Volvo has benefited immensely after being taken over by the Chinese Automotive Giant “Geeley” and their very very deep pockets. Much like how Jaguar and Land Rover benefited from TATA Motors, Volvo is finally able to exercise their adventures in design and technical prowess like a child let loose, without supervision, at Hamleys.
First Drive with the 2018 Volvo XC60
Words by: Charn Kamal
This union has led to a bold new design theme, inspired by Norse mythology and the striking and a staple design cue, which is Thor’s Mjölnir, clearly conveyed by LED lights integrated into their headlights. After the massive success of the Volvo XC90 which won multiple “Car Of The Year” awards in the region, we get our hands on its younger sibling, the equally handsome XC60.
The new XC60 is powered by three 4 cylinder variants in T5, T6 AND T8 trims producing 254Hp/350Nm, 320Hp/400Nm and 407Hp/640Nm, the latter being a Hybrid. The power is fed through by an 8 speed Automatic to Volvo’s incredible AWD system. The all new Volvo XC60 has certainly transformed from a premium car manufacturer to what it always wanted to be, and that’s the Luxury segment.
It can boast this transformation, as the build quality of the Volvo has always been a benchmark setter. The SC60 shares the same interior as the XC90 which is a good thing, because I had always admired how the Swedes interpreted a modern say SUV interior when it designed their all new XC90. The XC60 shares the same and it’s just magnificent. The leather and feel of the interior invokes a pleasant warmth and comfort that few can match in its segment let alone surpass.
The Scandinavian car manufacture has taken inspiration from the elements of nature to sculpt their interior making the XC60’s interior refined and relaxing every-time you step in because every detail matters; the driftwood inlays compliments the use of fine Nappa leather and unique diamond cut buttons. A large tablet-like portrait touchscreen infotainment system is standard in all XC60 which could be distracting at times, especially at night.
Volvo’s redesigned XC60 is a compact luxury SUV giving a tough competition to their rivals in class like Audi, BMW & Mercedes-Benz. The optional Air Suspension is felt comfortable yet firm, though we felt a bit of vibrations of the uneven terrain in the mountains of Maramis which were probably being transferred from the road to the massive wheels. Body roll was controlled though at tight turn ins you do feel that there is an element of over-steer from its AWD system. But other than that the drive felt very neutral in all driving conditions.
The air suspension lowers by 0.8 inches at speed which increases the vehicle’s stability and drive dynamics to some extent. The air suspension raises itself by 1.5 inches on off-road mode which helped us to some extent while driving up Sakar hill. The Volvo XC60 has got you covered even on their smallest XC60 (as of date as Volvo is set to launch the XC40 in the near future) model as it comes with Volvo’s city safety system, designed to avoid a collision under 30kmph or reducing the impact on higher speeds by hitting the brakes. Other Safety features that comes as option is their blind spot information and cross traffic alert.
The trim we tested had the Sensus navigation and music was fed through Bowers & Wilkins audio.
The Volvo XC60 is a refreshing option from the German trio in the premium segment. It’s fresh and light and can almost match them with whatever terrain you can throw at them barring soft sand. With pricing of the XC60 set at par with the Germans, Volvo has to break the stereotypical mindset of the buyers in this region who till now have favored brands from the fatherland. It is a steep battle but Volvo has always loved a good fight and the XC60 is a very strong arsenal.