An impressive mid-size luxury SUV

K Shivraj
Sunday, 4 February 2018

Smart, luxurious and loaded, the Volvo XC60 which competes with the likes of Audi Q5, feels powerful and progressive

Volvo has introduced the XC60 SUV. Based on Volvo’s SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform, the new XC60 will compete with the likes of Audi Q5. In its second generation, the SUV flaunts new-age Volvo design parameters like LED daytime running lamps and a grille with vertical slats. With emphasis on luxury, the design of the vehicle stands out even though it may seem to look like it has been inspired by the XC90. The difference is visible from the rake of the D-pillar, and presents the XC60 with a distinctive appearance.

Luxurious interior
Slightly bigger in dimensions than the model it replaces, the XC60 comes with smart, 19-inch dia alloys. They nicely fill up the wheel arches, and add to the good proportions the design projects. If the LED head lamps add a futuristic appearance to the front, the tail lamps at the rear form the edge of the D-pillar — a Volvo signature design. Not as imposing as some of the SUVs in the market, the XC60 looks smart and attractive. Available with a single 235bhp 2-litre turbo-diesel engine, the SUV comes with an impressive luxurious interior.

9.0-inch touchscreen
The all-black dash has a soft touch to it. Replete with unlacquered wood inserts, it looks beautiful. The front seats have been done up in fine leather. Bits like the various buttons and knobs look like they have been carried over from the XC90, and help make a solid impression about quality and build. The 9.0-inch touchscreen at the centre helps control most settings, including climate control. The 12.3-inch TFT instrument cluster adds to the look and feel of the cabin. It is reflective of the effort Volvo has taken to provide a luxurious and premium feel. Adding to the premium feel of the vehicle are elements like the floor-mounted accelerator pedal, auto hold function, cooled and heated front seats, massage function for front seats, head-up display, a Bowers and Wilkins sound system, panoramic sunroof and steering-mounted paddle shifters.

In addition to these, the XC60 offers driving aids like a 360-degree camera, semi-automatic parking, blind-spot assist and lane departure warning.  An adaptive cruise control automatically adjusts the speed depending on the speed of the vehicle ahead.

Good amount of leg and head room
Ingress to the rear seat is slightly difficult by the rear door opening, but seat is very comfortable, and provides ample support. The amount of leg and head room is good. If there’s anything that is disappointing, occupants, like in the front seats, are not treated to a massage. They are treated to a heating function however. Mated to an eight-speed auto transmission, the XC60 puts out a solid performance. Channelling power to all four wheels, the SUV performs effortlessly. It builds speed in an athletic manner. There’s good torque on offer almost throughout the range. The mid-range punch is strong, and accompanied by a smooth delivery. Displaying high refinement levels, the engine, even when revved, does not lose its refinement. The transmission is quick and seamless in its shifts. The paddle shifters provide an opportunity to manually over-ride.

Offers a pliant ride
With four-corner air suspension as standard, the XC60 provides a pliant ride. The adjustable damping has the suspension orienting itself in-line with the driving modes. Raising or lowering itself as per the driving modes as well, the suspension presents the SUV with impressive bump absorption ability. The ride may feel a bit soft on wavy roads, but stability at speeds is good. The steering, though light, is direct and weighs up well as per the driving modes. It contributes to the good agility of the XC60. The 223mm ground clearance with the suspension raised to the maximum, helps the XC60 ride over rough surfaces and bad patches without having to worry. Off-road trails are tackled with the all-wheel drive mechanism at disposal. With an amount of off-roading ability, the XC60, at Rs 55.90 lakh ex-showroom, makes an impressive mid-size luxury SUV that is smart, luxurious and loaded. It may not be the most engaging to drive, but offers a good balance between ride and handling.

Pros: Smart, luxurious, loaded
Cons: Could be more engaging to drive

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