Volvo cars are often considered left-field and for that, we are glad. The Swedish luxury brand does not go chasing lap times or ‘sportiness’ unlike its German peers and instead, Volvo is about a zen-like driving experience being topped with a calm cabin environment with minimal fuss. The new Volvo XC60 is perhaps the best Volvo that you can get in terms of being the right size and also looking rather good.
The updates to the XC60 includes its sharper-looking front-end while the sportier R-Design adds a further bit of menace. For us, the standard XC60 is a clean and handsome design that refuses to age due to its simple yet pretty lines. Inside, the XC60 gets a Google-based infotainment system, along with the stuff we use every day such as Google Maps and the Play Store. You even have a Google assistant.
The wood trim to the pared-back driving environment is all Swedish luxury at its minimalistic best while quality or even the general fit/finish is arguably a tough higher when compared to other SUVs at this price. A Bowers & Wilkins sound system, air cleaner system and air suspension further point the XC60 towards a relaxed driving experience rather than a ‘sports car on stilts’ fakeness.
Like all other Volvo cars, most of the in-car functionalities are bundled onto the touchscreen while we would have liked more physical controls. A plug-in hybrid or a mild hybrid is available while the plug-in will get you 53km/33 miles on one charge. We tried the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine in its mild hybrid guise with a 48-V system. The engine is unfussy and smooth with the mild-hybrid system adding a sprinkling of diesel-like effortlessness.
There are no paddle shifters or a dedicated sports mode but it doesn’t need one in the first place. The light steering is devoid of feel but is perfect for eating up those pesky road trip kms or the long dreary commutes. The ride quality and silent suspension score good marks though. It is clear that the XC60 is about actually doing the stuff its owners want it to do with none of the fakery.
Sure, it isn’t as fun to drive as a BMW X3, but it never claims to be. Instead, the XC60 banks on luxury and quietness. Post its update, the XC60 further makes sense as a luxury SUV- in plug-in hybrid or mild hybrid form, with prices starting at $70,000.