What's the used Volvo XC60 4x4 like?
The first-generation XC60 was an immensely popular large SUV that stayed in production for more than nine years and actually sold more in its last year on sale than it had in any year before. It echoed the upmarket feel of its larger, seven-seat sibling, the XC90.
Not wanting to ruin a successful formula, this second-generation version retained the mini-me feel of the contemporary (and also immensely popular) seven-seat XC90, just as the first generation car did. It even sits on the same platform and uses the same engines as the XC90.
However, it’s longer, wider and lower than that first XC60 and its well-proportioned design oozes class inside and out. There's a Scandinavian-style feel to an interior that’s flooded with light and loaded with leather, and which gives the car the premium touches it needs to survive at this high altitude.
Under its elegant bonnet, there’s a good choice of engines: the range starts with a 188bhp D4 diesel and a 188bhp 2.0 T4 petrol model. Add in a 251bhp T5 turbo four-cylinder petrol model and a 307bhp T6 petrol, before rolling in a 232bhp D5 diesel and culminating with a 387bhp and a 400bhp-plus T8 plug-in petrol-electric hybrids. There are front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive options.
An update in 2019 introduced a range of petrol and diesel mild hybrid engines, designated with a B. The B5P is a 248bhp petrol, the 2.0 B4D a 194bhp diesel and the B5D a 232bhp diesel.
There are three trim levels: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription. Entry-level Momentum trim gets all the essentials: climate control, keyless start, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers and heated leather seats. R-Design is more popular, mainly because you get sportier styling, bigger wheels and tinted windows. You also get sports suspension, which does result in a slightly firmer ride than the standard car, but it brings tidier handling, too. Range-topping Inscription trim has an even more upmarket interior and fully electric seats.
A Pro pack can be added to each trim and brings different luxuries depending on the trim, including – among other goodies – an electric driver’s seat, a heated windscreen and LED foglights.
On the road, the XC60 gets along well with any of its engine options, although the gearbox can initially seem a little hesitant. The diesels offer plenty of low-down grunt, while the mild hybrids in either form offer plenty of punch. The hybrid versions are real flyers, with acceleration times to rival any sports car’s. The petrol options are notably smoother than the diesels, but you’ll pay for that extra refinement when you go to refuel the car.
Where the car doesn’t fare so well is in corners taken quickly, where, despite light and accurate steering, the XC60 doesn’t feel as eager to turn in as an Audi Q5 does. That said, grip levels are high and the handling is generally safe and predictable. As far as its ride goes, it’s pretty good on the standard steel suspension, smothering smaller urban bumps well. However, it can get caught out by larger potholes and speed humps, and does feel a little fidgety next to one or two of its closest rivals. On the optional air suspension, the ride is much better, cushioning the occupants on nearly every surface except harsh broken irregularities and deep potholes. But this is an expensive option and one that, if taken up, could add to the cost of your used car.
The XC60 has a lovely interior of rare plushness and style. The driving position is superb, thanks to plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and the comfortable and supportive driver’s seat. Visibility is excellent, while the dashboard design, and its surrounding areas, is smart, logical and bereft of buttons, since most have been replaced by the iPad-style 9.0in touchscreen that dominates the central portion of the dash. This looks great, but swiping and pressing some of the smaller icons can be frustrating.
When it comes to interior quality, Volvo can now count itself among the best in the business. That the XC60 is as classy and elegant inside as the more expensive XC90 is seriously impressive. The liberal use of woods and metal, especially on range-topping Inscription trim, lends the interior a light and airy feel. There’s plenty of space both front and rear, and the boot is a good size and shape, even if in terms of outright capacity it’s a little down on the volumes offered by some of its rivals.
On top of that, Volvo hasn't forgotten about its roots, because the XC60 has some of the most advanced safety features in the class. It scored the maximum five stars from Euro NCAP’s safety tests, with a brilliant 98% adult occupant safety score and 95% for safety assists.
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