2017 Volvo XC60 India Review
The all-new second-generation Volvo XC60, an SUV that, like all of the newer Volvos, promises to put the emphasis on luxury.
Like the larger S90 sedan and XC90 SUV, the XC60 too is based on Volvo’s SPA (Scalable Product Architecture) platform. The visual link to the other Volvos is very clear too. The XC60 has got all the new-age Volvo design trademarks including the Thor’s hammer LED daytime lights and the vertically-slatted chrome grille. But a shrunken XC90 this is not. The rake of the D-pillar, for instance, gives the XC60 a very distinct look and persona. Neat surfacing, sleek 19-inch alloy wheels and LED headlights are some of the other highlights on the car.
The layout is similar to other Volvos but that’s hardly a bad thing. It’s a fairly ergonomic setup, though, the central screen needs about 15 minutes to get accustomed to, but there’s certainly a good deal of grandeur. The trim quality is on par with the XC90’s, with a big highlight being the single panel driftwood dashboard finish. Certain plastic panels on the centre console and above the glove box feel a tad industrial, but that’s forgivable.
Apart from little things like a floor-mounted accelerator pedal and auto hold function, the XC60 comes with cooled/ heated front seats that also get a massage function (a segment first), head-up display, a brilliant Bowers and Wilkins sound system, a panoramic sunroof and enthusiasts will also like the inclusion of steering-mounted paddleshifters. There are also a plethora of driving aids like a 360-degree camera, semi-automatic parking, blind-spot assist and lane departure warning. Importantly, the XC60 is the latest Volvo to feature radar-based safety aids like adaptive cruise control that can automatically adjust speed depending on the speed of the vehicle ahead.
The XC60’s back seat is a bit uncomfortable as door opening is on the narrowed side. However, once in place, you’ll find the rear seat very comfortable, with ample support for the lower back and thighs. There’s a good amount of legroom and adequate headroom too.
On the Road
The ride quality is cushy too and typical of most air suspensions; it gets a bit floaty at speed. Specifically in Comfort mode, there’s definitely a great deal of body roll and the steering isn’t particularly communicative either. But there are no unpleasant surprises to be had. Swap to Dynamic mode and the mannerisms change significantly. It becomes almost sedan-like with the ride stiffening up for improved stability. That does, however, make the ride juddery over rough patches and even rumble strips will send in a good lot of vibrations your way. The drive modes affect the powertrain, suspension, brakes and steering, and each can be tweaked separately using the Individual mode. That said, no matter what mode you choose, you will want for sharper bite from the brakes.
The XC60, for India, comes with four-corner air suspension as standard, and the damping characteristics can be adjusted too. The suspension raises and lowers itself based on the driving modes and the ride firmness too varies noticeably. Typically, like cars with air-suspension, the XC60 tends to float a bit over wavy roads, but bump absorption is very impressive. Stability at speeds is very good and it feels quite agile and eager to change direction. The steering is light but its direct and does weigh up based on the driving mode.
The all-new XC60 is a very important car for Volvo India, since the last one accounted for 30 per cent of their sales. This new version is truly a step up in every manner and its package is strong enough to threaten every one of its segment rivals. The Volvo might not appeal to the driving enthusiast but it strikes a great balance between sportiness and comfort, and it’s that balance which most owners in this segment are likely to take keenly to.
The XC60 is priced at Rs 55.90 lakh (ex-showroom).