Volvo XC60 Review
There is plenty of power on tap and you do have to watch torque steer with FWD model ...18 September 2015
The Volvo XC60 was introduced in 2008, arriving in showrooms in October of that year.
The XC60 is a mid-size SUV that during 2014 sold 136,993 units worldwide, which is over double the number it sold in 2009 – so it still remains a very popular choice in a tough market that includes the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and the relatively new Land Rover Discovery Sport.
We originally reviewed the XC60 back in 2009 and since then it has undergone a number of revisions to bring it up to date. It is now available with 20” wheels, new body colours Magic Blue, Osmium Grey and Onyx Black. Interior detailing includes the Piano black deco option rotary jewel-like knobs in the centre stack and a frameless inner rear view mirror. Optional equipment includes a powered tailgate, three section rear seats and the Inscription luxury interior package.
The model we tested was revised for the 2016 model year and is now available with the choice of a petrol T5 FWD (front wheel drive) 245hp, 1969cc (8-spd auto) or three diesel engines with the choice of a D4 FWD 190hp, 1969cc (6-spd man or 8-spd auto), D4 AWD 190hp 2400cc (6-spd man or 6-spd auto) and D5 AWD 220hp, 2400 cc (6-spd manual or 6-spd auto).
What we tested
We tested the Front Wheel Drive Volvo XC60 D4 R-Design Nav with Geartronic transmission finished in Electric Silver which at the time of testing cost £33,960.
Driving and Performance
The front wheel drive D4 model was equipped with Volvo’s own 2.0-litre diesel engine outputting 190hp / 400Nm, this is available with FWD (front-wheel-drive only) and in our test car it came with the 8-speed Geartronic (automatic) transmission, it is available with 6-speed manual. The other engines in the line-up are Ford sourced units and to be honest are feeling a little dated – in summary the new Volvo engine is the D4 with FWD – to confuse the issue you can have a D4 with AWD but this is not a Volvo engine and unless you really need four wheel drive this is not really recommended anymore.
Volvo quote a 0-62 mph time of 8.1 seconds and a top speed of 130 mph, which is quite respectable for the D4 FWD.
There is plenty of power on tap and you do have to watch torque steer when pulling out of junctions with too much power – this may not be so evident with all-wheel-drive models.
You have full control over the transmission via paddles on the back of the steering wheel or via the gear lever; there is also a sports mode which hangs onto the gears for a little longer before changing up.
The official fuel consumption figures, are Urban 51.4 mpg, Extra Urban 65.7 mpg and on the combined cycle 60.1 mpg.
We were achieving around 46.9 mpg over a mixed 683 mile driving route which nudged just over 50 mpg out on open ‘A’ roads and this was with a fully laden car. Volvo’s official figures are 60.1 mpg on the combined cycle with emissions of 124 g/km. The manual version sees a slight improvement of 62.8 mpg and CO2 emissions of 117 g/km.
Our version of the XC60 came with Stop/Start technology which you can switch off if you find it intrusive as we did. There is an ECO+ mode that dampens down the air conditioning amongst other things to improve fuel consumption.
The engine can feel a little gruff and there is some engine noise when it is cold, obviously this is more noticeable if stood outside – but on the move it all calms down.
We weren’t too keen on the electronic hand brake location, which is to the right side of the driver’s leg/knee – we found that we had to lean forward a fair way to reach it.
If you are hoping for Audi Q5 or BMW X3 driving dynamics you are going to soon find out that both SUV’s are pretty dammed good to drive – with the XC60 you are going to experience comfort over handling. If you just like to get from A to B with the minimum of fuss then you are not going to be too disappointed, yes it wallows through demanding bends and the steering can feel a little lifeless – but with the R-Design chassis set up it is perfectly fine.
The ride was good, as we said erring on the side of comfort and the standard 18” alloy wheels are not too large to make the ride unsettled.