Zero to XC60 in 10 months Com­fort­able, prac­ti­cal, well made… the Volvo wins over ev­ery­one sooner or later. By

CAR (UK) - - Our Cars - An­thony rench-Con­stant

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.