In the past number of years, the SUV market within Ireland has blown wide open. It would seem that the popularity of the SUV has increased along with the resurgence of new car sales. This is not solely confined to the Irish market either. The Volvo XC60 has been around for a number of years now and in that time it has established itself within the compact SUV market. It is a segment which is heavily competed in with the likes of the BMW X3, Mazda CX5, Audi Q5 and plenty more all vying for their own piece of the market. So what is it that Volvo have that may set them apart from their competitors?
When you think of Volvo, what are the first thoughts that come to mind? Volvo have put a lot of money into ensuring that they produce some of the safest cars on our roads. They also produce vehicles that are finished to the highest of standards with some of the finest materials available. Volvo are also famous for their estate cars. Essentially when you look at the XC60 what you are getting is a high riding, rugged looking version of their infamous estate models and there truly is nothing wrong with that.
Thankfully over the past number of years I have had the opportunity to test a number of the models within the Volvo range. The range topping XC90 is steeped in elegance while the V60 offers all of the practicalities that a growing family would require. What the XC60 offers is the space and practicality of the V60 estate model along with the raised ride height and executive finish of the XC90.
The Volvo XC60 comes to the Irish market available in 4 trim levels, ES, SE, SE LUX and R-Design with prices starting from €39,795 for the D3 ES model. The subject of this review is the D5 SE LUX model with all-wheel drive (AWD) and Geartronic transmission. As you sit inside the XC60 the raised seating position offers excellent visibility all round. The wide ranging adjustment in both the seating and the steering allows you to find your optimum position with ease. The seating itself offers brilliant support and they very well proportioned.
The layout of the switches is one area where the XC60 does feel somewhat dated however. There are an abundance of switches and while you can navigate them quite easily you will find that most of the competition and indeed other models within the Volvo range have gone down the route of the more minimalist approach where the majority of actions are carried out through clever touchscreen systems.
Storage throughout the cabin is a plenty and front and rear leg and head room are more than comfortable. Boot space ranges from 495 litres up to the parcel shelf with the rear seats in place up to 1,4555 litres with the rear seats folded down. One clever option which you might like to opt for is the child seat booster cushion with integrated back which helps to ensure your most treasured possessions are always kept safe. I have seen this option on a number of other brands and it simply makes brilliant sense if you have an ever growing family.
On the road the 2.4 litre, 5 cylinder, D5 engine has ample power to ensure you are never left wanting. Maximum power output is 220hp while maximum torque of 440Nm is available from as low as 1,500 rpm up to 3,000 rpm. This offers excellent pulling power. The addition of AWD on the test model ensures that the Volvo XC60 is always confident of its road position. The listed combined fuel economy sits at 5.7 litres. While I didn’t achieve this figure it wasn’t far off at 6.2 litres per 100km. In real world figures this isn’t bad considering the overall size of the XC60 and possibly my driving style too! On the road, wind and road noises are kept to a minimum. The diesel engine does like to be heard however when you are making your way through slow moving traffic. Gear changes through the Geartronic automatic transmission are smooth.
Overall, the Volvo XC60 offers a large amount of standard equipment for the price tag it carries. Spec it up and the prices do rise accordingly but it still manages to hold its own against the top models in its competition. While it is always nice and reassuring to have the availability of AWD, if it isn’t a necessity choose the two-wheel drive model and keep your price down.
Engine Size – 2.4 litre D5
Fuel Type – Diesel
Power – 220 bhp
Torque – 440Nm
Acceleration (0 – 100km/h) – 8.2 seconds
Top Speed – 210 km/hour
Consumption (Combined) –5.7 litres/ 100 kilometres
CO2 emissions – 149g / km
Road Tax – € 390
Base Price – € 39,795
Price as per model tested – € 62,496