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Reader Clinic

2017 Volvo XC60 reader test team review

The previous Volvo XC60 was one of the most popular large SUVs around. Can its successor improve on its already excellent comfort, drive and practicality?

Words By Kris Culmer

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That a nine-year-old car can continue to be a big hitter in one of the most competitive sectors of the car market speaks volumes about the appeal of the Volvo XC60 large SUV.

So this 2017 model, which is new from the ground up, is tasked with improving on what made its predecessor so popular: a spacious, practical and classy interior, generous standard kit and an enviable safety record. Oh, and it has to be good to drive.

The new XC60 costs from Β£37,205, with engines ranging from 190 to 254bhp. A potent T8 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model will come later. Initially, four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox are standard.

We were impressed with the XC60's comfortable yet capable drive and its good practicality when we drove it, awarding it four stars. Will our readers be similarly impressed?

Ian Francombe

Age: 42 Job: Business development manager Drives: Volvo XC60 R-Design

β€œMy XC60 is three years old now, so I’m interested in this new model.

β€œBecause I do a lot of miles, comfort is very important to me. This car’s seats are a step forward over those in my car; there’s more electric adjustment on them.

β€œThe car is in R-Design trim. Its seats have bigger side bolsters, plus a memory function, so I won’t have to spend ages changing the seat after my wife has been driving.

β€œThe materials all look to be of a better fit and quality now. The plastics are less shiny. For me, it’s up there with class-leading rivals such as the Audi Q5 in that regard.

β€œI love the Β£2500 optional Bowers & Wilkins 15-speaker surround sound stereo. It’s really powerful and sharp.

β€œI’m a big fan of the new looks. Instead of just being a shrunken version of the XC90 seven-seater, the XC60 has its own design cues. It’s quite an aggressive look for a Volvo, particularly with the R-Design body kit and 19in alloys.

β€œI’d consider the upcoming T8 plug-in hybrid version of the XC60. It depends on range and tax for company car drivers, though, so I may stick with a diesel, which is cheaper to buy.”

Rated 5 out of 5

Patrick Samuelson

Age: 20 Job: Automotive engineering student Drives: Volkswagen Golf

β€œMy dad drives a 2005 Volvo XC70 estate. It’s now done some 270,000 miles, so we’re looking for a replacement. This XC60 and Volvo’s new V90 Cross Country estate are the main contenders.

β€œWe live on a farm, so we like the Cross Country models because of their rugged body kits, which are brilliant for protecting against scrapes and paint chips, and four-wheel drive, which is essential. So a 4x4 with a raised ride height and larger-profile tyres is a must.

β€œI’m actually quite surprised by how compact the XC60 is; it looks much bigger in pictures. I like that, though, because too many modern cars are getting much wider and bigger, which just makes driving them harder, especially for parking.

β€œThis car looks to be a class leader for safety. Other manufacturers do well in Euro NCAP tests, but for me, Volvo is the only car maker that goes that extra mile for real-world safety.

β€œThere are lots of safety assists; it’s a real stepping stone into the new age of autonomous motoring.

β€œI think this is the best-looking car in the large SUV class. It’s very distinctive, whereas rivals such as the Audi Q5 just look a bit ordinary.”

Rated 5 out of 5

Find out what our other two readers thought of the XC60 on the next page.

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