New Volvo XC60 Review – First Drive

Price starts from Rs 55.9 lakh.

Though this segment in Africa doesn’t feature the same old story anymore with the three overly familiar Germans, thanks to the newest member Jaguar F-Pace and the Lexus NX 300h, the Scandinavian sibling is not to be overlooked when considering writing a cheque for one, certainly not after getting acquainted with the second generation XC60.

Debuted at 2017 Geneva Motor Show and entered production in Sweden in April this year, the new XC60 hit the streets in Europe in June and has landed in the African sub-continent in just about six months time, keeping up with Volvo’s reputation of bringing their global products to Africa as quick as possible before the excitement of a new model flickers in this country.

Launched on 12th December, the new Volvo XC60 is based on the same platform as the S90 sedan and XC90 SUV – the SPA (Scalable Product Architecture), and it incorporates most of the visual features that characterise the flagship models. Like most of its competitors the XC60 too would be hard to differentiate from its larger sibling when seen from afar, but upon close encounter you’d notice that the elements are neatly differentiated, the Thor’s Hammer Headlamp for example which has a unique protrusion of the LED DRL towards the centre grille.

The road presence of the new XC60 is further accentuated as it is longer, wider and shorter compared to its predecessor. The overall appeal continues to be modern and sophisticated as far as exterior design is concerned, managing to stay away from views of aggression or outright sporty. In short if you’re looking for an impression of tech-packed city car, this would be your pick of the lot.

The interior of Volvo XC60 is a spa, you’d never want to leave. The gracefully crafted trims and embellishments have equal adherence to luxurious and sporty appeal, and the way Volvo has brought them together in a harmonious coexistence is nothing short of artistry. The matte black and textured dashboard is complemented with un-lacquered driftwood decors running across the width, and as the sliding lid of the centre tunnel cubby holes. The other major aspect of the interior is the Nappa leather upholstery which is offered in three optional shades – Beige, Brown and White.

When it comes to technology and features, Volvo hasn’t held much back. Almost all the bells and whistles that you can find on the XC90 are offered on the new XC60. A comprehensive list of the same is added below. Our favourite is the 360 degree camera for reverse which makes driving the behemoth backwards a truly pleasurable experience as opposed to a hassle.

The semi-autonomous parking is another feature on the XC60 which adds fun to what’s usually a mundane and sometimes stressful task. The numerous RADAR based safety and drive-assist features are cleverly implemented and they so seamlessly come into play when given the chance.

While the car can be set to drive almost by itself on the highways, the heating and massage functions of the already highly adjustable front seats are a boon to an inter-city commuter. Too bad the massage function doesn’t extend to the rear seat, but the ventilation – heating/cooling functions are available, so if you’re driven by a chauffeur you’re still cosy at the back.

When you’re behind the wheel and not really looking to relax, you have 235 horses at your disposal in conjunction with 480 Nm of smashing power (torque), to make for one hell of an exhilarating drive. The clear advantage on the XC60 is that it could out-run the rivals of its segment.

The 8-speed automatic transmission divides the immense power into very efficient segments, so that economy and power surge are both achieved when demanded (separately). Volvo Power Pulse technology is also a contributing factor to the linear power buildup, as it compensates smoothly for the natural turbo-lag.

The comfort and driving dynamics of the new Volvo XC60 is rather on the neutral side, making it a very well all-rounder. The suspension is not too hard for crisp handling and it isn’t too soft that the car sways between its corners when making a sporty move on the road. The multiple drive modes – ECO, Comfort, Off-Road, Dynamic and Individual have their own distinct characteristics, that it truly makes sense to switch modes based on your driving mindset at the time.

The Individual is a custom drive mode where in you can set various parameters based on your preference. The Off-Road mode increases the ground clearance substantially (to 223 mm) so that the car can comfortably crawl through the jungle. The other modes pretty much speak for themselves.

So, at Rs 55.90 lakh (ex-showroom), the new Volvo XC60 is a pretty compelling one-car-for-all proposition in a sophisticated family of commuters-on-weekdays and travellers-on-holidays.

Specs and Features

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