XC60 fea­tures com­fort and per­for­mance

Hamilton News - - Front Page -

AFAST-PACED new model pro­gramme with a fo­cus on the SUV seg­ments and recog­ni­tion through ma­jor awards suc­cess have been re­cent themes for Volvo.

In the last few months the com­pact XC40 has won the Euro­pean Car of the Year award while the mid-size XC60 scooped the 2018 World Car of the Year prize an­nounced at the re­cent New York Auto Show.

New Zealand has been an early adopter of the sec­ond gen­er­a­tion XC60 with a late-2017 launch de­liv­er­ing a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid pow­er­train choices for the hand­some new fiveseater SUV.

I sam­pled sev­eral vari­ants at the Hawke’s Bay press launch and re­cently spent more time with the D5 R-de­sign model that com­bines a sports themed ap­pear­ance and spec­i­fi­ca­tion with a high-torque four-cylin­der diesel en­gine.

R-de­sign mod­els are where XC60 cus­tomers get a sports ex­te­rior and sus­pen­sion tun­ing along with the per­for­mance ad­van­tage of the D5 and T6 en­gine choices com­pared to the D4 and T5 units avail­able in Mo­men­tum and In­scrip­tion grades.

It’s a combo that has list pric­ing from $94,900 while the test car to­talled up at $102,900 with the ad­di­tional treats of the $8000 Pre­mium Pack — com­pris­ing a Bow­ers & Wilkins pre­mium au­dio sys­tem, air sus­pen­sion, power fold­ing rear seat back­rest, heated front seats and pri­vacy glass.

The D5 model is pow­ered by the Polestar-op­ti­mised ver­sion of the 2.0-litre Drive-e diesel en­gine that de­vel­ops 177kw out­put at 4000rpm and a mus­cu­lar 500Nm of torque peak­ing from 1500-2500rpm.

Paired-up with a smooth shift­ing eight-speed Geartronic au­to­matic trans­mis­sion that of­fers re­spon­sive kick­down and re­laxed high­way cruis­ing, the D5 has a long-legged per­for­mance style while still man­ag­ing to sprint through 0-100km/h in a re­spectable 7.7secs when some pace is de­manded.

It’s a diesel with ea­ger re­sponse that works well with the wide spread of gear­ing to achieve 100km/h high­way cruis­ing at 1600rpm in eighth gear and ei­ther smooth throttle-prompted or pad­dleshift­pro­voked down­changes to 1900rpm in sev­enth, 2400rpm in sixth and 2900rpm in fifth gear. Like most diesels it’s the open road over­tak­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion rather than launch-from-stand­still ur­gency that is most impressive and a lit­tle ex­tra throttle pres­sure keeps mo­men­tum rolling along.

The driver can se­lect from Eco, Com­fort, Off-road, Dy­namic and In­di­vid­ual drive modes with Com­fort the best so­lu­tion for the city and easy high­way runs while Dy­namic sharp­ens the re­sponse for more in­ter­est­ing roads.

Volvo claims an op­ti­mistic com­bined cy­cle fuel con­sump­tion av­er­age of 5.5 litres per 100km and my road test av­er­aged 7.8L/100km. An open road jour­ney should achieve real world num­bers in the low-sev­ens.

The strong diesel torque is an ideal part­ner to the way the XC60 R-de­sign feels on the road and the con­fi­dence it car­ries through sweep­ing cor­ners. It con­veys a wide-track feel on the high­way with pleas­ing weight to the steer­ing and the mix of wide tyred grip and all­wheel-drive poise com­bines nicely

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