Volvo XC60 2017

Safety - Comfort - Looks

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 would 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. There’s so much equipment that it hardly makes much sense going for a higher-up-the-range model. My test car came with factory-fitted leather seats, sat-nav and rear parking sensors. It also has a 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 much like its larger XC90 sibling. But the more compact dimensions make the smaller 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. If you’re looking for a more engaging drive from your next SUV, then the Jaguar F-Pace is a tad better. The Volvo isn’t bad at all, though – it 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 is 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. Knee room is more than satisfactory and headroom is plentiful, putting the XC60 on an equal footing with the most commodious cars in this segment. The Johnny-come-lately doesn’t have the XC90’s seven-seat arrangement, but you do get a large 505-litre load area. The powered tailgate makes loading stress-free, while the seats fold over without difficulty to create a sizeable 1,432-litre boot, too. This all makes the up-to-date Volvo a perfect car for a family of four or five.

It is very hard to dislike this car and it makes so much sense to go for one. You just need to have a little bit of wonga in your pocket to afford this Swede. These days Volvo might be premium, but the prices are pretty premium, too. That said; you do get what you pay for – and you get an awful lot with the next generation XC60.

Pros ‘n’ Cons

  • Comfort √
  • Kit √
  • Looks √
  • Efficiency √
  • Not cheap to buy X

Fast Facts (2.0 D4 Momentum Pro - as tested)

  • Max speed: 127 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 8.4 secs
  • Combined mpg: 54.3
  • Engine layout: 1969cc four-cylinder diesel turbo
  • Max. power (PS): 190
  • CO2: 133 g/km          
  • Price: £39,005

Written by motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay.

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