Zero to XC60 in 10 months Comfortable, practical, well made… the Volvo wins over everyone sooner or later. By
SO FAREWELL, THEN, almost an entire Volvo XC60 D4 AWD Inscription Pro. It goes without saying that the bit missing is the retractable luggage cover, which was removed on day one to add space to the evilsmelling dog’s quarters aft and has duly taken its pre-ordained place in the veritable pantheon of same occupying outside shed B at the ff-C Mudfordshire mortgage millstone.
To paraphrase the robot tailor in Woody Allen’s comic masterpiece Sleeper, the XC60 ownership experience has been, by and large, ‘tuhmendous’. The interior is comfortable, beautifully screwed together, extremely well equipped and – the odd over-knurled knob aside – very much to my, and perhaps more importantly, the missus’ taste.
Granted, the centre console screen has succumbed to sufficient grubby dab smearings to now closely resemble those old Vaseline-lensed Mateus Rose TV adverts, and temperatures under the collar have risen somewhat with the air-conditioning’s reluctance to just belt up and belt out on the hottest days.
But since the former may be readily addressed with a wet wipe and the latter may very well be down to some mysterious form of as yet unidentified pilot error, these hardly constitute shortcomings for which Egon Ronay might contemplate knocking off a star.
On the move, despite a propensity to roll a tad (in a manner which strikes me as entirely appropriate to a machine set up, first and foremost, for long-haul comfort), the XC60 ticks the grace and space boxes admirably, but does fall a whisker short on real-world pace.
Figures of 187bhp, 295lb ft and 8.4 seconds to 62mph are perfectly respectable but, truth be told, the four-cylinder diesel can become over-vocal when pressed, and an average fuel consumption relentlessly glued in the high 32s pays testament to the extent to which this has happened.
In Mudfordshire, most particularly when the rose scents the arbour, those that creak drive their crappy Rovers at precisely the speed indicated by the numerals on the stern (75, alas, excepted), and so in the interests of any progress at all, overtaking prowess is essential. The Volvo pulls just about acceptably when pushed, but the word ‘nip’ never really enters the equation during passing manoeuvres, and – in a rare fall from premium billing grace – the resultant noise somewhat detracts from the otherwise almost ubiquitous feelings of comfort, refinement and well-being aboard.
Then again so, to be brutally honest, does the younger hooligan’s propensity to throw up and the evil-smelling dog’s tendency to break wind if cornering vim generates even a whiff of g. Hence any family outing’s arrival on a stretch of relatively straight dual carriageway is invariably met with a collective sigh of relief and the en-mass powering up of windows.
We’ll miss the Volvo. It’s a doddle to live with, a pleasure to occupy and plenty enough pleasing to drive. Indeed, the worst thing about living with a marque which now properly merits premium status is the clear and present danger that whatever follows in its footsteps will fail to do so.
Anthony will miss the games of grandma’s footsteps he used to play with the XC60
Touchcreen attracts grease like a transport cafewindow