Almost an entire decade has passed since the original XC60 went on sale, but finally, we have an all-new replacement.
You may think the mid-size SUV isn’t that big of a deal, because the V40 and XC90 usually hog the limelight whenever anyone talks about Volvo.
However, around three in ten Volvos sold worldwide is an XC60.
The second-generation XC60 recently arrived in showrooms, but before you race down to your nearest Volvo dealer for a test drive, maybe you should read what the British motoring press thought of it first…
Honey, I shrunk the XC90
Car Magazine quite rightly focused on the XC60’s similarity to its big brother – the Range Rover Sport-rivalling XC90.
Both are built on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture, but the XC60 sits on the compact version of the platform, just like its saloon and estate (the S60 and V60) counterparts eventually will.
On the surface though, it does indeed look like ‘Honey, I shrunk the XC90’ with the XC60 boasting the same key design features like the snazzy front grille and ‘Thor’s hammer’ headlights.
The new XC60 is longer, wider and lower than the original model, but manages to achieve a higher ground clearance and it isn’t any heavier.
Autocar were impressed by the XC60’s sharp look, which “oozes class inside and out”.
They commented how the car was “nicely proportioned” to facilitate “an airy, spacious cabin while striking a sleek, understated, Nordic-chic exterior that isn’t particularly flashy, but neither is it emotionless and bland like many of the snoozefest SUVs in the class”.
Anyone considering the XC90 will find the same high level of luxury in the 60’s charmingly Scandinavian cabin, according to Autocar, with downsizing doing “nothing to dilute the impression of sitting in a well-thought-out space”.
On the road
How does it drive though? Well, Volvo is rarely the first name people turn to when they want an exhilarating drive and unsurprisingly, that remains the case with the XC60.
“It’s not the most captivating driver’s car,” concedes Top Gear, before adding it feels relaxing and is “good to ride in”.
They complement the D5 engine and its quick 7.2-second 0-62mph sprint, despite the “dozy” automatic transmission making the lag very noticeable.
“Flooring it sometimes meets with little more than a yawn as the powertrain hits the sleep button and rolls back under the duvet. Then after a pause, it leaps out of bed in a panic,” they note in typical TG style.
Not the driver’s choice
The XC90 handled like a deceptively nimble yet empowering mammoth, so does the XC60 follow suit? Not quite, reckon the guys at Autocar, who described the ride as “occasionally clunky and hollow on poorer surfaces” and the steering as “overly light and remote”.
Car Magazine agreed, saying that while it was never going to be the driver’s choice in the class, it doesn’t take home the wooden spoon either.
WhatCar adds that it only takes a few corners to realise Volvo’s claims of the XC60 having sporty handling are nonsense, and if you’re after an engaging drive, you’d be better pursuing a Porsche Macan or Jaguar F-Pace.
So should you buy one? Maybe.
Auto Express really liked the XC60. It’s the current holder of their Premium SUV of the Year title and as such, they gave it a top five-star rating.
They say that despite having the edge over its rivals in terms of comfort, the XC60’s competitors offer a more dynamic drive.
Car Magazine bestowed it with a maximum five stars too, praising its usability and feelgood factor.
WhatCar was also fond, gifting it four out of five stars, due to its elegant, high-quality interior and generous line-up of standard equipment. However, they bemoaned its “uninspiring handling” and found the segment leaders to be quieter.
Autocar was more restrained when rating the XC60 though, dishing out just three and a half stars. They thought its striking design and solid premium-feeling interior was counteracted by its ordinary performance and noisy ride.
Is the XC60 still on your shopping list? Let us know what you think of the new Volvo in the comments section below.
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