Volvo XC60 tried and tested

PUBLISHED: 16:59 02 March 2014 | UPDATED: 16:59 02 March 2014

Volvo XC60

Volvo XC60


The Swedish marque’s stylishly updated mid-range SUV

Volvo has fostered a long-term association with sailing. And what a shrewd move it has been, judging by the many Volvos seen around ‘yottie’ locations; a nice premium market niche.

Highlighting this association is the triennial Volvo Ocean Race, formerly 
the Whitbread Round the World Race, 
and the inspiration for various Volvo ‘Ocean Race’ special editions.

But the spartan cabins of Ocean Race yachts are a far cry from the comfort promoted by Volvo cars, highlighted by the excellent XC60 (from £31,110) tested here.

The Swedish marque’s mid-range premium compact SUV is a big-selling rival to the Audi Q5, Land Rover Freelander, Range Rover Evoque and junior BMW X models. While it can’t match Freelander and Evoque’s off-road prowess, you can be confident that all-wheel drive XC60 versions will conquer most mud and muck.

Standard upgrades for 2014 include Sensus, Volvo’s new infotainment/sat nav solution that connects with internet Cloud-based services. This allows drivers to quickly find new restaurants and other attractions near their destination, stream favourite music seamlessly, or access radio stations from all over the world.

Even better, destinations for the car’s sat nav may be set up remotely via the driver’s phone or other personal device/computer.

Volvo has also introduced a refined 
new two-litre four-cylinder Drive-E diesel engine with lower emissions and great economy. Despite the XC60’s SUV body styling – more pronounced if you take my advice and opt for the sporty R-Design look (from £32,385) – the car is available in fuel and emissions-saving, front-wheel drive format as well as all-wheel drive.

Understandably, the former makes 
the car feel a little lighter and handier, but the XC60’s chassis is designed more for a comfortable ride and steady cruising aided by highly efficient, mostly diesel engines.

Yet the car’s high stance doesn’t mean that this yottie’s delight has a sailor’s gait on the bends; you soon feel you are driving a large family hatch rather than an SUV.

Those who do want more fizz and tauter handling can check out the 300bhp 3.0-litre petrol T6 sports model (£43,550) – the only non-diesel in the line-up – that takes less than seven seconds to hit 62mph.

Unlike its bigger XC90 sister, the XC60 doesn’t offer seven seats, but a large cabin means it is a full five-seater, the spacious feeling enhanced by lots of window glass.

Fit and finish is top notch and gimmick free, with a typically logical dashboard 
that includes the brand’s trademark ‘flying’ centre console, with storage space behind.

Standard kit includes alloys and a premium sound system, decent stowage front and back, plus a chunky front arm rest housing a USB socket and room to stash an MP3 player, phone and more.

The 655-litre boot is one of the largest 
in class and all the rear seats fold flat to create a cavernous load space; the XC60 merits the trendy label ‘crossover’ more than some that openly claim it.

Volvo XC60

Price from: from £31,110

Model featured: XC60 D4 SE Lux Nav FWD £35,010

Power: 181bhp and 0-62mph in 8.5 seconds

Engine: four-cylinder 1,969cc turbodiesel

Fuel consumption: 62.8mpg combined cycle

Road tax: £30/yr (zero in year one)

Benefit-in-kind tax: 22%

More from Motoring

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Kenway Miller Solicitors saw a marked increase in the number of people accused of speeding and those arrested on suspicion of more serious driving offences such as dangerous driving and drug driving.

Read more
Monday, June 15, 2020

Powered by a 2.9-litre twin turbo V6, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio offers a unique blend of style and performance

Read more
Friday, May 29, 2020

The Morgan Plus Six is a glorious salute to the past, but it’s also the most technologically advanced car in the company’s 110-year history

Read more
Wednesday, March 18, 2020

It turns out there’s a lot you can do in van business. We talk to those who have pushed the boundaries when it comes to working on the road.

Read more
Monday, March 16, 2020

Jet Wheel Tyre offers some invaluable advice on tyres and ensuring your car remains road worthy

Read more
Friday, March 6, 2020

Ray Chapman Motors officially unveiled their new York dealership, at York Business Park, Poppleton.

Read more
Friday, February 28, 2020

One of the best ways to experience the raw beauty of Surrey is by car: roof down, picnic hamper on the back seat, taking a leisurely drive through the undulating countryside. Here, drivers from The Supercar Event give us a run-down of the very best Surrey has to offer

Read more

A Ribble Valley company’s leather booster seats are ensuring young passengers can travel in luxurious style

Read more
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

It can be hard to imagine your little one growing up, but it won’t be long until they’re asking to borrow your car keys. Sue Waterfield from Young Driver, the UK’s largest driving school for 10–17-year-olds, explains how early driving tuition can set the foundations for a safer, more confident next generation.

Read more
Friday, January 24, 2020

In built-up places like Brighton, there is very little advantage to purchasing a brand new car. With so few uncongested roads in the south of England – and many other parts of the British Isles, for that matter – a brand new car won’t get you where you are going any faster. Nor will it be any easier to find a car parking space on the road you live on. However, second-hand cars are better in a number of ways. If you are considering buying a car in the near future, why would you opt for a used one rather than a model that has just rolled off the production line?

Read more
Kent Life Food & Drink awards. Open for entries.

Latest Competitions & Offers

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Local Business Directory

Search For a Car In Your Area

Most Read

Latest from the Kent Life