Awarded as one of the best selling and safest premium mid-sized SUVs, holding about 30 percent of Volvo’s total global sales, with over 1.68 million units sold worldwide. The XC60 slots between the compact XC40 and the larger 7-seater sibling XC90.
The XC60 competes against some serious contenders in the segment such as the BMW X3, Mercedes GLC, Jaguar F-Pace, and Audi Q5. I had a short time to get acquainted with one of the flagship models, the XC60 D5 Inscription Geartronic AWD loaded with optional features to experience what it has to offer, and here’s what I think…
Model: Volvo XC60 D5 Inscription Geartronic AWD
Engine: 2.0L 4-cylinder Turbocharged Diesel
Transmission: Eight-speed Automatic
Power: 173kW & 480 N.m
Luggage Capacity: 505 Litres
Fuel Consumption: 5.5L Claimed
Price: R935 200
The exterior of the XC60 may not be as flashy as some of its competitors, the boxy shape looks well proportioned and portrays a very masculine and minimalist elegant look, topped up with the Thor hammer style LED Headlight and chrome grille. The XC60 D5 Inscription rides on 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels that generate quite a little bit of road noise.
Interior and Tech
The XC60 cabin looks simple but yet very elegant, filled with high-quality soft leather and stylish chrome trim inserts throughout the cabin. The number of controls has been reduced, mostly hosted in the vertical 9-inch touchscreen infotainment display located in the middle of the dash, which boasts an integrated navigation system, 360º camera, climate control as well as a number of features that also include the owner’s manual. Which reduces clutter in the cabin. The infotainment system is also compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay via USB. And could definitely use a wireless connection and wireless charging option as standard at this level. The XC60 is also equipped with Bowers & Wilkins audio system which provides an amazing ambiance in the cabin.
Well-insulated and comfortable cabin, the Volvo XC60 has arguably one of the most comfortable interiors in the mid-size premium SUV segment, with relaxing and supportive seats (electrically heated, cooled, and adjustable both for the driver and front passenger), space is not compromised even for the rear passengers, ample of headroom and legroom for adults or taller individuals. The boot capacity is fair, 505 Litres claimed. slightly smaller than the BMW X3, but is spacious and practical enough for at least 3 Large size suitcases, and can also be extended up to 1432 Litres when the rear seats are folded flat, into the 60:40 configuration. easy access to the boot with the electric tailgate which can be opened or closed remotely by using the remote key or handsfree by swinging the foot under the tailgate.
When it comes to safety, the Swedish offerings come equipped with some of the best innovative safety features in the industry, rated as one of the safest cars with a 5-star Euro NCAP rating. features available as standard include a 360º camera with park assist, ABS, EBD with brake assist, forward collision warning with auto-brake and pedestrian, cyclist, and large animal detection. Driver alert control with lane-keeping assist and Road Sign Information display. other safety features such as semi-autonomous pilot assist and heads-up display are optional as part of the driver support pack for the price of R25 750.
Some of the safety warnings and notifications can be a bit overwhelming, especially on busy roads with a lot of pedestrians, the detection system tends to be a bit too sensitive and constantly notifies a potential collision and auto brakes by itself.
Powerful but not enough to spark excitement, the 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine delivers 173kW and 480Nm which feels quite powerful on the top end but still doesn’t feel really exciting as one would hope. The turbo-diesel engine feels quite heavy and rumbly at lower rpm, which is quite common in diesel-powered vehicles, but I believe could use a little refinement. The eight-speed automatic transmission works smoothly most of the time, especially when cruising and in a more relaxed driving condition. however, It can tend to be quite indecisive/ slow reaction during sudden acceleration. but this can be solved by shifting to the overdrive function or setting the car into the Dynamic mode which isn’t generous at consuming fuel.
Refined ride quality and overall comfort, courtesy of the optional air suspension that slightly improves the agility of the car, and helps soak up road imperfection smoothly. A bit of body roll can be noticed during a sudden lane change or when taking corners at speed, something quite common with larger SUVs.
Having driven in mixed conditions, in town and highways, I managed to achieve an average fuel consumption of 8.2 Litre/100km over the claimed 5.5 Litre, which is not so modest.
In short, Volvo’s engineers created a very interesting and competitive product. They did not try to achieve outstanding quarter-mile performance or 4×4 off-road blaster ambitions. The XC60 is mostly focused on refined luxury taste, comfort, adequate power paired with innovative safety, and decent practicality. but when it comes to driver engagement, the XC60 D5 isn’t the most exciting thing to drive. I believe a little more power will add a bit of umph to the experience, which is available in petrol variant the Volvo XC60 T6 that boasts 235kW. The Swedish XC60 D5 is an all-rounder great mid-sized SUV and a well-built product that’s worth shortlisting in your potential purchase list.
Pricing and After-sales
The Volvo XC60 D5 Geartronic AWD Inscription retails at R935 200, the price includes a 5-year / 100,000 km warranty and a 5-year / 100,000 km full maintenance plan