Volvo XC60 (2017-present)

Class-leading safety and technology, combined with Swedish cool, make the Volvo XC60 a top choice

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Bold Scandi design
Cutting-edge driver assistance systems
Excellent safety rating

Weaknesses 

Expensive
Unsettled without expensive air suspension
High running costs

When there's a car that combines Volvo's stellar safety reputation with Swedish style, a family-focused interior and a high-tech, minimalist dashboard, then why would you opt for anything else?

That's why you'll see convoys of Volvo XC60s during the school run, whose owners have dismissed the strong alternatives, which include the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Range Rover Velar.

Inside, every XC60 is clad in leather and aluminum, but it's the minimalistic interior that gives the car its sense of luxury and calm. At the cente of the dashboard, a large touchscreen controls the high-tech optional extras, including the partially autonomous pilot assist, which steers automatically around motorway bends.

It also features some of the most comfortable seats around, and was the safest car that the independent Euro NCAP organisation crash-tested in 2017.

Also in the XC60’s favour is a simple but effective engine range for buyers to choose from, which includes a petrol-electric hybrid option that offers hot hatch-like performance along with unbelievable official fuel economy figures, plus a pair of more traditional diesels and a petrol variant.

The driving dynamics might not perhaps match the X3 or F-Pace, but it handles well enough for the vast majority of SUV buyers, with stable and consistent steering, and good control of bodyroll. The ride quality can also be on the firm side – despite all versions coming with a drive modes that include a Comfort option – especially in sportier-focused R-Design versions. However, there is an optional air suspension system that makes the XC60 a lot more amenable to British road surfaces, which we would recommend paying a little extra for.

The 9-inch touchscreen in the centre console controls virtually everything, from an infotainment and connectivity perspective, eliminating the need for a load of buttons on the dashboard. So the climate can be controlled with just a few taps, as can the satellite navigation, the mobile phone connection (Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included), DAB radio and a range of cloud-based apps, including Spotify, which does away with the need for the smartphone. In addition, there’s a wi-fi hotspot onboard, for passengers using up to six devices, and voice control.

Versions with Pro packages also have access to Volvo On Call, a service that enables owners to control some of the car’s functions remotely using a smartphone (or smartwatch) and can automatically contact the emergency services in the event of a crash.

Plus, the XC60 has Volvo’s full complement of safety equipment, including City Safety, its autonomous emergency braking system and the option of Pilot Assist, a semi-autonomous drive function that can keep the car a fixed distance from the car in front, at a fixed speed and within the lines of the lane. It's a hugely helpful feature when driving on motorways, but handing a large part of the car’s control over to this new technology does take a little getting used to.

Style, technology, comfort and safety – plus the eco credentials of the T8 – combine to make the XC60 an attractive proposition for buyers. It's also a combination that should ensure the success of the previous generation continues, with midsize SUV owners beating a steady path to dealerships.

Last Updated 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 - 22:45

Key facts 

Warranty: 
3 years / 60,000 miles
Boot size: 
505 litres
Width: 
1902mm
Length: 
4688mm
Height: 
1658mm
Tax: 
£10 to £515 in first year, £140 thereafter

Other Editions