Volvo XC60

Fan­tas­tic, he says – Damien O’car­roll is ob­vi­ously im­pressed by the new Volvo XC60.

New Zealand Company Vehicle - - CONTENTS -

Given the num­ber you see of them on lo­cal roads, it would be very easy to say that the XC60 is the quiet achiever of the Volvo range. Ex­cept that isn’t even slightly true. The XC60 is, in fact, the heavy hit­ter of the Volvo range, both her and glob­ally, with the medium SUV be­ing the com­pany’s best sell­ing model since 2009, mak­ing up a full quar­ter of Volvo’s sales here in New Zea­land. So, yeah, it does well for them. That is why an all-new model is so vi­tal to the Chi­nese-owned Swedish man­u­fac­turer; it is a big seller and they need it to stay that way. So it is lucky then that the all-new XC60 launched here late last year just hap­pens to be a thor­oughly con­vinc­ing and ex­cel­lent car. The XC60 range starts with the T5 Mo­men­tum at $84,900 and tops out with the plug-in hy­brid T8 R-de­sign at $117,900 and the ex­am­ple we drive here is a T6 R-de­sign that clocks in at $97,900 as stan­dard, while our par­tic­u­lar car packs a few op­tions that take it up to $109,765, which is a not-in­con­sid­er­able amount for a medium SUV in any­one’s book. For­tu­nately the T6 is a solidly con­vinc­ing ba­sic pack­age topped with an im­pres­sive amount of stan­dard equip­ment. The stan­dard T6 comes with a vast range of equip­ment, in­clud­ing Volvo’s ex­cel­lent Pilot As­sist semi-au­ton­o­mous driver as­sist sys­tem, hand­ily es­chew­ing the sit­u­a­tion of not all that long ago where all the tasty safety and as­sist sys­tems were pricey op­tions on Volvos, seem­ingly go­ing against that brand’s long stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion of safety as stan­dard. Luxury items like four-zone cli­mate con­trol, Nappa leather, LED light­ing and 21-inch al­loy wheels all come stan­dard on the T6, while our ex­am­ple added a Premium Pack (air sus­pen­sion, heated front seats, power fold­ing rear seats, tinted rear win­dows and a premium Bow­ers & Wilkins au­dio sys­tem) for $8,000, lam­i­nated side win­dows for $950 and a panoramic sun­roof for a hefty $2,915. The T6 is pow­ered by a turbo and su­per­charged ver­sion of Volvo’s 2.0-litre petrol four-cylin­der en­gine and pro­duces 246kw of power and 440Nm of torque driv­ing all four wheels through an 8-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The en­gine is su­perbly pow­er­ful and re­spon­sive, with only a slight hint of four­cylin­der noise be­tray­ing its small ca­pac­ity and cylin­der count, while the 8-speed auto is sub­limely slick and ut­terly un­in­tru­sive in its shifts. The XC60 is a won­der­fully pure SUV that doesn’t try to be overtly sporty (de­spite hav­ing a “sport” mode) and as a re­sult ruin its own ride and com­fort. Around town it is serenely com­posed and re­spon­sive, while out on the open road it is con­fi­dent and su­perbly com­fort­able. It can han­dle a wind­ing back road with dig­nity and abil­ity, but its true na­ture shines when cruising at high speed. The XC60 is a medium SUV that puts luxury, com­fort and prac­ti­cal­ity first, but also brings some se­ri­ously good looks, a fan­tas­ti­cally Swedish de­sign ap­proach in­side and a fan­tas­tic driv­e­train to the party. Sure, it is pricey, but you cer­tainly get your money’s worth with it.

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