Sleek and stylish are two words that are often banded about by car reviewers. However, in the case of the 2017 Volvo XC60 these words really are justified. Theyíre justified because all you have to do is simply look at it to realise just how distinguished it is against its rivals.
The XC60 follows in the footsteps of the larger 7-seater Volvo XC90. However, it was actually built to compete with the Audi Q5 and the BMW X3. As youíd expect with Volvo this car is packed with safety features, has a beautifully minimalistic interior and prioritises relaxing comfort rather than outright driving dynamics.
The feeling of this car being a baby XC90 continues on the inside because itís virtually identical to its larger sibling. All variants of the XC60 come with a 9-inch touchscreen which works in an identical way to the one found in the XC90. Ok, some of the wording and fonts are a little bit larger but itís got the same functionality such as the controls for your applications, media, Apple Car Play and all of the carís functions. Overall, it works pretty well itís just that you might find it a little difficult to use on the move. German rivals have a swivel wheel which helps with this issue and the functionality with them is a little bit better. Having said that the quality in the cabin is on par with German rivals and we have to say that it does feel pretty well screwed together. In fact weíd go as far to say that itís almost as good as the Audi Q5. Everything feels really lovely to touch and although there are some scratchy plastics around the centre console generally speaking itís all rather good inside. Itís really the design of the cabin that will strike you the most. Itís just so calm, so cool and so stylish that youíll actually look forward to stepping inside of this car. Overall, itís just such a nice place to be.
The XC60 is offered in three key trim levels. First is the Momentum then comes the R Design and finally Inscription. None of these trims are poorly equipped. They all come with leather seats, sat nav, adaptive cruise control and LED headlights. The R Design gets sport seats, 20 inch alloy wheels and a driving mode selector while the Pro pack adds a heated steering wheel and a powered driving seat. If you go for the £1,500 IntelliSafe Pro pack then youíll have as close to an autonomous car as you can without resorting to buying a Tesla.
When you sit in the back of the XC60 youíll find that youíll have plenty of room. Itís probably on par with the Audi Q5 for rear passenger space which means there really is lots of it. Youíve got tonnes of knee room and even with the panoramic sunroof youíll find that the headroom is pretty good too. There are some quite nice touches in the back too such as high-up side air vents and unlike the XC90 the doors actually come underneath the bottom of the car. This means that the sill is always kept nice and clean so your trousers donít get dirty. It really does feel light and spacious at the back even in the R Design trim which has lots of black alcantara trim. Unfortunately, middle passengers may complain a little bit because once they hop across theyíll find that the foot-wells are quite small meaning they may find themselves squabbling for foot room.
There was a time when if you owned a Volvo you could be sure that youíd have the largest boot in the class. However, times have changed especially with this XC60. This is mainly down to its sloping roofline biting into the space which means itís a smaller boot than most of its rivals. Saying that, the boot is actually a pretty good shape which makes it easy to load items right to the boot ceiling.
The XC60 is extremely comfortable to drive. The front seats are so supportive and probably one of the best seats in the business. The driving position is almost spot on and apart from the R Design models all models ride incredibly well. If you do opt for the R Design model then we would recommend spending an extra £1,000 on air suspension. Thatís because it has a lovely ocean-liner quality and really helps to ride out the imperfections in the road.
To drive, the Volvo XC60 is very much in the comfort part of the spectrum. Itís very much like the Audi Q5 where it feels very refined and very relaxed. Itís very unlike the Jaguar F Pace. This is because the Jaguar really does thrill you when you drive it quickly. The F Paceís steering is nice, sharp and crisp whereas the Volvoís is very light and very over assisted. Although when you change to Power mode the steering does weight up and the suspension does lower this car still feels as though it doesnít really want to excite you Ė but thatís really not what itís about.
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