Volvo XC60

FIRST DRIVE Is high-spec petrol SUV the XC60 to go for?

Auto Express - - Contents - Sam Nay­lor Sam_­nay­lor@den­ @Sam­nay­lor_ae

Turbo petrol ver­sion of award-win­ning SUV hits the road

WE’VE al­ready been highly im­pressed by the new Volvo XC60. It takes all of what we love from the XC90 and con­denses it into a more af­ford­able, smaller pack­age.

There are two petrol mod­els in the range: the four-cylin­der turbo T5 and the plug-in hy­brid T8 model, which also has a pow­er­ful elec­tric mo­tor on board. Here we test the T5 in R-de­sign Pro trim, which is aimed at com­pany car buy­ers with sev­eral pop­u­lar op­tions fit­ted as stan­dard.

The higher-spec model wears 21-inch al­loy wheels, as well as big­ger ex­haust pipes and dif­fer­ent bumpers. It also has a ‘sports chas­sis’ and some sporty­look­ing in­te­rior trim, in­clud­ing shift pad­dles be­hind the steer­ing wheel.

The 251bhp en­gine packs a de­cent punch, but it isn’t the best fit for the XC60. The new SUV is set up for re­fine­ment and com­fort, so doesn’t match the Jaguar F-pace for driv­ing plea­sure, and in this spec with this en­gine it feels com­pro­mised.

The huge 21-inch wheels crash into pot­holes, and the ride is much busier than mod­els run­ning on smaller 19-inch wheels. On a bumpy B-road it feels less com­posed than an F-pace, which deals bet­ter with Bri­tish roads when driv­ing quickly. Still, the XC60 re­mains very re­fined and soft­ens out on the mo­tor­way.

While the four-cylin­der turbo en­gine doesn’t sound par­tic­u­larly ex­cit­ing, it is very quiet around town and is sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than the D4 and D5 diesels at low revs. How­ever, the pow­er­train doesn’t feel as strong as its fig­ures sug­gest.

We’ve no doubt it has the grip and power to com­plete its claimed 0-60mph time in 6.4 sec­onds, but there just isn’t as much shove as you’d ex­pect from a 251bhp en­gine when you put your foot down to over­take in-gear. It has 350Nm of torque where the D5 diesel has 480Nm, so the lat­ter ac­tu­ally feels more po­tent on the road.

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