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Volvo’s XC60 mid-sized SUV aboriginal bankrupt awning as a abstraction in Detroit in January 2007. Apart from some absurd seats and continued sunroof, it wasn’t abundant altered from the assembly XC60 which debuted the afterward year at Geneva. So abundant so, that we teased Steve Mattin, again Volvo’s architectonics head, that the abstraction looked like article he’d agape up a few months afterwards he’d completed the assembly car.
The XC60’s ample bonnet, curvaceous and ample cabin, big auto and the audacious targeting of affluent American markets hit the spot, however. It’s one of the best acknowledged cars to accept acclimated Ford’s EUCD platform, which additionally underpinned Ford’s Galaxy and S-Max, Land Rover’s Freelander and Discovery Sport, Volvo’s V60 and V70 and the Ambit Rover Evoque.
It’s also, Volvo claims, the album in its chic and those volumes helped Volvo through the mid-noughties dog canicule of lacklustre sales that struggled to beat 450,000 common (some 150,000 abbreviate of its then-owner Ford’s advancing target), until its acquirement by Geely Automobile in 2009/2010.
Last year Volvo sales were a almanac 534,332 and while the old XC60 performed able-bodied as usual, it was the aboriginal cars, the XC90 and V70 – both based Volvo’s new anatomy belvedere – which pulled up the trees. This £6.27 billion scheme, accepted as Scaleable Belvedere Architectonics (SPA), uses the aforementioned basal structure, which is bunched and ablaze as it alone has to board four-cylinder engines army transversely.
Now it’s the about-face of the XC60 to be slotted on an SPA belvedere and Volvo is assured abundant things aback it goes on auction in the UK this July priced from £37,205, admitting the alone UK-bound car on the barrage was the top turbodiesel D5 Ability Plus archetypal in Inscription Pro trim, which costs £48,405. The best accepted UK archetypal is acceptable to be the 187bhp/295lb ft D4 agent in R-Design trim, which starts at £39,705.
While the new car is recognisably an XC60, it’s additionally recognisably new, adorable tauter about the wheels, with a lower and added attitude and meaner-looking headlights. Yes, it’s an SUV, but it’s a acceptable adorable one.
The berth feels added like a assignment of art; conceivably with a little too abundant detail in places, although that sounds a bit like Emperor Joseph II’s abominable complaint that Mozart’s music “has too abounding notes”. Upright and afterpiece to the disciplinarian than before, the facia has an alarming bulk of detail: with layers of chrome, wood, leather, stitching, added chrome, added bond and added covering – it’s exhausting, but what a performance.
The centre console, aerial from the beyond XC90, has new ascendancy software, which is beneath automated than the old and takes added learning, and for what was billed as the button-less dash, there are still a lot of buttons.
The seats are comfortable, cosseting and analytic admiring – it’s a Volvo, what did you expect? The council is manually adjustable for ability and rake and the bench acme is adjustable, too, so award a appropriate active position shouldn’t be a problem. There’s amplitude abundant for three adults beyond the aback bench and, admitting the new XC60 actuality lower than the old model, allowance to additional (just).
With a hidden accommodation aperture beneath the floor, the 505-litre cossack feels aerial off the ground, so tugging endless in there isn’t for the abashed and old dogs ability acquisition it a bit of a struggle, but there’s still affluence of amplitude and the seats all bend advanced to accomplish an about collapsed amount floor.
Chief artist Thomas Ingenlath said: “We capital to abode the activity that you were alteration a lot of air aback you were active on your own.”
They’ve absolutely managed that and as able-bodied as activity added affectionate and classy, the new XC60 feels beneath like a van than the old, alike if they accept bankrupt a bit off the autogenous to accomplish it happen.
The assurance systems are mainly adopted from the XC90, best notable actuality run-off alley acknowledgment which helps anticipate the aforementioned by applying torque to the council caster to animate the disciplinarian to beacon aback into the lane, and should an off-road circuit be inevitable, abbreviating the belts and advancing the assurance systems for impact.
There’s additionally a new arrangement to admonition beacon the car aback into its lane if it detects an advancing agent (which is a bit alarming for us do-or-die overtakers), and a burghal braking arrangement that additionally helps to beacon abroad from the pedestrian/cyclist/moose in the way.
Since all big Volvos allotment the aforementioned four-cylinder, 2.0-litre agent configuration, they accept to bolt being to those engines to accomplish them quicker. In the case of the top archetypal turbodiesel, it’s an able engine-driven compressor, which accuse up a butt of air that is pumped into the turbo apartment to circuit up the blades at low revs and abate turbo lag.
It works appealing able-bodied and the agent is aesthetic and quiet, although it does bark a bit at low revs. On cardboard its rapid, too, with a 137mph top acceleration and 0-62mph in 7.2sec, although this is a big car belief 1.85 tonnes and the burke has a actual advancing antecedent action, which leaves you absent if you brew it to the bulkhead. Fortunately the Aisin eight-speed manual does a accomplished job of metering out the power, alone occasionally activity absent for a ratio.
The top accessory feels appealing long, with 70mph assuming with aloof 1,800rpm on the revcounter. The Barcelona-based barrage provided some agee abundance roads, which meant the XC60 was bottomward through the apparatus absolutely a lot, but admitting that we managed 33.2mpg adjoin an official EU Combined abridgement of 51.4mpg.
Wishbone advanced and multi-link rear abeyance was aggrandized with £1,500’s account of alternative rear air springs and adaptive damping on the analysis car – accepted arising is via a blended axle blade spring.
With a four-position activating control, Abundance approach is absolutely that, but after abundant float, aloof a admirable breath awareness on bouncing roads. Activating stiffens aggregate with greater accuracy, but the ride doesn’t ache horribly, although the 20-inch humble tyres which are accepted on the Inscription Pro blueprint are acceptable to be beneath ill-fitted to UK anchorage than the R-Design’s 19-inch auto and tyres.
The electronically assisted council isn’t as acceptable as that in the XC90, abnormally about the beeline advanced position, area it feels unresponsive.
Optional Pilot Assist, a bound self-driving arrangement accumulation acute cruise ascendancy and automated lane keeping, comes as allotment of the £1,500 Intellisafe Pro package. Volvo bravely allows the absolute arrangement to be controlled via one steering-wheel deride about-face cluster, which toggles amid functions. That’s a ambagious amplitude alike for accomplished alley testers and it was absorbing that Karl-Johan Ekman, the admiral of this agent line, wouldn’t be fatigued on whether this was the interface Volvo would booty advanced to added free systems.
Like all the battling systems, this akin of self-driving is alone partially acknowledged aback you consistently accept to authority the council caster and are in allegation of and amenable for the agent at all times. I admired the beep that warned you to accumulate authority of the wheel, but like its rivals, the arrangement will abstract after a complete if it encounters alien alley conditions.
Malin Ekholm, chief administrator at Volvo’s Assurance Centre, said: “We don’t appetite drivers cat-and-mouse for the beep,” although she agrees that the protocols for authoritative added freedom will charge added work, abnormally as Volvo is talking about a two-minute duke aback to the disciplinarian from abounding free systems.
So it’s comfy, swift, safe, acceptable adorable and, aural reason, economical. It sells into one of the UK’S fastest growing bazaar sectors, in which it’s already one of the chic leaders. Could you admonish me absolutely why the new XC60 isn’t activity to be a success?
Volvo XC60 D5 Ability Plus Inscription Pro
TESTED 2.0-litre turbodiesel, eight-speed automated gearbox, four-wheel drive
PRICE/ON SALE from £37,205 (£48,405 as tested)/July
POWER/TORQUE 232bhp @ 4,000rpm, 354lb ft @ 1,750rpm
TOP SPEED 137mph
ACCELERATION 0-62mph in 7.2sec
FUEL ECONOMY 51.4mpg (EU Combined). On analysis 33.2mpg
CO2 EMISSIONS 144g/km
VED BAND (131 – 150g/km) £200 aboriginal year, again £140
VERDICT A assured and assured redesign on Volvo’s new anatomy architecture. Beautiful berth (in aerial specs) and chiefly comfortable. The anatomy prioritises comfort, but it’s not a activating adversity and the agent is growly, but powerful. The council still needs work, however, and not all the latest updates to Volvo’s ascendancy software are a success.
TELEGRAPH RATING Four stars out of five
BMW X3, from £33,945
Almost a cliche, but the X3 continues to do acceptable business for BMW. That’s partly because of the able and tax-friendly agent engines as able-bodied as the accomplished dynamics. The ride is too stiff, though, decidedly on beyond wheels, while the options are expensive.
Audi Q5, from £38,035
Has awash by the bucketload, partly because of its admirable autogenous and a acceptable ambit of engines, although at aerial ability outputs the 2.0-litre VW Group agent can be blatant and harsh. The new archetypal has bigger ride affection than the old, but the council is ambiguous and feels numb.
Jaguar F-Pace, from £34,730
Outstanding admission for the leaping cat’s, erm, bound into the SUV market. Drives reasonably, admitting the 2.0-litre agent is appealing blatant and the 3.0 V6 agent is abundant and thirsty. It looks abundant though, chaste and attractive, while the berth is adequate and commodious.
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