The All NEW Volvo XC60
Fresh of the plane I’d hardly had time for my ears to pop before I was in the driving seat of the all new XC60. My location Marmaris, Turkey. Over the next three day I had plenty of time to take in the spoils of the stunning landscape and impressive car. Hours spent winding up and down hairpin bends on mountain roads, and sheer cliff tops looking out over the sea to Greece gave us ample opportunity to see how dynamic the car is, and how it behaved under different conditions. As the little brother to the XC90 the 60 had a lot to live up to, from the outset it was clear this wouldn’t be a problem!!
Externally, its obvious that the XC60 is bigger than its predecessor, 3.6 inches longer to be precise. Ok, that doesn’t sound like a lot, but it looks like a lot, especially when it comes to the front bonnet. It also benefits from a more upright greenhouse, a clipped front and rear overhangs. The CX60 is quite a handsome looking chap thanks to Volvo’s new design language, which incorporates the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ Sideways T-shaped LED headlight garnishes, gently undulating fender bulges, and intricate taillights. It sits high on the road despite being the little brother, but doesn’t feel aggressive or imposing.
The interior couldn’t be anymore desirable. Over all it mimics that of the larger XC90, just with a little less elaborate detailing. Two clean lines detail the overall shape and the quality of materials and finishes are thoughtful and important. Its obvious that a lot of effort has gone into creating the perfect driving atmosphere. The vertically oriented touchscreen is handy and easy to use, as it plays on the same systems we are all used to in our everyday lives with our smart phones and devices, aka a lot of swiping and pinching. The front seats are comfortable and offer an AC cooling option, perfect for Middle Eastern driving.
Holding the pretty bits together is Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), the same platform that underpins the XC90, S90, and V90. The suspension layout is what you would expect for the class, with control arms in the front and a multilink rear arrangement. Coil springs and conventional dampers are standard for the front axle, while the rear sits on normal dampers but gets a composite transverse leaf spring similar to the XC90’s. Air springs and electronically adjustable dampers for all four corners are optional.
The Engine bit
The XC60 is offered in three variants the T6 Inscription, which is basically the top of the line version with the second most powerful engine, a 316-hp turbocharged and supercharged 2.0-liter inline-four. A base model known as Momentum is also offered, as well as a sporty-looking R-Design; all three trims can be combined with the entry-level 250-hp T5 powertrain (a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder), or the aforementioned T6. Initially, every XC60 will have all-wheel drive as standard; the only transmission choice is an Aisin eight-speed automatic.
There were welcomed signs of improvement in terms of the XC60’s ride quality, which had been previously described as “firm.” Riding on 20-inch wheels, the air-sprung 2018 model was notably more comfortable. With four driving settings including Comfort, Dynamic, Off Road, and Eco mode the suspension tuning and body control felt tight, even on bumps, dips and gravel. On the highway the XC60 felt like any other Midsized SUV, smooth and unchallenging. Cabin noise was minimal and over all was a generally pleasant driving experience.
In one sentence, it’s a luxury crossover with all the fancy vibes you could ever hope for. It exudes elegance, its classy and sleek from the outside and impressively styled from the inside. The XC60 has more then just the looks, and the bod, it has the personality to match. It drives well, has precise handling and sense of stability on the road. Plenty of room inside, and an abundance of high tech safety features as expected with Volvo. One size smaller then the XC90, the XC60 is Volvos global top seller, and its easy to see why.
© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS OCTOBER 2017