2017 Volvo XC60 quick review

By Nathan Ponchard, 18 Oct 2017 Car Reviews

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2017 Volvo XC60 quick review

Volvo’s second-generation XC60 has mastered the fashionably late, yet beautifully timed entrance.

Tell me about this car

Volvo’s second-generation XC60 is a crucial part of the Swedish brand’s desire to expand its foothold in the premium automotive segment. The old XC60 continued to grow in sales volume right to its dying days, so this all-new car – based on the Volvo XC90’s fresh SPA platform architecture – really can’t fail, seeing it’s so vastly improved.

Pros

  • The new XC60 has the core DNA to create a deeply impressive premium SUV, not to mention a deeply alluring one, thanks to its delightful interior design and refreshingly individual styling.
  • Superb drivetrains too, in particular the urgent hybrid T8 and the characterful turbo-diesel.
  • On the road, you can feel the benefits of the XC60’s more agile form, and its chassis knows what to do in a corner. On fast, flowing roads, the XC60’s chassis certainly conveys a planted and secure feel, while tight bends prove there’s innate poise in the way this SUV strings corners together.

  • Much like the XC90, the air-suspended T8 with adaptive damping does a highly convincing job of making the XC60 feel plush.
  • Where the XC60 really nails the brief is inside its cabin. Get your head around its control layout – particularly the multiple layers and modes of the swipe-and-push touchscreen – and there’s a fine mix of functionality and design.
  • As expected, the XC60’s safety suite is vast, including semi-autonomous Pilot Assist that does a pretty good job steering itself (briefly) on well-marked freeways, though if you need any of this stuff to help you drive then you clearly can’t, or shouldn’t be.

Cons

  • It’s the lack of calibration finesse that undermines the XC60’s German-beating somewhat. With greater attention given to its damping control, throttle response, steering connection and the T8’s regenerative braking feel, this car could be a knock-out.
  • The steering – while accurate and consistently weighted – has minimal true feel, meaning you rely solely on the seat of your pants when hustling the XC60 at speed.
  • The damping on the two XC60s we drove with fixed-rate suspension – D4 and T5 Inscriptions, each wearing 255/45R20 Michelin Latitudes – felt unresolved. Supple at times, with mostly acceptable body control, the standard XC60 is prone to over-reacting to potholes and sizeable hits.

Any rivals I should consider?

All the key players in the premium-medium SUV segment – Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Lexus NX, Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Velar and Porsche Macan.