Mo­men­tum is with Volvo

The Chronicle - - Chronicle Motoring -

THERE ap­pears to be no let­ting up on the new model Volvo con­veyor belt now that the Swedish com­pany is un­der Chi­nese own­er­ship.

It’s a move which has seen a dis­tinct move up mar­ket in the Sports Util­ity Ve­hi­cle sec­tor.

Af­ter the big XC90 SUV sec­ond gen­er­a­tion model ap­peared a cou­ple of years ago the slightly smaller XC60 SUV sec­ond in­car­na­tion has ar­rived and early next year an all­new small medium XC40 will de­but.

With this SUV three­some it shows Volvo means real busi­ness in the pre­mium SUV sec­tor dom­i­nated so long by the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Al­though nat­u­rally dif­fer­ent in size, all three Volvo SUV ranges share the same phi­los­o­phy of of­fer­ing qual­ity fin­ished cars in­side and out that are more than on a par in terms of en­gi­neer­ing, tech­nol­ogy, safety and comfort with their Ger­man-made ri­vals.

Volvo has come a long way since the mid sev­en­ties when they linked up with the small Dutch DAF car maker to pro­duce dinky mod­els like the DAF 44, 55 and later the Volvo 65 and 343.

A prime ex­am­ple of where Volvo stands to­day is with the new XC60 which in re­al­ity of­fers the best of both SUV worlds with it be­ing medium-sized but with plenty of in­te­rior space, re­ally com­fort­able seats and all the lat­est mod cons in terms of in-car tech­nol­ogy and qual­ity en­gi­neer­ing.

Driv­ing the lat­est XC60 D4 AWD Mo­men­tum, which comes in at a re­al­is­tic £37,205 for a car in this class, it’s easy to see why the Chi­nese bosses at Volvo’s new own­ers Geely have al­lowed the var­i­ous teams back in Swe­den to get on with the job and pro­duce such qual­ity mod­els – some­thing they were un­able to do un­der Ford.

Like other cur­rent Volvo mod­els the XC60 is of­fered with a choice of ei­ther D4 or D5 2.0-litre turbo diesel en­gines and there’s even now a plug-in hy­brid in the range.

The D4 190bhp en­gine in this car has to be one of the qui­etest oil burn­ers in any cur­rent SUV – it’s even more re­fined and qui­eter than the Audi or BMW model ri­vals.

With a choice of three trim lev­els avail­able – the en­try-level Mo­men­tum fol­lowed by the R-De­sign and fi­nally the ad­mit­tedly quite ex­pen­sive range-top­ping In­scrip­tion – there’s a model to suit most driv­ers’ bud­get in the pre­mium SUV sec­tor.

The en­try-level Mo­men­tum is cer­tainly good value for money par­tic­u­larly when weigh­ing up the qual­ity and finish in­side and the high level of stan­dard equip­ment.

This in­cludes a nine-inch con­sole touch­screen that looks af­ter the in­fo­tain­ment, nav­i­ga­tion, cli­mate con­trol and much more and cru­cially it’s so easy and quick to use, some­thing you can’t al­ways say about ri­val mod­els.

Also in­cluded in the stan­dard line-up is a Sen­sus nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem with full Europe, plus a Sen­sus Con­nect sys­tem that links the car up with web apps and be­ing a Volvo it’s packed to the gun­wales with safety fea­tures. These in­clude a city safety pack with au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing, LED day­time run­ning lights, two-zone cli­mate con­trol, leather up­hol­stery and a handy power tail­gate open­ing and clos­ing mech­a­nism.

Sit­ting on 18-inch al­loy wheels the XC60 Mo­men­tum, whilst per­haps not as sporty to drive as some of its ri­vals, is sure-footed, cor­ners well with lit­tle body roll and is re­ally the ideal long dis­tance cruiser.

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