The XC60 has become Volvo’s best selling model of all time since it was launched back in 2008.
At that time it was one of the few premium SUVs on the market. A decade on, the second generation model must duke it out in an arena filled with much better opposition. The Jaguar F-Pace, Audi Q5 and Land Rover Discovery Sport are all superb cars.
So it’s a good thing for Volvo the new XC60 improves massively on its forebear. From refinement to practicality, safety to technology, the all-new model has moved the game on nicely.
Like its big brother the XC90, the XC60 is built on Volvo’s Scalable Platform Architecture, which will underpin a whole range of new Volvo models.
It shares its engines with the XC90 too, with 2.0 litre, four-cylinder diesels forming the mainstay of the range.
In line with Volvo’s ambition to electrify every one of its models by the end of the decade, there’s also a plug-in hybrid.
This petrol-electric version puts out a mighty 401bhp but is pricey at nearly £60,000. Its low emissions might help it make financial sense for company car drivers, who will save a packet in tax.
The range starts at £35,655 for the AWD Momentum Manual model. I drove the automatic version of that trim level, which has a price tag of £37,205. Among the £9,000 of optional extras packed onto my press demonstrator was a £2,000 Xenium pack – panoramic sunroof, surround view camera and park assist – a safety pack, retractable towbar and keyless drive.
It’s one of the most technology-packed cars I’ve driven. A large iPad style touchscreen controls most interior functions. It looks fantastic and is a breeze to use while stationary. Trying to adjust the temperature or change the fan settings on the move is a bit distracting though, and I prefer the rotary control favoured by BMW and Audi.
Volvo have pushed for comfort over driving dynamics. Handling is decent enough but ride quality and refinement are where the car shines. The suspension is cosseting over almost any road surface and wind and tyre noise are muted to the point of being negligible.
It doesn’t have the seven-seat option of the XC90 but there’s plenty of space for five adults and a big boot. The XC60 is also the safest car ever made, according to industry experts Euro NCAP.
All in all, Volvo has created a fantastic car. Practical, safe and beautifully packaged, the XC60 does all of the important things superbly.