We’ve come a long way, haven’t we? We have devices that control our homes, phones that are smarter than most people and now we can add ‘very, very desirable Volvos’ to the list. That’s not to say that the Volvos of three or four (or more) decades ago weren’t desirable. Take the P1800 and the Amazon for example, not to mention the 240 Turbo and 850R wagon. They were desirable for sure, just arguably not to the full demographic.
Now, car buyers both young and old are very much noticing the Swedish firm. In fact, the world has noticed to such a degree that this new Volvo XC60 was recently crowned World Car of the Year - a title, we discovered, it very much deserves.
The XC60 remains one of Volvo’s best-selling vehicles in South Africa and we don’t expect this to change with this more grown up iteration. Looking more like it’s siblings than ever before, especially its bigger brother the XC90, the XC60 follows the Volvo design language that can be seen both on the outside and inside of modern Volvos. The cabin is very classy and business-like in feel. It’s the perfect blend of practicality and sophistication with soft touch finishes and chrome accents. It’s very clean. Very Swedish.
Very clean, very comfortable... Very Swedish
How does it go?
From the first moment that I touched the accelerator pedal, I loved this engine/gearbox combo. The T5 petrol engine under the bonnet of the model on test pushes out 187kW and 350Nm and bounds from zero to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds. It is not slow. This unit is mated with an 8-speed automatic gearbox and Volvo’s permanent all-wheel-drive system. It’s a sublime unit that, when aided by the smooth drive and well-balanced cornering abilities of this SUV, makes for a thoroughly enjoyable drive.
Well, this is a Volvo. Naturally, it’s laden with tech including an impressive list of safety features such as an enhanced version of Volvo's City Safety Autonomous Emergency Braking system, Oncoming Lane Mitigation with Steer Assist (which helps mitigate head-on collisions) and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Steer Assist functionality. I did not love the autonomous braking system as it always slowed down the vehicle really quickly for me, and in that regard I don’t like not being fully in control of the car that I am piloting.
Other tech highlights include the optional Pilot Assist, Volvo's advanced semi-autonomous driver assistance system, which takes care of steering, acceleration and braking on well-marked roads up to 130 km/h, and the new CleanZone air quality climate system that removes harmful pollutants and particles from outside the cabin to deliver Scandinavian-fresh air on the inside.
There are some very decent engines available in the XC60 range, all are mated with the 8-speed automatic gearbox. The other petrol option offered is the more powerful T6 with 235kW and 400Nm, while diesel options include a 140kW/400Nm D4 and a 173kW and 480Nm D5.
Okay, let’s wrap this up
From the outside in, I truly like this Volvo. It’s something I’d be happy to drive from the boardroom to the school sports field and everywhere in-between. It was a car that I looked forward to driving every time I climbed inside. The powertrain was great, the looks are savvy and overall, it’s a very desirable car.
It’s not difficult to see why it won the 2018 World Car of the Year. Where do I sign?
New Volvo XC60 Range:
|D4 AWD Momentum ||R673,624.00|
|D4 AWD Inscription ||R718,124.00|
|D4 AWD R-Design ||R720,424.00|
|T5 AWD Momentum (Driven) ||R693,346.00|
|T5 AWD Inscription ||R737,846.00|
|T5 AWD R-Design ||R740,146.00|
|D5 AWD Momentum ||R743,036.00|
|D5 AWD Inscription ||R787,536.00|
|D5 AWD R-Design ||R789,836.00|
|T6 AWD Momentum ||R745,384.00|
|T6 AWD Inscription ||R789,884.00|
|T6 AWD R-Design ||R792,184.00|
T5 AWD Momentum Specs:
|Engine ||2.0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbocharged |
|Torque ||350Nm |
|Transmission ||8-speed automatic|
|0-100km/h ||6.8 seconds|
|Top Speed ||220kph|
|Average Fuel Consumption ||7.3l/100km|
|CO2 Emissions ||167g/km|
Looking for a used Volvo XC60? Start your search here