EARLIER this week, the new Volvo XC60 was introduced at the 87th Geneva Motor Show. But it will be some time before it makes an appearance in Malaysian showrooms.
In the meantime, we took the first-generation XC60 for a spin. The XC60 was introduced in 2008. Over the years, it racked up quite a long list of accolades.
But is it still one of the best mid-sized SUVs around? We drove it for a few days to refresh our memory.
They say the new generation XC60 looks like a downsized XC90. However, even the first generation bears a striking resemblance to its smaller stablemate.
At a glance, the styling and design are remarkably similar. However, the similarities are only skin-deep. The XC90 is a seven-seater while the XC60 can only seat five.
The XC60 shares the same technology as the 2007 Land Rover Freelander, which uses a modified version of the Volvo Y20 platform. It has been Volvo’s best selling car since 2009.
Powered by a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged Drive-E engine hooked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox with paddle shifters, the engine produces 245hp at 5,500rpm and 350Nm of torque from 1,500rpm.
Volvo claims the XC60 T5 can achieve zero to 100kph in 7.2 seconds and has a top speed of 210kph. It only consumes 6.7 litres per 100km in a combined drive.
The XC60 is 4,644mm in length, 1,891mm in width, 1,713mm in height and weighs 1,749kg. It has a 70-litre fuel tank and 495 litres of boot space.
It comes with 17-inch wheels, vertical LED daytime running lights, twin tailpipes, dual-zone automatic climate control, map lights, ambient lights, two-stage booster child seats cushions, eight-way power adjustable front seats with memory setting for the driver, keyless entry with push-start button, cruise control, telescopic steering, auto folding side mirrors and isofix points.
The XC60 T5’s core safety features are anti-lock braking system, electronic brake distribution, braking assist, electronic stability control, six airbags, active bending lights, city safety, blind spot information system (BLIS) with close vehicle warning (alerts the driver of approaching vehicles up to 70m), side impact protection system, roll-over protection system, corner traction control, cross traffic alert, whiplash protection system and auto-braking at speeds of up to 50kph (previously 30kph).
The locally-assembled Volvo XC60 T5 is priced at RM266,888, inclusive of the six per cent Goods and Services Tax but without insurance. It comes with a five-year warranty and five-year on-call roadside assistance.
The Volvo XC60 T5 is a spacious, luxurious, safe and powerful all-wheel-drive SUV. We managed to clock about 1,000km in the XC60.
It is long-legged, with the engine revs below 2,000rpm at around the 110kph mark. It has no problem overtaking vehicles on the highway as it doesn’t need to rev hard to overtake because the torque is readily available at 1,500rpm.
The Volvo XC60 has a heavy-weighted steering wheel that responds accurately. Despite the stiff absorber settings, the suspension absorbed most rough road conditions comfortably to the extent that we barely felt any of the bumps or potholes.
The SUV sat firmly on the road on high-speed corners and grips so well that it felt like we were driving a sedan.
The BLIS system helped to ensure it was safe to change lanes and there was no vehicle hiding in the blind spot of the SUV.
There was more than adequate head and leg room in the XC60 to carry five large adults, the only gripe being that it was short of elbow space for the backseat passengers.
The 495-litre boot space was sufficient to pack luggage for a small family to go on a road trip for a few days.
Engine and wind noise was hardly perceptible. Only tyre noise was noticeable at high speed.
The multimedia player was user -friendly, and the sound quality of its eight-speaker system was crystal clear.
It consumed about 8.6 to 9.4 litres of fuel per 100km with a combination of city and highway driving. After pedal-to-the-metal driving, it recorded 11.8 to 13.6 litres fuel per 100km. The meter recorded 7.3 to 8.2 litres per 100km while we cruised on the highway at 110kph.
Overall, the Volvo XC60 T5 is a luxurious, spacious, powerful SUV. There is still room for improvement, like having adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, as well as a powered tailgate.
Lastly, Volvo could do well to improve the turning circle of the XC60 T5. The 12.6m turning circle is not sufficient to manoeuvre around small parking spaces.