What is it?
The new Volvo XC60 is probably the easiest car you’ll have to get your head around this year.
You know how people love SUVs and crossovers? Well, they like them so much that the previous-generation XC60, despite being nine years old, sold in greater numbers in 2016 than it ever had in its life before. That’s not how car sales patterns are meant to work; they usually peak a year or two after launch, and then slowly fade thereafter. But it shows how much people want a) a Volvo, b) an SUV and c) ideally, a Volvo SUV. So here we are.
Volvo is undergoing something of a resurgence, what with the new XC90, and S and V90. This new XC60 is in the same vein, which is why if you’ve been following Volvo’s newfound good fortune at all you’ll know what to expect.
It’s an Audi Q5/BMW X3/Land Rover Discovery Sport-sized car, then, that uses the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) that underpins Volvo’s ‘90’ models. At 4.7m long, the five-seater is a little longer and wider but lower than the previous-generation XC60, and designed on the outside to have some new Volvo cues but retain lots of the appeal that made the old car such a success.
When it comes to suspension and powertrains, here’s the deal: double wishbones at the front, with an integral link setup at the rear, with coil springs at the front and a transverse leaf spring as standard at the back, and air springs optional all round.
There’s nothing bigger under the bonnet than an engine of 2.0-litres and of no more than four-cylinders. That can mean petrol or diesel, turbocharging, or supercharging and turbocharging, or hybrid assistance, with some compressed air thrown in too, which I’ll come back to.
In the UK, we get two diesels (a 187bhp D4 and a 232bhp D5), one turbo petrol (the 250bhp T5) and one petrol-electric hybrid (the 401bhp T8). All get eight-speed autos and all-wheel drive and, being a Volvo, about twenty dozen safety systems are standard, and upgrades on them optional.