Safety comes as standard in XC60
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