Power, Speed, Agility. 3 words that you wouldn’t commonly use to describe an SUV. But in the case of the Volvo XC60 , we found these and more. Passed the keys for a weekend test drive, we were excited to put it through its paces (In the current market, it’s not common for one to have the opportunity to own, let alone, drive a marque continental car).
It’s surely a larger car compared to the staple of Japanese sedans most of us are used to. Once inside, you are treated to a sense of refinement from the leather bound seats to the smooth lines of the dashboard. A feeling of unexpectedly being upgraded from economy to first class is the best way to describe it.
Before us, we also realised that the windscreen was WIDE. It was like viewing a 16:9 widescreen instead of the normal 4:3 TV aspect ratio that we are used to. We found ourselves just staring at it at times.But also realised that with more viewing real estate, the drive is that much safer. The weight distribution hitch balances the load at the front part of the trailer up to the axle. It also balances the total weight, including everything that’s inside your trailer. For other cars, if you opt not having them installed, you will end up having a hard time.
Knobs Knobs and more knobs! The console is filled with them. There’s a knob for music, There’s a full numeric keypad for phone calls, There’s a knob for the internet (only active when stationary of course).There’s a knob for a knob. Not to be outdone, the speedometer was also fully digitised and filled with more info that one can imagine Power, torque, speed..etc in 3 customizable themes depending on your mood and I guess if you wanted to colour coordinate it with your outfit for the day.
And what’s a Volvo without world class safety features? 5 Star NCAP ratings, Electronic Stability Control, Active Bending Lights (that turn in the direction of the car as it’s moving) to mention a few. But one particular feature caught our attention, that is, the CITY safe function. What it is basically, is the car looking out for you. At speeds up to 50km/h, the car will scan some 150 meters ahead of it, and if it detects an obstruction in that area, it will either prepare the brakes or apply it completely should you not. Now, that’s quite something else.
But aside from creature comforts safety and shiny knobs, the meat of any car review should be the drive.
How does it feel?
We are happy to report that it felt very assured and willing to go at a tap of the pedal. A well-controlled symphony of power (245BHP) ready to be unleashed. But at the same time, with the ability to throttle down to civic-minded neighbourhood rolling when the situation calls for it. It may be a big car but it’s ready to do pirouettes when tasked.
And thankfully, it did not suffer from what we call “Hyperdrive”.
You’ve felt it before, the bane of some turbo engined cars, that seem to ONLY have 2 speeds. “Granny” slow or “Mad Max end of the world” fast. With nothing in between.
The XC 60 however, seemed to be more moderate in this department, litre , gradually metering out the speed and ensuring that when did press down hard, your spine and general body still stayed in the same lateral plane.
We were also informed that the nlitre, 4 cylinder E-drive engine is very fuel efficient. Rated at an economical 14.9km/h. Though we must say, from the outside the engine did sound slightly guttural and raw (that’s a good thing).
So all in all, what did we think? As you can see in the video review, we found the car to be quite likeable. We forgot that it was a Volvo at times. In the sense that it’s not the stodgy cautious Volvos of old. It was actually quite well balanced with speed and agility ready to go when needed and at the same time also comfortable, safe and controlled.
Check out our review video here:
The new XC60 can be test driven at Wearnes Automotive.
About Guest Blogger
Paul Goh shoots events and can occasionally be found in the back seat of a continental car driven by 2 men in sunglasses. For all video enquiries, do contact him at [email protected]