Voted as World Car of the Year 2018, the Volvo XC60 has a number of attributes contributing to its title, along with a string of other accolades. In fact it has just made the list of semi-finalists in AutoTrader’s 2018 SA Car of the Year, along with its smaller sibling, the XC40.
Also read: We drive Volvo’s smallest SUV, the XC40
I recently spent a week with the XC60’s D5 AWD Inscription model, and while my previous perception of Volvo might have been associated with an ‘older generation’ of customers, much has changed with Volvo’s updated family range.
There’s a lot to admire about the XC60. It is one of the safest SUVs around but it also boasts an extremely refined and luxurious interior, provides an easy and functional in-cabin experience as well as excellent handling on the road.
The Volvo XC60 is priced from R673 700. View the entire range here.
After getting to know the D5 AWD Inscription model, I’ve listed a few of my favourite things about the Volvo XC60…
5 things we love about the Volvo XC60
Never felt safer
Volvo is one of the most iconic brands when it comes to safety and their SUV range is packed with innovative and advanced safety features inspired by Volvo’s Safety Vision 2020 (where no one should be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo car). The XC60 is a prime example of what a safe car should feel like, with Volvo’s City Safety Autonomous Emergency Braking system which has been enhanced with steering support for when automatic braking alone may not help avoid a potential collision. In addition, Oncoming Lane Mitigation with Steer Assist (which helps mitigate head-on collisions) and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Steer Assist functionality, has been added to reduce the risk of lane-changing collisions. These are just SOME of the safety features you’ll find in the new XC60. Click here for more.
As the younger sibling of the XC90, the family resemblance in the XC60 is pretty clear. Apart from excellent safety systems, the XC60 provides a number of family-friendly features.
Even despite not having a third row of seats (as is in the XC90), the XC60 still offers huge amounts of roominess and comfort for the whole family. I travelled over various distances in the Cape during my test drive, with two adult passengers and a two-year-old who comes standard with a larger-than-life child seat – and we all remained happy and comfortable from start to finish. In fact, said two-year-old fell asleep within five minutes of every departure (despite my best efforts to keep him awake with an amplified Baby Shark performance, compliments of Volvo’s Bowers and Wilkens sound system).
Luxury, modern interior
Volvo’s luxury and modern interior in the XC60 is one of the best I’ve experienced this year. There’s such a sense of tranquility in its refined and premium cabin, with high quality materials used throughout. Seating in the XC60 is superbly comfortable. In fact Volvo worked with Doctors to design the seats to offer drivers and passengers top comfort and support, as well as heating, cooling and massaging functions!
My test unit came with Volvo’s beige interior, which really adds to its luxury look and feel, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little stressed with kids jumping in and out and the conscious effort one needs to make to ensure no marks are left behind. With that in mind, the black interior option would be more practical.
Power and performance
The XC60 offers a remarkably sophisticated driving experience while Volvo explains that it has been built to deliver ‘inspired confidence’. You really need to be behind the wheel of the XC60 to experience it for yourself, and relate to Volvo’s sentiments – it handles brilliantly and grips well on the road and I like that Volvo hasn’t made the XC60 overly sporty. That’s not to say that the XC60 doesn’t pack a substantial amount of power and performance delivery. Its D5 AWD engine offers 173 kW of power and 400 Nm of torque. Overtaking slow moving vehicles and pushing up hills is effortless with the XC60. It uses the same 2.0 litre turbo petrol or diesel engine as its bigger sibling, the XC90, except that it is mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox – which isn’t a bad thing because you’ll get from 0 – 100 km/hour in 7,2 seconds.
I love the diesel option on the XC60, as will many South Africans I’m sure. It might be a bit more expensive than the petrol option, but it seems to use far less fuel and is better suited to the automatic gearbox.