Test Drive : Volvo XC60 D4 AWD R-Design Lux
Promising the ‘ultimate sense of control’, the Volvo XC60 is set to match drivability and safety with a luxurious and comfortable drive but does it deliver on its promise?
Before the ignition process gets underway, the aesthetics of the vehicle certainly set the precedent. Drawing your eyes in to the exterior (with the test model delivered in ice white, a beautifully crisp colour) are the defined horizontal lines and the frameless Tech Matte Black grille with high-gloss black stripes, a silk metal diagonal and a refined R-Design emblem which, when combined, encapsulate the aura of the vehicle from the moment you set your eyes on it. Featuring a unique diffuser with aero fins flanked by the round, high-tech R-Design tailpipes, the rear doesn’t disappoint.
Using the Keyless entry, you are greeted with an interior that is just as satisfying as the exterior. With black leather and chrome detailing throughout, its elegance takes over however in a slightly odd appearance the interior mirrors are encased in a harsh material in comparison to the rest of the vehicle which seamlessly moves from smooth material to another. In the context of the entire presentation, it is only a minor factor that can be easily forgotten.
The dashboard blends in effortlessly with the interior body work with concise data shown on the digital display whilst the audio controls take a little more getting used to, but after a little adjustment to the controls and the arrangement it’s pain-free whilst on the road. To add, the Harman Kardon audio system is just phenomenal providing one of the highest quality audio experiences I have experienced in a motor vehicle.
From the moment you sit down right through to the completion of your journey, comfort has been carefully considered with supportive seats combined with the standard suspension to soak up the bumps on route; it’s truly a enjoyable drive. Not forgetting to mention, the ample leg and head space provided ensuring all passengers are comfortable throughout. In addition the storage space and the simplicity of folding the rear seats to expand the boot capacity is what you’d hope for in a vehicle of its size.
Ready and raring to go, the initial pull-away seemed to be slightly sluggish on occasion despite the 6-Speed Geartronic transmission but in the acceleration period, the transmission comes into its own with smooth glides and speed adjustments. Cornering, both at low speed and high speed are comfortable, but are not quite as seamless as it’s competitors such as the Audi Q5 or BMW X3, but the overall power output and control display its prowess. Adapting to it’s various environments, the XC60 ensures that no matter what your journey purpose, each drive is as comfortable as you’d expect. A particularly exciting additional feature that I personally enjoyed was the Gear Shift Paddles available with the Geartronic, adding a different dimension and driving type with a sportier edge.
The technology as expected within Volvo, who are pioneers of road and vehicle safety technology, is second to none with the appearance of Blind-Spot, City Safety, Distance warning and Adaptive Cruise Control technologies ensuring each journey is safe as possible. The addition of rear facing parking assistance, water repellent front side windows and Volvo on Call with App features only further enhance the overall driving and passenger experience.
All-in-all, the Volvo XC60 delivers exactly what it promises, a core sense of control and safety combined with a luxuriously comfortable and pleasurable SUV experience without losing the practicality that can be easily sidelined with new technologies and other focus points.
Cost – Starting price £31,660, test model value £44,120.
Acceleration – 0-60mph in just 7.8 seconds.
Top Speed – 130 mph
Luxury Rating – 8/10