Specification includes Sensus Navigation, Panoramic Glass Sunroof with Retractable Sunscreen, Head Up Display, Rear Parking Camera, Semi Electric Retractable Towbar, Powered and Heated Front Seats with Memory for Seat and Mirror Positions, Front Seat Backrest Massage Function, Auto Dusk Sensing and Active Bending LED Headlights with Adaptive Shadow Technology, Headlight Cleaning System, Keyless Entry, Start and Drive, Active Four-C Chassis with Four Corner Adaptive Dampers and Electronic Air Suspension. 20 Inch Alloy Wheels, Handsfree Tailgate Operation, Tailored Leather Dashboard and Door Card Tops, Orrefors Crystal Gear Knob, DAB Radio, Bluetooth Telephone and Audio Streaming, Volvo On Call with App, Cruise Control and Speed Limiter, Lane Keeping Aid, Dual Zone Climate Controlled Air Conditioning, Integrated Roof Rails, ISOFIX Child Seat Fixings and much more. Please call for further information and to arrange your viewing.
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The XC60 is the most popular model in the Volvo range due to its popular size, great build and equipment levels. This plug in hybrid Inscription Pro model adds even more economy and luxury!
Emissions and Fuel
* Price does not include road fund license
Service Log Book
Electric front+rear windows, Heated aqua blades, Rain sensor with automatic windscreen wiper activation, Rear wiper, Tinted windscreen
Electronic parking brake with auto hold, Hill descent control, Hill start assist, Stability and Traction Control with Spin control, Engine Drag Control and Corner Traction Control, Vehicle deceleration control with Anti-lock Brake System, Electronic Brake Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist
Active four-C chassis + four corner adaptive damper with electronic rear air suspension, Electric rear axle drive
Bluetooth handsfree system, Voice control system, Volvo on call
Adjustable steering wheel force, Drive mode selector, Driver alert control with lane keeping aid, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, Speed limiter, Speed sensitive steering
12.3" Active TFT crystal driver's instrument display, 9" Touch screen, Sensus navigation with European mapping and traffic information, Service interval indicator, Trip computer
Auto dimming interior + exterior mirrors, Colour coordinated auto folding and heated power door mirrors
Tailored instrument panel with contrast stitching
DAB Digital radio
Exterior Body Features
Body colour bumpers, Chrome deco lower front bumper, Chrome lower side moulding trim with Recharge logo, Chrome window surround, Dual integrated exhaust pipes, High gloss black grille with chrome inserts, Illuminated side steps, Integrated silver roof rails, Power glass tilt and slide panoramic sunroof with sun curtain, Recharging port located in nearside front wing, Roof antenna, Roof spoiler, Visible VIN plate
Active bending headlights with adaptive shadow technology, Adaptive brake lights with high level LED brake lights, Automatic headlight levelling system, Headlamp cleaning system, Home safe and approach lighting, LED Headlights + Active high beam incorporating daytime running lights
2 zone electronic climate control with Clean zone air quality system and pollen filter, Auxiliary fuel fired heater with pre conditioning functions, B Pillar ventilation
12V socket in front tunnel console and cargo compartment, 3 spoke leather steering wheel with chrome trim, Bright metal luggage threshold, Centre armrest storage illumination, Centre console cupholders and storage, Charge cable bag, Front and rear door pocket and front cupholder illumination, Heated steering wheel, Height/reach adjustable steering column, High gloss black steering wheel remote infotainment controls, Illuminated glovebox, Load cover, Load protection net, Nappa soft leather perforated front and ventilated upholstery, Orrefors Crystal Gear Lever Knob, Rear armrest / integral cup holders / storage tray, Rear seat concealed storage, Recharge aluminium tread plates, Underfloor stowage compartment
Front footwell illumination, Front reading lights, Illuminated luggage compartment, Multicolour theatre lights, Rear footwell illumination, Tailgate illumination and ambient door lighting
Power seat pack - XC60
5 three point seatbelts, City safety with steering support with Pedestrian + cyclist + large animal detection + front collision warning with full auto brake, Drivers knee airbag, Dual stage Driver/Passenger Airbags, First aid kit, IC (Inflatable Curtains) - Full Length, Passenger airbag cut-off device, Road sign information display, Run off Road Mitigation, Run off Road Protection, Seatbelt reminder and pretensioners, SIPS (Side Impact Protection System), SIPS airbags, Slippery road and hazard light alert, Tyre pressure monitoring system, Warning triangle, WHIPS whiplash protection system - front
Front seat cushion extension and power adjustable front seats side support, Head restraints for all seats, Heated front seats, Massage function for front seats, Multi directional lumbar support, Versatile split folding rear seat - 60/40
Anti-theft alarm including immobiliser/volume sensor + level sensor, Care key with user defined top speed, Key integrated remote control central locking + fuel flap with deadlocking system and auto open/close power windows, Keyless Drive (includes Keyless Entry and Keyless Start) with Handsfree Tailgate Opening/Closing, Locking wheel nuts, Private locking for tailgate
8 speed automatic transmission with start/stop + manual change functions, All wheel drive system
Illuminated vanity mirrors + ticket holder
Wheels - Spare
Tyre sealant kit + 12v compressor
|Alternative Fuel Qualifying:||True|
|Badge Engine CC:||2.0|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Coin Description:||T8 Recharge PHEV|
|Coin Series:||Inscription Pro|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||43E|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||8|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||3|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||N|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||N|
|Service Interval Frequency - Months:||12|
|Service Interval Mileage:||18000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||60000|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Battery Capacity in kWh:||11.6|
|Coupler/Connector Type:||Type 2|
|Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Mileage:||100000|
|Standard manufacturers Battery warranty - Years:||8|
|WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Max:||46|
|WLTP - AER (km) - Comb - Min:||53|
|WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Max:||28.6|
|WLTP - AER (miles) - Comb - Min:||32.9|
|WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Max:||17.8|
|WLTP - EC AC Weighted (kWh/100km) - Comb - Min:||15.2|
|WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Max:||3.5|
|WLTP - EC AC Weighted (miles/kWh) - Comb - Min:||4.1|
|WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb:||51|
|WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Max:||46|
|WLTP - Equivalent AER (km) - Comb - Min:||51|
|WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb:||31|
|WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Max:||28.6|
|WLTP - Equivalent AER (miles) - Comb - Min:||31.7|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb:||56|
|WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Max:||64|
|WLTP - CO2 Weighted (g/km) - Comb - Min:||56|
|Engine Layout:||FRONT TRANSVERSE|
|Fuel Delivery:||TURBO DIRECT INJECTION|
|Number of Valves:||16|
|WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Max:||2.8|
|WLTP - FC Weighted (l/100km) - Comb - Min:||2.5|
|WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Max:||100.9|
|WLTP - FC Weighted (mpg) - Comb - Min:||113|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||5.5|
|Engine Power - BHP:||390|
|Engine Power - KW:||287|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Power - RPM:||6000|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||295|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||40.8|
|Engine Torque - NM:||400|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||2200|
|Emissions Test Cycle:||WLTP|
|RDE Certification Level:||RDE 2|
|Tyre Size Front:||255/45 R20|
|Tyre Size Rear:||255/45 R20|
|Tyre Size Spare:||TYRE REPAIR KIT|
|Wheel Style:||8 SPOKE|
|Wheel Type:||20" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||N|
|Width (including mirrors):||2117|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||70|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||2660|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||1395|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||598|
|Max. Loading Weight:||561|
|Max. Roof Load:||100|
|Max. Towing Weight - Braked:||2100|
|Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked:||750|
|No. of Seats:||5|
Volvo's XC60 is at its cleverest - and priciest - in Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid form. Jonathan Crouch looks at the revised version
The top Recharge T8 plug-in hybrid version of Volvo's XC60 mid-sized premium SUV combines turbocharging, supercharging and electrification for potentially astonishing efficiency returns, despite this Swedish crossover's huge power output. There's a significant price to pay for this technology and you'll need to tailor your motoring life to suit what this car can offer but if you can deal with these caveats, then this is a potentially very likeable package, especially in this improved form.
Quite a few brands have only recently jumped aboard the plug-in hybrid bandwagon but Volvo has long planned for it. The company's current petrol and diesel cars are all based around a single 2.0-litre four cylinder engine block unveiled by Volvo's then R&D Chief Peter Mertens way back in 2011. It was a configuration fundamentally designed around the requirements for plug-in tech and as a result, Volvo was quickly able to launch plug-in electrified versions of all its larger models, including the XC60 mid-sized SUV we feature here. Since then, plug-in variants of rival Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC rival SUVs have also hit the market. Can this XC60 Recharge Plug-in hybrid still appeal in that company? Let's find out, now that this car's been embellished with extra media and safety technology.
Under the bonnet of the Recharge Plug-in hybrid AWD XC60 models, you'll find a 2.0-litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine which is mated to an 87hp electric motor sited on the back axle. The main powerplant comes in three levels of output: 253hp for the base Recharge T6, 303hp for the Recharge T8 and 318hp for the top Recharge T8 'Polestar Engineered' version. In each case, the set-up is aided by a 25bhp starter motor/generator that pitches in from time to time to smooth any gaps in torque delivery between the two main power sources. It's all enough to deliver a set of stats that it's rather hard to get your head around. In the case of the standard T8 variant that most XC60 Plug-in hybrid customers choose, an enormous 407bhp combined power output offsets the extra weight of all these mechanicals, so 62mph from rest can still be dispatched in just 5.3 on the way to 140mph. Yet there's also the potential for the kind of fuel and CO2 readings that theoretically could equal those of a frugal supermini. Which of those two extremes you reach in an XC60 T8 will depend on your choice between the five driving settings that owners of all XC60 Plug-in hybrid models are offered. Ultimate speed is delivered by a 'Power' mode that sees both petrol and electric units permanently working together. Alternatively, there are four other drive choices: a 'Hybrid' setting that sees the two engines cutting in and out as necessary: an 'AWD' mode that gives you permanent 4x4 traction: plus a 'Pure electric' setting that only uses the battery power and can take you up to 28 miles (more than most people's daily commuting distance) on a single charge. There's even a 'Save' option so that on a longer trip, you can hold that charge until you get to the city driving you might have to do at the end of the journey.
The revised version of this PHEV Volvo hasn't visually changed much. The Swedish brand has slightly tweaked the styling of the front grille and the front bumpers and added fresh exterior colour and wheel options that's about it. This Recharge Plug-in hybrid model looks pretty much identical to the more conventional petrol and diesel variants lower down the range. The eagle-eyed will spot special badging and an extra charging flap but that's about it. At first glance with this second generation XC60, much seems similar to its larger XC90 showroom stablemate. Move to the side though, and the differences between the two SUVs become more obvious. Though this car is only 9mm narrower than its bigger stablemate, dimensions that see it 261mm shorter and 118mm lower make it clearly a more compact and sportier proposition. At the wheel, you sit lower than you would in an XC90 and the muscular-looking door creases, extended 'Thor's Hammer' headlights and revised grille give this model a sportier look. There's a longer bonnet than a rival Audi Q5 - and a longer roofline too. As you'd expect, there are plenty of cabin resemblances to the XC90, especially when it comes to the dashboard, seats and upholstery, plus the same 9.0-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital dial displays feature. Key to the changes made with this revised model is the introduction of Volvo's latest Android-powered infotainment system with Google apps and services built in. This intuitive, next-generation infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalisation and unparalleled connectivity. This is further enhanced through the introduction of a brand-new Digital Services package, the centrepiece of which is access to Google apps and services, which offer hands-free help with Google Assistant, best-in-class navigation through Google Maps and a broad offer of native in-car apps via Google Play. In the back, two adults should be very comfortable and there's also a really unique touch - concealed storage compartments under the rear seat bases which are just the right size to store electronic devices, like a tablet, out of sight. Out back, there's a 468-litre boot (down from 483 in the conventional model), extendable to 1,395-litres once you fold the rear bench (down from 1,410-litres).
You'll have expected there to be a price to pay to add in sophisticated plug-in tech to the XC60, but you might not have expected it to take the price of this Volvo right up into the £59,000-£65,000 bracket. But that's the reality here. For the T8 version of this Recharge model, there are 'R-Design Pro' and 'Inscription Pro' trim levels, plus there's a unique 'Polestar Engineered' version of the T8 Plug-in hybrid. If you need to pay a little less, the slightly lesser-powered Recharge T6 plug-in hybrid version of this model is priced from around £52,000. Every version of the XC60 is very well equipped. As standard, even entry-level variants come with leather-faced upholstery, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone climate control with a 'CleanZone' air-filtration system, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and alloy wheels of at least 18-inches in size. Volvo's Sensus infotainment system is also standard. This brings a 9" portrait-style touch screen, satellite navigation and an intuitive voice-activation system. It also provides access to the internet and a range of cloud-based apps such as Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher and Yelp. Volvo's City Safety system is fitted to every XC60. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and the world-first application of Steer Assist. This feature helps to avoid or limit the severity of collisions at low speeds by assisting with the steering in an emergency, such as when swerving to miss an obstacle. There's also Pilot Assist, Volvo's innovative semi-autonomous drive feature. This assists with the steering (up to 80mph) and takes care of the acceleration and braking required to keep the car within lane markings and at the desired cruising speed or distance from any vehicle in front.
The Recharge plug-in XC60 variants achieve an all-electric driving range of around 35 miles, assuming you limit yourself to the car's 'Pure' all-EV mode. As for the WLTP fuel and CO2 stats, well the standard Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 113.0mpg and up to 55g/km. And the standard Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 113.0mpg and up to 56g/km. For the T8 Polestar Engineered variant, the figures are up to 85.6mpg and 73g/km. As with any plug-in hybrid, there's little point in purchase unless you establish a regular recharging regime for the battery pack, which in this case is 11.6kWh in size. Customers will be able to buy a wallbox from Volvo that will charge their cars on 16-amp power in about two and a half hours. If you're out and about and find a 10-amp pubic charging point, the charging time will be slightly longer - three and a half hours - while connecting up to a normal domestic three-pin 6-amp supply will take six hours. The important thing of course, is that the government believes the fantasy-land CO2 stats, so business users will be able to write down as much as 100% of the cost of a XC60 T8 against their tax liability. And a 40% tax payer could be driving this variant while incurring a BIK tax bill of no more than around £100 a month. If you're a business buyer browsing in this segment, these are figures that'll reward a bit of thought if you're just about to blindly sign on the dotted line for a conventional six cylinder diesel model from a rival brand.
The sort of sensible buyer likely to be considering an XC60 is, we think, likely to be sorely tempted by this Plug-in hybrid version. The combination of low taxation and the potential for virtually fuel-free commuting mileage is, as with any model of this type, a tempting one. And when you match it to this car's class-leading safety standards and cool, Scandinavian vibe, the resulting package offers a refreshing alternative to rival German-branded SUVs. But the asking figures are substantial and in an era where government assistance is absent, you'd have to be very sold on the plug-in remit here to opt for this Recharge model. After all, if you merely want your premium luxury mid-sized SUV to be in some way electrified, Volvo offers very acceptable mild hybrid petrol and diesel versions of this car lower down the range. We think those B5 variants might be a better pick for most customers. But if you have to have technology superiority in your XC60, only the Recharge variants offer it.
If you're thinking of buying a premium badged mid-sized SUV, you might not be thinking of buying a Volvo XC60. Perhaps you should be. Jonathan Crouch reports on the lightly revised version
Think of a premium-badged mid-sized compact SUV and you probably think of something German - an Audi Q5 perhaps, or maybe a Mercedes GLC or BMW X3. We'd also suggest though, that you should be looking at the car we're going to test here, Volvo's second generation XC60. It's a now a rejuvenated proposition with the option not only of Plug-in hybrid tech but also mild hybrid diesel engines.
The original XC60 was the car that established Volvo in the minds of buyers in the mid-sized SUV segment. In nine years of production, it became the best selling car in its class in Europe, will nearly a million units sold annually, and accounted for 30% of Volvo's total global sales. Hence the crucial importance of this second generation which, along with the smaller XC40 model, is a key part of the Swedish marque's future SUV strategy. This MK2 model XC60 shares its platform with its larger XC90 stablemate but isn't quite such a revolution in terms of its design as that model was at launch. Nevertheless, there's ground-breaking safety tech and smart looks that'll eat into the sales of key rivals like Audi's Q5 and the Mercedes GLC. Now, the car's been embellished with extra media and safety technology.
Volvo offers a choice of various powerplants all of which are in some way electrified - there's plenty of choice. All use the brand's advanced kinetic energy-recovery braking system and all are mated to automatic transmission. Most will want the two mild hybrid diesel powerplants, the 197hp B4 and the 235hp B5, both of which only come with AWD. With the B5 diesel variant that many will choose, you get an ingenious system called 'PowerPulse' which is used to overcome turbo lag - that momentary delay in response you sometimes experience with powerful turbocharged diesel engines. It uses compressed air which is stored in a small tank in the engine bay and automatically replenished to spool up the turbocharger so that the car responds as soon as you press the accelerator. Petrol people also have various electrified options: either the mild hybrid B5 petrol unit with 250hp, which comes with the choice of front or AWD. Or the mild hybrid petrol B6, which offers 300hp and comes only in AWD form. Beyond that, you step into one of the top Recharge Plug-in hybrid AWD auto models, all of which use an 87hp electric motor mated to a 2.0-litre petrol engine. The Plug-in hybrid Recharge XC60 variants come in three flavours: there's the T6 variant (based around a 253hp engine), the standard T8 model (based around a 303hp engine) and the flagship 'Polestar Engineered' version (based around a 318hp powerplant). On the move, refinement and ride quality remain XC60 strongpoints, whichever of the engines you decide to choose beneath the bonnet. This isn't the driver's choice in the premium SUV 'D'-segment but if you judge driving enjoyment based around the lowering, not the raising of the heartbeat, then you'll probably like it very much.
This lightly revised version of the second generation XC60 isn't visually very much different. Volvo has slightly tweaked the styling of the front new grille and the front bumpers and added fresh exterior colour and wheel options. As before, this mid-sized SUV shares the same Scalable Product Architecture platform as we've seen in most of Volvo's recent models, including its larger XC90 sibling. At the wheel, you sit lower than you would in an XC90 and the muscular-looking door creases and the extended 'Thor's Hammer' headlights give this model quite a sporty look. There's a longer bonnet than a rival Audi Q5 - and a longer roofline too. As you'd expect, there are plenty of cabin resemblances to the XC90, especially when it comes to the dashboard, seats and upholstery, plus the same 9.0-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital dial displays feature. Key to the changes made with this revised model is the introduction of Volvo's latest Android-powered infotainment system with Google apps and services built in. This intuitive, next-generation infotainment system offers customers unprecedented personalisation and unparalleled connectivity. This is further enhanced through the introduction of a brand-new Digital Services package, the centrepiece of which is access to Google apps and services, which offer hands-free help with Google Assistant, best-in-class navigation through Google Maps and a broad offer of native in-car apps via Google Play. In the back, two adults should be very comfortable thanks to a relatively lengthy wheelbase. And there's also a really unique touch - concealed storage compartments under the rear seat bases which are just the right size to store electronic devices, like a tablet, out of sight. Out back, there's a 505-litre boot, extendable to 1,395-litres once you fold the rear bench.
Prices start at around £41,000 and range up to just under £65,000. AWD and auto transmission features on all models and there are seven main levels of trim - base 'Momentum', then 'Inscription Expression', 'R-Design', R-Design Pro', 'Inscription' and 'Inscription Pro', plus there's a unique 'Polestar Engineered' version of the T8 Plug-in hybrid. Every version of the XC60 is very well equipped. As standard, even entry-level variants come with leather-faced upholstery, LED headlights with active high beam, two-zone climate control with a 'CleanZone' air-filtration system, heated front seats, a powered tailgate and 18" alloy wheels. Volvo's Sensus infotainment system is also standard. This brings a 9" portrait-style touch screen, satellite navigation and an intuitive voice-activation system. It also provides access to the internet and a range of cloud-based apps such as Spotify, TuneIn, Stitcher and Yelp. Safety-wise, this XC60 now comes equipped with Volvo Cars' latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) sensor platform, a modern, scalable active safety system that consists of an array of radars, cameras and ultrasonic sensors. This platform enables the development and deployment of active safety systems in the XC60, such as the detection of other road users, and automatic braking and collision avoidance. It also allows for gentle driver support from standstill up to highway speeds, through the Pilot Assist function. As before, Volvo's City Safety system is fitted to every XC60. This includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, and the world-first application of Steer Assist. This feature helps to avoid or limit the severity of collisions at low speeds by assisting with the steering in an emergency, such as when swerving to miss an obstacle.
If you haven't checked out this MK2 model XC60 SUV recently, you might not be familiar with Volvo's latest mild hybrid diesel B4 and B5 engines. These mild hybrids offer customers Volvo's advanced kinetic energy-recovery braking system, which is coupled with its existing internal combustion engines to create a new integrated electrified powertrain. This powertrain, electrified via brake-by-wire energy recovery, offers drivers up to 15% fuel savings and emission reductions in real-world driving. The unit's brake-by-wire system interacts with the energy-recovery system and reduces fuel consumption and emissions by recovering kinetic energy under braking. Let's get to the figures, which are all WLTP-rated. Both the B4 and B5 AWD diesel models are capable of achieving up to 45.5mpg on the combined cycle and up to 161g/km of CO2. For a front-driven petrol B5 mild hybrid, the figures are up to 38.1mpg and 168g/km. Or 36.7mpg and up to 176g/km for the AWD version. The B6 mild hybrid AWD petrol variant manages up 34.0mpg and up to 190/km. What about the Recharge plug-in variants? These achieve an all-electric driving range of around 35 miles. The standard Recharge T6 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 113.0mpg and up to 55g/km. The standard Recharge T8 Plug-in hybrid manages up to 113.0mpg and up to 56g/km. Service intervals are every year or 18,000 miles. Three or five year pre-paid servicing packages are available to help you budget ahead. If you pay extra for the useful 'On Call with App' remote connectivity system, this Volvo can be programmed to autonomously realise when a service is due, then automatically book it for you at a dealership of your choice. Finally, we'll tell you that the warranty is the usual three year, 60,000 mile package.3
So, what do we think overall? It's certainly true that other rivals will offer a sharper driving experience than is on offer from this Volvo. And of course this XC60 won't suit if you're going to be regularly venturing off the beaten track. But neither of these issues will bother many potential buyers, people more likely to value the cruising comfort, solid build quality and standard-setting safety that this car offers. Our advice would be to get yourself a potent mild hybrid B5 diesel model with the clever engine and smile smugly every time you see a Q5, an X3 or a GLC drive past. In this form, this XC60 is probably the best kept secret in this segment. Probably best to keep it to yourself.
Volvo's second generation XC60 shows this premium mid-sized SUV's softer side. June Neary reports.
Some SUVs are all about the rough and ready image, the tough looks and the chrome. Volvo's recent efforts have come at the market with slightly gentler sensibilities. The XC90 has been a big hit with its comfort, safety credentials and family-friendly interior, while the MK2 model XC60 that we look at here aims to squeeze similar attributes into a more compact package. On the face of it, the plan seems a good one. Can we really class a 1,854kg car measuring 4,644mm in length and 1,891mm in width as a 'mid-sized' 4x4? Volvo's marketing department says we can, so we'll go with them on that one. The suspension of disbelief is made easier by the way the XC60's exterior styling disguises its bulk. This isn't an SUV from the super-aggressive chrome-spangled school and that will please buyers wanting to maintain a low profile about town. That's not to say that this isn't a handsome car. There's some attractive detailing around the bodywork and Volvo's latest styling cues are put to good use but the look from some angles is more that of a jacked-up estate than an SUV.
Like Volvo's XC90, the XC60 places a lot of emphasis on the interior and its practicality. It makes sense really. The rear seats, which offer generous quantities of legroom by the way, are split 40/20/40 and each can be folded down at the release of a catch. Parents will go all gooey over the integrated child booster cushions that are available as an option. These simply fold out of the seat base and can be set at one of two heights. Under the boot floor, there's a secure storage area that can't be opened without the tailgate being lifted, making it a great place to keep valuable items safe when the car's parked. The general quality of the interior is also well up to snuff. The dashboard, seats and upholstery will all be familiar to recent Volvo buyers; the same 9.0-inch touchscreen and 12.3-inch digital dial displays feature as in the larger XC90. Build and materials quality is tough to fault, however, and the 'Scandinavian Design' on which the manufacturer prides itself sets the XC60 apart from rivals that slavishly ape cold Germanic themes. And so we come to the XC60's secret weapon; safety. The features on offer here include Lane-Keeping Assist, which uses a stereo digital camera, and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) which prevents low-speed rear-enders. Attention Assist Estimation sounds audible alarms and visual warnings signal if it thinks the driver is showing signs of drowsiness.
The XC60 may be a 'mid-sized' SUV but 'mid-sized' isn't a phrase that immediately springs to mind when driving it. The vehicle feels (and is) on the large side. The 235bhp B5 mild hybrid diesel engine we tested copes very adeptly with its bulk however and the big Volvo also corners with a surprising degree of composure. Volvo also offers its own 197hp 2.0-litre diesel B4 mild hybrid unit, along with a conventional 190hp D4 diesel variant. Plus there's a T8 Twin Engine petrol-electric plug-in hybrid. Petrol people also have various electrified options: either the mild hybrid B5 petrol unit with 250hp, which comes with the choice of front or AWD. Or the mild hybrid petrol B6, which offers 300hp and comes only in AWD form. Beyond that, you step into one of the top Recharge Plug-in hybrid AWD auto models, all of which use an 87hp electric motor mated to a 2.0-litre petrol engine. The Plug-in hybrid Recharge XC60 variants come in three flavours: there's the T6 variant (based around a 253hp engine), the standard T8 model (based around a 303hp engine) and the flagship 'Polestar Engineered' version (based around a 318hp powerplant). Every XC60 comes with all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard Some of Volvo's past SUV efforts haven't been very at home in an off-road environment, but the XC60 promises to be the best of the lot. Its 216mm ground clearance is superior to some rivals, there's a 23.1-degree approach angle and a 25.5-degree departure angle. This still isn't a vehicle you'd want to tackle serious obstacles in but with torque automatically distributed between all four wheels by the Intelligent Traction 4x4 system, it should trundle down muddy tracks and take pesky gravel driveways in its stride.
The XC60 is priced competitively in the premium-badged SUV segment. The mainstream line-up sells primarily between £40,000 and £50,000, but it's possible to go further still if you want the kind of electrified technology that Volvo's apparently doing so much to build its future around. You (or more likely your company) will need to find a budget of between £55,000 to £65,000 to get the tax advantages of the brand's 'Recharge' Plug-in hybrid technology.
I've driven a lot of SUVs that have left me distinctly under-whelmed. Lots of models come across as brash and overbearing but can't back that up with the comfort and practicality that family buyers need. The XC60 was a different proposition. It still retained the chunky 4x4 looks and the high driving position, which I must admit to having a soft spot for, but the practical interior and comfort factor were impressive. The fact that so many safety features are included as standard is a massive plus point too.
Ms G Pearson - 08/04/20, owner of a Volvo XC60 SE Lux Nav D5 AWD Auto
User rating: 4.5/5
Mr M McCarthy - 24/03/20, owner of a Volvo XC60 DIESEL ESTATE D5  SE Lux Nav 5dr AWD Geartronic
User rating: 5/5
Mr Geoffrey Banks - 03/08/2019, owner of a Volvo XC60 Diesel Estate D4  SE Nav 5dr AWD Geartronic [Leather] 2016
User rating: 5/5
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