Compact SUVs are a very big business at present and there is huge competition among the segment’s contenders. At the moment it appears that the reigning champion for the last few years has been the Nissan Qashqai and cars like the Mazda CX-5 are gaining popularity too. In the higher end of the segment the BMW X3 and the Audi Q5 are nipping away at each-other’s customers. However, one that seems to be often overlooked is the Volvo XC60. One of the reasons for it being overlooked could be to do with the fact that it has remained relatively unchanged for seven years now, but even with its age the vehicle still holds relevance.
Our test model was fitted with a 2.0 litre turbo diesel engine that offers 150 PS. This power is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. This engine offers a maximum torque of 350Nm. The car really feels the horses at play when the foot is down and on occasion the engine struggled to get traction. This was mostly evident when changing from first to second gear. We also noticed that the vehicle was a little sluggish when accelerating from 100 to 120 km/h. Other engines include the D4 that offers 190 PS and the D5 that offers 220 PS. Both of these engine choices can be mated to four-wheel drive. The D3 engine has front wheel drive.
The XC60 suffers from body roll in the same way as the XC90 and the only way to avoid it is to take corners very slowly. The steering can be vague too. Apart from that the ride is smooth in the XC60 and the car hugs the road nicely. This compact SUV also does a good job of soaking up bumps and bruises in the road. We did not test drive the all-wheel drive version which is available with the other engines.
The XC60 is nicely padded from road noise and it deals well with wind noise too. The diesel engine we tested was quiet.
The interior is presented excellently and there is a high quality feel in the cabin. The model we were driving had leather seats which are optional but pricey at €1,492. These same seats are extremely comfortable. The infotainment system looks dated and is presented in the same way that the old Ford SYNC was. There are plenty of buttons and the system can be complicated. The new XC90 shows us where Volvo will be going with their infotainment offerings into the future.
Unsurprisingly the Volvo XC60 received a full five stars in the Euro NCAP. It scored 94% for adult occupancy, 79% for child occupancy, 48% for pedestrian safety and 86% for safety assistance systems. The car comes with a myriad of safety systems as well as a selection of airbags to the front and rear.
Head and leg room to the rear is excellent and there wouldn’t be much problems in getting three adults in there. However for maximum comfort we’d limit the rear to two adults. For children this area is great too and because the rear doors open so widely it is simple getting child seats and children in there. The boot offers 495 litres and with the back seats down this amounts to 1,495 litres. The front cabin is spacious too. The XC60 can also be used for towing and we are told that it will carry a maximum load of 1,500 kg.