items. The boot of the XC60 has a capacity of 505 litres which is quite spacious. One can increase this by folding down the seats; another nice feature is the rear can be lowered for easier loading.
How does it drive?
Even though the car has a excitingly performing engine, the same can’t be said about its handling. This isn’t a driver-oriented SUV, but it can’t be called a limo-feeling SUV either. It sits somewhere in between and can be called relaxed for the most part. The XC60 has many driving modes and a large number of adjustments are available as well. This means one can calibrate everything from the gearshifts to the braking characteristics.
The Volvo isn’t a big off-roader, and most owners aren’t off-roaders as well. However, we took the car to some rough patches and found it to be moderately adequate. The air suspension on the SUV provides good stability at higher speeds and the body roll isn’t extensive. The ride quality at lower speeds can get bumpy but not jarring at any point of time. According to us, the car feels the best with the suspension being left in dynamic and the rest of the car in Comfort.
The steering feel is decent at lower speeds and weights up nicely as speeds increase. But, the feedback isn’t the best. The car is not sporty by any means and you realise that even Volvo wasn’t trying to make it so. Being a Volvo, the mid-sized is heavily equipped in terms of safety. It features Pilot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control which work decently well in our country.
Should I buy one?
At present, the Swedish car maker imports the XC60, however considering that it has recently set up an assembly plant in India; we can expect a locally built unit. However, the price isn’t expected to drop though, at Rs 55.90 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) it is already priced competitively. At this price, you also get a decent amount of features and safety tech that is miles ahead of the competition. The SUV is also a good looker and drives in a relaxed manner. But, the engine does miss out in terms of engine refinement and service network. Nonetheless, the XC60 is best in class in terms of comfort, performance and equipment.