VOLVO XC60 D5

VOLVO XC60 D5 AWD R-DE­SIGN

Driven - - CONTENTS - Re­port & Im­ages © DEON VAN DER WALT (TCB ME­DIA)

An XC40/90 com­pro­mise?

SO, YOU’RE THINK­ING OUT OF THE BENZ AND BMW BOX, BE­CAUSE YOU ARE A PRAC­TI­CAL THINKER AND WANT TO STAND OUT FROM THE CROWD. BERNIE HELLBERG DIS­COV­ERS WHY THE NEW VOLVO XC60 IS HARD TO BEAT, AL­THOUGH IT LACKS SOME OF THE CHARM OF ITS XC40 SIB­LING.

Volvo is at the fore­front of avant­garde de­sign since the ar­rival of the XC90 premium SUV, and they’ve been rid­ing the wave with the S90 sedan and its V90 Cross Coun­try sib­ling, and more re­cently with the in­tro­duc­tion of the XC40 and now the slightly larger than that, XC60 medium com­pact SUV.

The XC60 is a beau­ti­ful beast – long bon­net, the raked wind­screen and set back cabin make for a sleek pro­file, and al­though it’s not as de­li­ciously boxy as the XC40, I’m a fan of the carved-out door pan­els and wingstyle rocker pan­els, and that stately grille with is gi­ant badge, and the ver­ti­cal tail­lights.

SHE’S GOT THE LOOK

The R-De­sign D5 looks al­most iden­ti­cal to its petrol twin, the (range-top­ping by a mere R2,000 dif­fer­ence) R-De­sign T6. The in­te­rior is mod­ern and min­i­mal­ist; al­though the 9.3” ver­ti­cal touch­screen isn’t quite as im­pres­sive as the gi­ant dis­play in the XC90, it’s still a unique look­ing set-up. With that screen tak­ing care of cli­mate con­trol, ve­hi­cle set­tings, and the me­dia sys­tem, the cabin has been de­clut­tered, with min­i­mal but­tons on dis­play – just like other new-gen­er­a­tion Volvos. An alu­minium mesh trim snakes its way along that cleanly de­signed dash, around that dis­play, and the over­sized air vents.

PRAC­TI­CAL­ITY ENOUGH

The XC60 is a mid-sized SUV with di­men­sions sim­i­lar to its Audi Q5, Mercedes­Benz GLC, and BMW X3 ri­vals. It is 4,688 mm long, 2,117 mm wide, and 1,685 mm tall, en­dow­ing it with enough room on the in­side to com­pare favourably with the com­pe­ti­tion, if not al­ways beat them out­right.

The cabin is spa­cious but not overly so, with plenty of head, leg and shoul­der room, with even taller rear pas­sen­gers be­ing catered for re­gard­less (al­most) of the driv­ing po­si­tion.

Stor­age in­side is good, with two cup hold­ers and large door pock­ets in the front, and two cup hold­ers and smaller door pock­ets in the back. The cen­tre con­sole stor­age area un­der the cen­tre arm­rest is also a de­cent size and is a clear re­minder of the bin­na­cle on all new Volvo cars

Boot ca­pac­ity of 505 litres (with rear seats up) isn’t huge, and ri­vals such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mer­cedes-Benz GLC have 550 litres of cargo space. Not that this was an ob­vi­ous hin­drance dur­ing our week-long test, but if you’re se­ri­ous about space and you are in the mar­ket for a premium SUV, load vol­ume might be­come a chal­lenge.

VALUE FOR MONEY?

The XC60 R-De­sign D5 lists for R782,036 at the time of go­ing to print, which po­si­tions it sec­ond to the top of the range. The D5 de­riv­a­tive is also avail­able in Mo­men­tum (R735,636), and In­scrip­tion trim (R779,736), but with the ad­di­tion of an R-De­sign steer­ing wheel, sports seats, ped­als and car­pet, the tiny price dif­fer­ence between In­scrip­tion and R-De­sign should have you sign for the lat­ter in a heart­beat.

The stan­dard fea­tures list is ex­ten­sive – there are the ver­ti­cal touch­screen and a 12.3” in­ter­ac­tive driver dis­play, sat­nav, cruise con­trol (adap­tive is op­tional),

head-up dis­play, 10-speaker stereo sys­tem,

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