2017 Volvo XC60 Review
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Quick Facts
Model spec: XC60 D5 Powerpulse AWD Inscription Price: £55,000.00 Engine: 2.0-L, 4-Cylinder Turbo Diesel
BHP / Torque: 231 / 480 Max Speed: 137 CO2: 152g/km 0-62mph: 7.2 seconds
Economy/Range: 41mpg combined Tax: £450/year

It’s boom time for Volvo at the moment, 7 years on from being unshackled from the global conspiracy that was life under Ford, Volvo has moved on, the memories of Ford are now totally vanquished for a new life under Chinese ownership. Whereas Ford looked over Volvo like a plantation owner constantly wiping his slaves to work harder for less and produce more, Geely Motors investment strategy is simple… Give Volvo HQ billions and let the Swedes get on with the job of making cars.

The XC90, S90 began the process of Ford eradication and now the XC60 wipes the slate clean for Volvo’s SUV range, which now includes the XC40, of course. The new second-generation XC60 evolves from the first in terms of the design style language.

The exterior is a lot more sleeker looking and despite being slightly wider and longer than the first gen model it somehow appears smaller. There is no denying that it looks terrific from any angle, Volvo’s designers really have nailed the look.

On the inside little is carried over from the XC90, some of the switchgear of course and the touchscreen infotainment system understandably. The interior design is just as well-executed and finished as the exterior and entirely unique to the XC60.

Indeed it feels better finished than the flagship XC90 not only in the fit/finish and trim but also the design, and with the leather seats with massage function, it’s a very relaxing place to spend time, long motorway hours just effortlessly flyby.


In terms of model trims and specs the XC60 mirrors the XC90, so more or less you get the same model designation and engine range. With six model trims and a total of 21 model variants, the XC60 has plenty of choice on offer for the interested punter.


All models are 8-speed auto only and of course there is the usual array of three diesel and one petrol engine, nothing on offer is above 5-cylinder these days. On test was the Inscription D5 PowerPulse AWD, the test vehicle had £5k of optional extras fitted, very nearly fully loaded as they say.

Standard equipment is extensive, leather-faced upholstery, adaptive LED brake lights etc. Sitting near to the top of Volvo XC60 ownership is the Inscription variant which offers perforated Nappa leather seating, a digital drivers information display, adaptive dampers and air suspension and 19-inch alloys although the model designation below Inscription, R-Design-Pro, gets 21-inch alloys.

The driving experience was mainly focused on comfort however that didn’t mean the XC60 Inscription was lethargic in terms of handling. The overall balance and weight distribution meant the XC60 was composed and stable when cornering, predictable you could say.

It remained relatively flat when taking corners at pace, but the soft underbelly of the handling is prevalent. But it really didn’t bother me because this model variant is all about the ride comfort and it was near perfect, potholes, uneven changing road surfaces all were easily dealt with thanks to the adaptive dampers and air suspension setup.


The 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine, I have commented on this before. It’s OK, not best in class, not the smoothest and has a small amount of turbo lag from a standing start. Driving modes do make the engine more alert so my advice is to just leave in go-faster mode at times. I prefer to switch to Eco Mode when cruising on the motorway because the higher mode settings tend to over-rev and change down when it’s more preferable to cruise in top gear.


However, the 2.0litre diesel engine is whisper quiet on a cruise and overall the XC60 is well damped in terms of soundproofing.

The XC60 is designated as a compact SUV which is a little strange because it’s actually closer to mid-sized SUV territory. So that means space is plentiful up front and generation-II is better at accommodating rear seated passengers than the first generation ever was.


And the same goes for the rear boot space, without boring you with the details it’s fairly large with the seats up or down, more so than generation-I but it isn’t the best in class, by as much as makes little difference. That said boot space in the old XC60 never was best in class, but it should not be a deal breaker.

The XC60 starts at £36k for entry-level Momentum models and prices rise to £58k for the top spec Inscipriton Pro armed with the T8 Twin Engine AWD model. The T8-variant (hybrid) is the model worth going for because its damn fast, but only if your budget can stretch too it because its damn expensive.


So overall the all-new XC60 is superior to the 10-year-old first-generation XC60 it replaces. I even think its better than the XC90 in terms of finish and looks. It may not be class-leading in terms of boot space or engine performance but really these are minor quibbles amplified by boring motoring journalists who take themselves far too seriously because they want to make a name in the industry they earn a living from… and breath…

However… measurable and quantifiable terms do little justice to the XC60 because it offers more ownership class than its rivals can ever hope to muster.

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