VOLVO has a long history of producing robust and spacious vehicles and its SUV range reflects that and adds luxury features and premium styling to give the brand a formidable presence in its sector.
Rivals include the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Range Rover Discovery yet Volvo’s XC models still stand out and have their own distinctive character and appeal.
There are several XC variants in petrol, diesel and mild-hybrid form, with multiple trim levels and prices from €45,903 (£38,715).
The five-seat XC60 is a popular choice and my test model was a T5 in upper range R-Design trim with 2.0-litre 250 hp petrol engine, auto transmission and all-wheel drive. Priced at €50,432 (£42,535), this version has a quick 0-100 kph time of 6.4 seconds, top speed of 220 kph (137 mph) and average fuel economy of 10.9 kpl (30.8 mpg). Emissions are 174 g/km.
Based on the platform of Volvo’s larger XC90, the XC60 is shorter, seats five instead of seven, and and is more nimble to handle. In R-Design form it has more sporty styling, larger alloy wheels, lowered suspension and additional equipment.
Standard kit on this version includes voice-activated control system, sat-nav, connectivity, dual-zone climate control, powered tailgate, front and rear parking sensors and safety features which include auto-emergency braking with cyclist, pedestrian and large animal detection, lane-keep assist and run-off road protection which tightens seats belts and also gives additional spinal protection thanks to special seat frames.
Build quality and standard of finish of this Volvo SUV is impressive – you certainly feel you are in a premium luxury model. The dashboard has a simple functional layout with most controls via a vertical-format central touch screen which reacts quickly.
The cabin is roomy for five adults and seating is very comfortable. Boot space is 505 litres, expandable to 1,432 litres by dropping the rear seats to provide a flat load floor.
When it comes to driving, the XC60 performs beautifully with crisp smooth acceleration and excellent steering feedback. The firmer suspension on the R-Design version boosts grip, reduces cornering pitch, yet still provides comfortable ride quality.
Summing up, the Volvo XC60 is a classy and polished performer bringing a dash of Scandinavian design flair to the sometimes rather staid SUV sector.
Facts at a glance
- Model: Volvo XC60 T5 R-Design
- Engine: 2.0 litre petrol
- Transmission: Automatic
- Performance: 0-100 kph 6.4 seconds, top speed 220 kph (137 mph)
- Economy: 10.9 kpl (30.8 mpg)
- Emissions: 174 g/km
Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.