Volvo XC60 Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox

Volvo XC60 Overview

Volvo has been on a roll in India as far as products are concerned. The latest to join the bandwagon is the new second generation XC60. Now, we’ve already driven the car before but now we got our hands on one in India. The XC60 has been part of the Volvo fleet in India since 2011 and the second generation, brings with it a whole new look, feel and of course perspective. And it needed that badly considering the premium midsize SUV segment has just had some very interesting new entrants. The segment has recently seen the addition of the more affordable Jaguar F-Pace, and even Lexus’ NX 300h which will soon go on sale. Audi too is all set to bring in the Q5 next year and the new-gen X3 is all set to hit the Indian roads in the first half of 2018. So, there’s already a lot there and there’s a lot coming, which is why Volvo needed to get everything right with this one. So, has it? Book a test drive for Volvo XC60 in Tryaldrive.

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Volvo XC60 Style

It speaks the design language of its elders and though I’m not a big fan of the same-sausage-different-size philosophy, the elegance of Volvo’s new design is something that I would openly welcome on various body styles. Like the 90 branded range of Volvo’s, the XC60 too is built on the Scalable Product Architecture – a modular platform that allows Volvo’s engineers and designers to customize the dimensions of the car to suit various body-styles. The distance between the front axle and the dashboard remains unchanged on all SPA cars though and this works in the XC60’s favour by giving it proportions appropriate for a premium crossover. Compared to its highly successful predecessor, the new XC60 is 44mm longer, 11mm wider and 14mm shorter and the result is a crossover that has an athletic stance and looks very proportionate.

The Volvo XC60 does resemble the XC90 in many ways, but its smaller dimensions are evident even when it’s standing by itself. Another quick way of distinguishing the XC60 from the XC90 is the front face, where the Thor’s Hammer daytime running lights poke their way out to reach the grille. The headlight assembly is studded with adaptive LED headlamps and the rear is typical Volvo with the familiar design of the taillights.

The side profile looks quite interesting too with the 19-inch wheels beefing up the stance. I particularly like the large doors which now extend all the way down to the floor and integrate the side skirting within the exterior door panel. This prevents your trousers from picking up stains during ingress or egress after an off-road session or a wet weather drive. Quite practical and thoughtful.

Volvo XC60 Space

Premium leather has been used on the seats, dashboard and doors to wrap the occupants in luxury. The Nappa leather used on the seats is of fine quality and it feels luxurious. The dashboard looks quite similar to the S90 with a similar layout and an identical centre console. But here, the highlight is the matte finish ‘driftwood’ which runs along the width of the dashboard to break the black monotony. It all look simple yet elegant. The seats offer a commanding driving position with a 12.3-inch fully digital instrument cluster and a heads-up display showing all relevant information.

Speaking of the seats, the front two are heated, ventilated and feature one of the best massage functions we have ever experienced in a car. Not to mention, they are electronically adjustable, right till the under-thigh cushion. The are extremely well bolstered and keep the occupants cocooned right from their thighs to their shoulders. The centre console offers tons of storage spaces, with a tambour door sliding open to make way for cup-holders, which also double up as a neat little key holder. And there is lots of space under the armrest, in the glovebox and in the large front door pockets. Not to nitpick, but some of the plastic bits like the glovebox cover and the interior light switches do not match the quality of the rest of the cabin.

The rear bench has a similar story. These are one of the best contoured rear seats in the segment and come with a heating function. At the back, you’ll also find centre- and B-pillar-mounted AC vents cooling the sabin swiftly via a 4-zone climate control. The centre armrest falls perfectly to support your elbow and even features a storage compartment and foldable cup holders. Headroom and legroom is ample, but knee room could be a little cramped for passengers taller than 6 feet in height. Open up the panoramic sunroof blind and the cabin feel airy and large.

The boot is large, with 505 litres of storage available, and buttons to electronically drop the rear seats into a 60:40 split to open up more room. The boot even feature buttons to lower the loading lip height by dropping the rear air suspension. And if you want more convenience, the boot gate can be operated and closed hands-free by waving your foot under the rear bumper, though it can take a few attempts to get right.

The cabin is feature rich as well. Its 9-inch vertically placed centre console display gets a plethora of options, with controls right from the sear adjustment to the radar guiding driving assists. You also get Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, an excellent Bowers & Wilkins 15-speaker setup with a variety of audio configurations, navigation, a very capable 360-degree camera with better resolution than most mobile phones, and a whole list of safety features like lane keeping assist, blind spot warning and radar-guided cruise control. For more info on Volvo XC60 check industrynewswire

Volvo XC60 Performance

Volvo decided to plonk a 2-litre diesel engine but it’s one with a higher state of tune – the D5. This one makes 233 bhp and 480 Nm of peak torque which gives it a heads-up over its rivals. It’s an all-wheel drive too and the 8-speed automatic transmission channels the power to all four wheels. There’s adequate torque available throughout the rev range and the mid-range is especially strong. It’s refined too and you really have to try to get your head around the fact that it’s a diesel engine under there. The NVH levels are so good that there’s hardly any engine noise that creeps into the cabin and if you’re not impressed by the mannerisms of the engine, well, the ride quality is well adjusted too.

The XC60 comes with four-corner air suspension as standard, and the damping characteristics can be adjusted too. You can raise and lower the suspension based on the driving modes and the way this one takes on those occasional potholes or the undulated roads left us impressed. We thought that the air suspension would lead to a floaty ride, but no, that’s well contained and the bumps are easily absorbed which makes it even more impressive.

The XC60 is pretty agile too and high-speed stability is one of the crucial things that we have to commend Volvo for. The power provided to the wheels is seamless and you have to keep an eye on the instrument cluster, else, you’ll be breaking a few speed limits if you’re not careful. Sadly, we missed out on taking it off-road and we’d like to know more about how it stacks up to the wilderness with its 223mm of ground clearance; but that for another day.

Volvo XC60 Driving

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

If the list of safety features isn’t the juiciest part of the brochure, the car wouldn’t qualify as a Volvo. Appreciably, the carmaker hasn’t shied away from bringing in some of its best safety tech to the India-spec XC60 either. For a mid-level offering, the list is commendable and the most notable features and assistance systems are front, side and curtain airbags, collision mitigation support at the front and rear, emergency steering assist, lane keeping assist and emergency braking assist. The City Safety package, which uses most of these systems in its application, had debuted in India on the previous genertion XC60. The new one takes its further by being active at city as well as highway speeds, making the new Volvo XC60 a safer package overall.

Volvo XC60 Cost in Hyderabad

Volvo Xc60 On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 60,15,510 to 60,15,510 for variants XC60 Inscription and XC60 Inscription respectively. Volvo Xc60 is available in 1 variants and 4 colours. Below are details of Volvo Xc60 variants price in Hyderabad. Check for XC60 price in Hyderabad at Carzprice.

Volvo XC60 Conclusion

The new XC60 SUV adorns the skin of the its bigger sibling XC90 and a mere glance at the Volvo XC60 images would be enough keep you engaged with its boldness. As compared to its predecessor, the new model has been transformed with more tweaks and add-ons in it. The Swedish brand has made sure for it to be a head turner. The front apron now has a new addition of Volvo’ signature ‘Thor’ Hammer DRL, whereas the key highlight is the front chrome grille with vertical slats. Replacing its 2.4-litre – 5 cylinder engine, the new version comes with a more powerful 2.0-litre 4-cylinder D5 diesel power plant. While the old 6-speed automatic transmission has also been replaced with an 8-speed automatic.

It can belt out a power output of 235bhp Volvo has introduced this product in the Indian market in just one variant – the Inscription D5, which is fully loaded with techs and features. The crystal glass gear knobs and the diamond shaped controls for the start/stop button gives an exclusivity to anyone in it. The tablet-like touch screen control console is a terrific addition along with that the button-less dashboard is one the many fantastic new features you will witness in the new Volvo XC60. The plush interiors are offered with soft leather and driftwood décor inlays makes this SUV the most attractive one in the market today.

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