Volvo XC60 Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox
December 19, 2018
Volvo XC60 Overview
The new XC60 SUV adorns the skin of the its bigger sibling XC90 and a mere glance at the Volvo XC60 images would be enough keep you engaged with its boldness. As compared to its predecessor, the new model has been transformed with more tweaks and add-ons in it. The Swedish brand has made sure for it to be a head turner. The front apron now has a new addition of Volvo’ signature ‘Thor’ Hammer DRL, whereas the key highlight is the front chrome grille with vertical slats. Replacing its 2.4-litre – 5 cylinder engine, the new version comes with a more powerful 2.0-litre 4-cylinder D5 diesel power plant. While the old 6-speed automatic transmission has also been replaced with an 8-speed automatic. It can belt out a power output of 235bhp Volvo has introduced this product in the Indian market in just one variant – the Inscription D5, which is fully loaded with techs and features. The crystal glass gear knobs and the diamond shaped controls for the start/stop button gives an exclusivity to anyone in it. The tablet-like touch screen control console is a terrific addition along with that the button-less dashboard is one the many fantastic new features you will witness in the new Volvo XC60. The plush interiors are offered with soft leather and driftwood décor inlays makes this SUV the most attractive one in the market today. Book a test drive for Volvo XC60 in Tryaldrive
Volvo XC60 Exterior
It speaks the design language of its elders and though I’m not a big fan of the same-sausage-different-size philosophy, the elegance of Volvo’s new design is something that I would openly welcome on various body styles. Like the 90 branded range of Volvo’s, the XC60 too is built on the Scalable Product Architecture – a modular platform that allows Volvo’s engineers and designers to customize the dimensions of the car to suit various body-styles. The distance between the front axle and the dashboard remains unchanged on all SPA cars though and this works in the XC60’s favour by giving it proportions appropriate for a premium crossover. Compared to its highly successful predecessor, the new XC60 is 44mm longer, 11mm wider and 14mm shorter and the result is a crossover that has an athletic stance and looks very proportionate.
The Volvo XC60 does resemble the XC90 in many ways, but its smaller dimensions are evident even when it’s standing by itself. Another quick way of distinguishing the XC60 from the XC90 is the front face, where the Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights poke their way out to reach the grille. The headlight assembly is studded with adaptive LED headlamps and the rear is typical Volvo with the familiar design of the taillights.The side profile looks quite interesting too with the 19-inch wheels beefing up the stance. I particularly like the large doors which now extend all the way down to the floor and integrate the side skirting within the exterior door panel. This prevents your trousers from picking up stains during ingress or egress after an off-road session or a wet weather drive. Quite practical and thoughtful.
Volvo XC60 Interior
And that’s what you get on the inside too – elegance. The XC60 just knocks you out of the park with its all-black dashboard finished in soft-touch plastics, and then there are the unlacquered wood trimmings which look stunning. All this of course bears resemblance to the cabin of the XC90 and the S90 which is why you’re familiar with what’s inside. The buttons and knobs are carried forward from the XC90 and that top-to-bottom approach, actually adds a lot of value to the XC60.
Then there’s the 9.0-inch centre touchscreen which has been slightly tweaked for better usability. You also get a 12.3-inch TFT driver’s display which adds to the look and feel of the cabin. Considering that Volvo will be bringing in just the Inscription (top-of-the-line) variant to India, there are all the bells and whistles that makes it quite the feature-packed car. It gets cooled/ heated front seats with a massage function, which are in fact a segment first offering; there’s head-up display too and a panoramic sunroof. Even the 15 speaker Bower and Wilkins sound system is a treat for the ears. Then, there are driver assist features as well like 360-degree camera, semi-automatic parking, blind-spot assist and lane departure warning. In fact, the Volvo XC60 will also feature radar-based safety features like adaptive cruise control which works pretty well and we found out.
While the front gets all the features you can imagine, the rear actually misses out on well, a lot. The seat cushioning is good and it’s a very comfortable place to be in. There’s ample thigh support, and good legroom too but there’s no massage seat function or any way you can operate the Sensus infotainment system from the rear. The only thing you do get is a rear AC vent which you can control for fan speed and temperature. So, if you’re planning to be chauffeur -driven in this one, you need to think twice. But if you’re planning to drive it yourself, well, that’s a whole different story.
Volvo XC60 Performance
Should you choose to not play any audio at all, the cabin turns into a place so quiet, that it is pleasantly surprising for a diesel burning vehicle. Volvo has worked hard on insolating the road, tyre, wind and drivetrain noises and the result is clearly evident. Our drive was largely limited to the smooth tarmac of Chennai’s East Coast Road where we hardly experienced any road or tyre noise. The engine refinement is also impressive with the XC60 building pace deceptively.The engine in question is the same 2.0l four-cylinder motor that’s available in the D5 variants of Volvo’s 90 branded range of vehicles. It manages to churn out a commendable 235PS and 480Nm of torque, which are figures that are usually in V6 territory. Given the overall lightweight (~1860kg) of the Volvo XC60, the engine feels eager and enthusiastic.
The eagerness of the engine is complemented by a fairly quick eight-speed transmission sourced from Aisin and a Haldex all-wheel-drive system. We have sampled this setup in the past and know that the XC60 is predominantly front wheel drive until there is loss of traction which transfers power to the rear wheels. I’m pretty sure in our test car the majority of the drive was with the power going to the front wheels only, since the straight roads and grippy tarmac were hardly a challenge for traction.
Volvo XC60 Driving
The XC60 comes with four-corner air suspension as standard, and the damping characteristics can be adjusted too. You can raise and lower the suspension based on the driving modes and the way this one takes on those occasional potholes or the undulated roads left us impressed. We thought that the air suspension would lead to a floaty ride, but no, that’s well contained and the bumps are easily absorbed which makes it even more impressive.The XC60 is pretty agile too and high-speed stability is one of the crucial things that we have to commend Volvo for. The power provided to the wheels is seamless and you have to keep an eye on the instrument cluster, else, you’ll be breaking a few speed limits if you’re not careful. Sadly, we missed out on taking it off-road and we’d like to know more about how it stacks up to the wilderness with its 223mm of ground clearance; but that for another day.
Volvo XC60 Safety
If the list of safety features isn’t the juiciest part of the brochure, the car wouldn’t qualify as a Volvo. Appreciably, the carmaker hasn’t shied away from bringing in some of its best safety tech to the India-spec XC60 either. For a mid-level offering, the list is commendable and the most notable features and assistance systems are front, side and curtain airbags, collision mitigation support at the front and rear, emergency steering assist, lane keeping assist and emergency braking assist. The City Safety package, which uses most of these systems in its application, had debuted in India on the previous generation XC60. The new one takes its further by being active at city as well as highway speeds, making the new Volvo XC60 a safer package overall.
Volvo Xc60 Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 51,11,100/- (XC60 Inscription) to 51,11,100/- (XC60 Inscription). Get best offers for Volvo Xc60 from Volvo Dealers in Mumbai . Check for Volvo XC60 price in Mumbai at Carzprice
Volvo XC60 Conclusion
All that said, Volvo makes a case for itself once again. It’s agile, smooth, sophisticated and a treat to drive but then again only available with a diesel engine. While International markets get a plug-in hybrid and a petrol variant, India will have to wait for probably a tilt in balance in favour of these fuels. The folks at Volvo say that they’ll be ready when they see that there’s a scope for petrol and a plug-in hybrid variant and they won’t jump the gun. We expect the prices to be in the range of ₹ 55 lakh and that’s a price worth paying for a car that is in all probability the safest car on the roads.