Safety comes as stan­dard in XC60

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORING -

IF, like me, you have been watch­ing the ex­cel­lent For the Love of Cars on Chan­nel 4 with Life on Mars star Philip Glenis­ter you will know that this week’s test car has saved lives... a lot of lives.

Well not so much the car rather the man­u­fac­turer, Volvo, who in­vented the three point seat belt we all take for granted to­day in the late 1950s and then, in the in­ter­ests of safety, gave away the de­sign to all other car mak­ers.

As Mr Glenis­ter told us in his typ­i­cally dour style that al­most un­heard of au­to­mo­tive act of gen­eros­ity has since saved an es­ti­mated one mil­lion lives on the world’s roads.

In fact, Volvo have in­vented a num­ber of mo­tor­ing safety firsts in­clud­ing side im­pact pro­tec­tion, cur­tain airbags and their lat­est in­no­va­tion is an airbag to pro­tect pedes­tri­ans, which in­flates in front of the wind­screen if the car de­tects that it has hit some­one. On their web­site the Swedish man­u­fac­turer states their aim is that no one will be killed or se­ri­ously in­jured in a new Volvo by 2020.

Our test car this week, the 2015 XC60, is bristling with Volvo safety fea­tures un­der a sys­tem they call In­tel­liSafe in­clud­ing: col­li­sion warn­ing with full auto brak­ing, pedes­trian and cy­clist de­tec­tion, adap­tive cruise con­trol, driver alert con­trol, road sign in­for­ma­tion dis­play, au­to­matic head­light high beam, blind spot mon­i­tor­ing and lane de­par­ture warn­ing.

I must say, how­ever, who­ever de­signed the last one in­cluded a fea­ture which made me smile ev­ery time the warn­ing went off as you switched lanes be­cause the noise is ex­actly the same as the sound TV’s Six Mil­lion Dollar Man made as he switched into bionic mode (you have to be over a cer­tain age to re­mem­ber the hit 1970s se­ries).

Volvo are even work­ing on a car au­topi­lot which would take you safely to your des­ti­na­tion. This amaz­ing devel­op­ment is not some­thing for the far fu­ture as their first self-driv­ing cars are al­ready be­ing tested on Swedish roads, with 100 planned to be in use by 2017.

So we know your fam­ily will be as safe as pos­si­ble in the XC60 but what about the rest of things?

Well it’s a stand­out stylish es­tate car with looks that hint at of­froad ca­pa­bil­ity, although our test D4 Man­ual SE Lux Nav four­cylin­der ver­sion was only 2WD.

There are two other en­gines avail­able, both with 4x4 drive sys­tems, a petrol 3litre six cylin­der with an im­pres­sive 300bhp and a five­cylin­der diesel which, like our four cylin­der diesel, has a re­spectable 181bhp.

That means our near bot­tom of the range test car can do 0-62 in 8.5 sec­onds and hit 130mph.

The large petrol en­gine ver­sion’s time is 6.9 sec­onds and again a 130 top speed but the big dif­fer­ence is in fuel con­sump­tion, 60mpg com­bined from the diesel but just over 26 for the petrol, so I know which one I would go for.

In­side there is a real qual­ity feel and lots of space for pas­sen­gers and lug­gage de­spite all the toys be­ing present, in­clud­ing heated seats and even the steer­ing wheel the dash is un­clut­tered and sim­ple to use although the cen­tral dis­play is not touch screen.

There are three driv­ing modes, sport, com­fort and eco and I par­tic­u­larly like the higher than stan­dard es­tate car driv­ing po­si­tion, comfy yet sup­port­ive Volvo seats and the fact that a power open­ing tail­gate comes as stan­dard.

So what is the cost of all this al­most ‘over en­gi­neered’ safety and com­fort? Well the XC 60 range starts at £31,260 for the D4 SE and our Lux Nav ver­sion is £35,160 on the road.

How­ever, the test car did have a large num­ber of packs and op­tions which pushed that up quite a bit to £43,290.

More at www. volvo­cars.co. uk

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