The new 2018 Volvo XC60 sits right in the centre of the crowded premium mid-size SUV segment. The SUV now in its second generation the XC60 boasts power, luxury and is wrapped in a blanket of safety complimented with smart tech onboard. Volvo XC60 is pretty looking and gets sharp design features and does not pretend to have any strong off-roading presence or neither has any desire to compete on a track. Having said that, the new XC60 still gives the driver a strong road presence and is capable of doing off-roading and has enough power to put a smile on the driver’s face. The new generation SUV has enough reasons for the existing loyal Volvo buyers to upgrade to a new one. Better suspension, better interiors, better technology and safety features pose the question: will the Swedish SUV allure the first-time buyer? We had the chance to drive the new Volvo Xc60 in the famouns East Coast Road in Chennai and the SUV lives up to the reputation built by its elder sibling – Volvo XC90
The 2018 Volvo XC60 carries the Volvo Cars’ family design philosophy and the face of the SUV (especially in that colour) will remind of Volvo XC90 SUV. In other words, the Volvo XC60 is the shorter version of Volvo XC90. The design is bold and aggressive and it indeed looks good from every angle. The face of XC60 incorporates Thor’s hammer sideways T-shaped LED headlights. The vehicles wheelbase is 4.2 inch shorter than the Volvo XC90 buy is still 3.6 inch longer than the first-generation Volvo XC60 which has helped Volvo to increase the rear seating space. The XC60 is also longer, wider and shorter than its predecessor.
2018 Volvo XC60
Under the Scandinavian metal clothing is the Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) which is a modular platform that also underpins the XC90, S90 and the V90. The use of this platform has allowed the designers to express freely diminish the XC90 and with the XC60 it is now possible to get an affordable XC90.
Interiors of Volvo XC60 is designed to impress and is finished in fair good quantity of chrome, matte wood and good quality plastics. With India getting only the top-trim Inscription variant expect XC60 owners to be spoiled with luxury with the company offering three interior trims to choose for. The nice blend of colours set a very Scandinavian atmosphere and takes up Volvo a notch above.
Interiors is bright and has a sense of luxury and comfort. Obviously, the space inside the cabin is not as much as you see on the Volvo XC90 but its certainly enough for a comfortable journey and increased wheelbase from its predecessor has increased rear seating space and there is decent leg-room. The dashboard is neatly laid out and the start-start knob and drive mode selector has chrome embellishment for premium touch and fine finishing of gearbox gives the driver a superior feel. Cushioned massage seats, Bowers & Wilkins music system with 15 speakers
Sitting high on the seats of Volvo XC60, you will again admire the simplicity of the dashboard, centred in a vast upright screen visible to the driver from every angle, interactive and extremely responsive with good resolution. There has been no compromise on the system and is the same one found on the top-variants of Volvo XC90. It comes with in-built navigation and supports both Apple Car Play and Google’s Android Auto.
Volvo XC60 also gets an interactive instrument cluster along with heads-up display so the notifications for directions or active safety features when comes to play immediately alerts the driver making the drive interactive. In our drive, we experienced car giving us speed limit warning, alerting us with a school being nearby, self-braking when required and also the self-park assist works very smoothly.
India bound Volvo XC60 is powered by a 4-Cylinder twin-turbo diesel engine which is a sub-2L engine and sheds a power of 235 hp and 480 Nm of torque. We will only get this one diesel engine for now and many sometime later Volvo will contemplate bringing in the petrol version. The D5 variant of Volvo XC60 is extremely refined and smooth and almost makes you feel like you are driving a petrol-powered car with no noise inside the cabin. We drove along the beautiful coastline of the East Coast Road in Chennai and truly enjoyed in the scenic route. The SUV handled like a sedan and the steering wheel did not feel heavy. You need to keep an eye on speedometer as the XC60 can cross the triple-digit mark in no time.Simple addition of an air-pressurizing tank in the engine worked in the favour of reducing the turbo lag, but it still isn’t a total solution. The XC60 uses suspension from 90 series cars it is nice and stiff.
The engine is mated to a 8-Speed gearbox which is a bit lazy but there the addition of paddle-shifters makes the driving fun. Switching modes from comfort to dynamic mode slowly lessens the tight bend understeer but both modes are equally comfortable. New second generation Volvo XC60Volvo XC60 has been a successful model for the company and the first generation that spanned through nine years saw an overall sale of about a million units worldwide In India, the XC60 contributes to about 30% of its volumes and the new XC60 is likely to that number higher. Volvo Cars India have begun the local assembly of its Volvo XC90 and while the local assembly of new XC60 is on cards the company will initially sell them by importing them from Torslanda Plant in Sweden. Expect the local assembly sometime later in 2018 once the production is ramped up.
Volvo XC60 will take on the likes of Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC and if priced aggressively at about Rs 58 lakh (Ex-showroom) it is likely the SUV taste success in India. Volvo XC60 is indeed the best in this segment at least till the new generation Audi Q5 arrives. Volvo XC60 is also the fifth product by the Swedish auto maker to come with radar based safety features and Volvo Cars India is also the only company to have enabled it. The new tech features on the XC60 and lots of active safety features makes the 2018 Volvo XC60 a winner by a long mile.