Volvo XC60 Hatchback First Drive & Transmission

Volvo XC60 Overview

Luxury cars aren’t just about being luxurious, but even style, premium-ness and exclusive. The niche-ness does exist. Buyers have been looking at the three Germans and the British marquee JLR off lately. There has been one brand that has been steadily growing and is happy to be niche at the moment. Its the Scandinavian brand Volvo. A company that went through its hardship of financial crisis at the global level. Then it revived itself with the XC90, then the S90 and the V90. Now it is the XC60. The new-generation that has evolved, and gets a new platform. The previous XC60 contributed to about 30% of their sales. Now, it is new-generation that will boost the numbers.Book a test drive for Volvo XC60 in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive 

Check for Volvo XC60 On Road Price in Pune

Volvo XC60 Exterior & Style

But first, let’s take some time to admire the finer details. This Volvo no longer has the pointy nose of the previous generation. Instead, it gets the new-age Volvo grill which is flanked by sleek headlamps featuring the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED DRLs, which extends right till the grille itself. A new touch here is that the bumper features sharper creases towards the end, which add some drama to the front profile. The cornering fog lamps are neatly tucked under the lower lip. This combined with the active bending headlights light up corners while turning at nightMove to the side a bit and you realise that while the new design is sharper, it’s still the subtlety of the XC60 that makes it look beautiful. The window line now kinks up at the back, making way for a more angular C-pillar. But the body crease still flows straight and goes right into the taillamps. Viewed from the side, the best features though are the 19-inch 10-spoke wheels with their low-ish profile 235/55 size tyres. The tyres used in the XC60 are made by Michelin especially for Volvo, with the addition of a grippier compound to make the car accelerate faster and stop in a lower distance.

Get behind the SUV and the vertically oriented taillamps take you back to the older generation. But, this time around, the units flow into the boot gate. These feature an LED border which adds quite a modern touch. But still, the rear looks typically Volvo — simple, sober and a tad boring. Also, the new XC60 is 44mm longer, 11mm wider and 14mm shorter than the last gen, giving it a squatter stance. This helps the front of the car make a strong impression and gives this SUV an impressive presence. But, as you move to the back, it starts to fade away, just a bit.

Volvo XC60 Interior & Space

usually get into the driver’s seat first, of any new car, but this time around, things were different. As our car waited in the hotel lobby, They went towards the boot with my bag and simply opened it by moving my foot below the tail gate. Neat feature, no? As the large 505-litres boot gulped down my small bag, They couldn’t help but lift up the spare wheel cover to check out how things are arranged. The space saver spare tyre can be used for speeds up to 80 km/hr but what I found interesting was the placement of two air cylinders on either side of the spare wheel, neat!. Now jumped into the rear seat which is so nicely designed and well-sculpted, it is almost art! Support for the back and thighs is brilliant and the seats are placed at just the right height, allowing you a good view out of the window. While head room and shoulder space are good, knee room is quite limited and tall passengers will hardly have any space between their knees and the front seat unless the front seat is pushed far ahead. Other than that, no disappointments. While you do get the conventional AC vents at the rear, Volvo has also fitted additional vents on the B-pillars.

The front seats are again super, good in size, excellent in comfort and support. You also get a good view out from the driver’s seat. The dashboard carries the same styling as the XC90 which isn’t a bad thing. Volvo has used very premium materials for the interior upholstery and it shows. The centre console houses a long storage space next to the diamond-cut engine start-stop button. The doors also get bottle holders and enough space to keep small things and the overall practicality in the cabin is good.Talking about the features, I’ll start off with the audio system because, well, this is a Volvo and the Swede automaker has been providing top class acoustics in its cars. The Bowers & Wilkins music system sounds crisp with a variety of settings which help you find just the right balance for your personal choice. As for me, I always select the Gothenburg Hall setting which matches my liking and it sounds extremely good. You also get other features like Ambient Lighting, massage function for the seats, 360-degree view camera, Park Assist, etc. In India, the Volvo XC60 will be offered in only the Inscription D5 trim which means you get all the bells and whistles.

Volvo XC60 Engine & Gearbox

This midsize SUV from Volvo gets a 2.0-litre diesel engine which is the most powerful one (235PS/480Nm) in its segment. So, on paper, it should be fun to drive. Switch on the motor and, inside the cabin, it is barely audible. Off the line, there is no noticeable turbo lag and the XC60 pulls away cleanly. Low-end power is further assisted by Volvo’s Power Pulse tech, which is basically a jolt to the turbo at lower revs when you need to get going in a hurry. This means no waiting around for the turbocharger to kick in when you’re at slower speeds, and that should make it easier to make a quick overtake when you’re in the city. There is a good amount of grunt from the engine from around 2200rpm till 4000rpm. With a tested 0-100kmph time of 8.54 seconds, the XC60 isn’t going to knock your socks off, but it is reasonably quick.

There are four drive modes on offer – Eco, Comfort, Off-Road and Dynamic. Set the drive to Eco mode, and throttle response dulls down significantly. But, of course, that’s expected since this mode is meant for fuel efficiency. Speaking of which, in our road tests, we managed 11.42kmpl in the city and 15.10kmpl on the highway.

The transmission here is an 8-speed automatic which keeps the car in the meat of this powerband if you wish to be playful. Drive leisurely and it will shift around the 2,000 mark. The shifts themselves are quick and seamless, even in stop-and-go city traffic. On the highways, it switches gears perfectly for overtakes and cruising at triple-digit speeds. On the chance that you hit some trucker traffic through the ghats, the in-gear acceleration is good enough to swipe through the gaps, with 20-80kmph (kickdown) taking 5.50 seconds. The engine begins to be audible in the cabin from around 2,200 rpm but the sound is never that intrusive or harsh to be an issue even on longer journeys.

Volvo XC60 Driving Dynamics

The XC60’s air suspension is an absolute delight. In Dynamic mode, it stiffens up and the car remains very stable at high speeds. On broken roads though, this setting lets you feel the unevenness of the road surface in the cabin. But, in the city, switch to Comfort and the the ride becomes plush. The SUV starts to glide over broken roads or speed breakers. This does make the ride a little bouncy. There’s not much vertical movement in the body, but a bit of side to side movement over potholes is felt.

Out on the highways, it’s better to stay put in Dynamic mode, or at least that setting of the suspension as it restricts body roll and keeps the SUV planted to the ground. Off-road mode lifts the car up by 50mm to help it tackle obstacles. The max clearance of the XC60 is rated at 223mm, which is impressive, but even with AWD, our little experience says it’s better suited for tarmac. The steering feels quite light in the city, especially in the Comfort mode, but gains weight proportionally as the speeds increase. Feedback from the tyres is not all that great but given that it is a luxury SUV, we have no real complaints here. There’s also strong but predictable stopping power available with the 100-0kmph panic brake test executed in 38.02 metres.

Volvo XC60 Safety & Security

Safety features like multiple airbags, ABS, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Collision Warning, Pilot Assist, Blind Spot Information with Steer Assist and Cross Traffic Alert (BLIS), iTPMS, Traction Control, Hill Hold, etc are present on this SUV. Volvo’s network in India isn’t as wide-spread as its German rivals but the company is slowly and steadily working its way up there and increasing their reach across the country.

Volvo XC60 Cost in Hyderabad

Volvo Xc60 Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 50,60,500/- (XC60 Inscription) to 50,60,500/- (XC60 Inscription). Get best offers for Volvo Xc60 from Volvo Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for XC60 price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Volvo XC60 Conclusion

Volvo is an underdog in the Indian luxury 4-wheeler market. The company makes such brilliant pieces of engineering that it is a bit unfortunate that Indian buyers are only obsessed with German offerings in these segments. While nothing in this world is perfect, there are some things which are close to perfection. The 2018 Volvo XC60 is one of those cars which is hard to fault and the only thing which loses brownie points is the limited leg-space at the rear. If you want a powerful luxury SUV that isn’t too large in size but offers good driving pleasure, intricate details and mind-numbing features, the Volvo XC60 is definitely the one to go for.