By Patrick James on 2016-01-16 - The author has been a motoring writer for more than 16 years. Formerly motoring editor at the Coventry Telegraph, he now produces motoring copy, on new car launches and road tests on a freelance basis.
Volvo XC60 D5 AWD
R-Design Lux Nav
CROSSOVERS are all the rage at the moment, which is not surprising when you consider many can be three cars in one, saloon car manners, estate car practicality and SUV off-road capability.
Some Volvo purists may not like the new breed, but the firm has certainly embraced the phenomonen.
Many crossovers boast superb styling and the XC60 is one of them, while the R-Design spec is better looking still.
It isn't cheap and there are decent contract hire rates for for business. In fact it is a decent company car option, offering style and practicality, with the two-litre diesel probably a more attractive proposition than the 2.4-litre unit driven here.
It is also a luxurious motor at nearly £40,000 for this model, but features just about every creature comfort and high-tech safety aid which has been synonymous with Volvo for decades.
The XC60 has an imposing presence, high off the ground to allow for off road capability, colour-coordinated body and trademark grille with chrome bars and 20-inch alloy wheels and rear privacy glass, while at the rear, it features eye-catching, boomerang shaped tail lights.
The R-Design adds daytime running lights, while again, at the rear, the diffuser with aero fins is flanked by the round, high-tech R-Design tailpipes.
Inside the perforated leather sport seats come as standard with contrasting stitching and black headliner. It feels of the highest quality and together with the high-class soft touch finish to dash, doors and steering wheels, plus the neat chrome inlays, feels like a true executive motor.
It's a superb environment and features Volvo's signature ‘floating dashboard' where many of the controls are operated from, with rotary knobs in the centre stack. The central information screen is also the brains of the car and features Volvo's Sensus Connect,an upgraded user interface with several innovative functions such as cloud-based services integrated in the car, improved navigation with 3D maps and free map updates, a local search function and an option to remotely send destination instructions to the car.
The cabin has an abundance of head and legroom. The three-split (40/20/40) rear seat and backrest offer two separate seats with an armrest in the middle, or three seats with safety belts for each occupant. The seat cushions are fixed and the backrests can be individually folded.
With the rear seats folded there's a cavernous 1,455 litres of space available on a flat surface. It's a serious load lugger and I moved several boxes with no problems whatsoever. The only slight hiccup is the high loading sill.
There is a commanding driving position, but the car has terrific road manners as the R-Design chassis is stiffer than the standard car, to deliver highly-responsive steering and a taut agile feel which belies its height off the ground.
Corner Traction Control comes as standard, while the all wheel drive is capable of tackling all but the roughest of terrains.
The power unit, the five-cylinder D5 turbo diesel now has 220bhp and mated with the six-speed automatic transmission delivers an impressive 49.6mpg, with lowish CO2 emissions of 149g/km.
The 220bhp also delivers excellent acceleration and hits 60mph from a standing start in just 8.1 seconds.
The 2.4-litre unit is refined and quiet and virtually silent when cruising at speed on the motorway. Switch to sport mode and engage the paddles behind the steering wheel for a more lively ride, but this will burn more juice.
Wind noise is muted but there is some rumble from the largy alloys.
Standard kit is too numerous to mention, but rains sensing wipers, powered mirrors, reversing camera, Sensus Connect connectivity system with high performance sound, and powered tailgate.
Volvo XC60 D5 AWD R-Design Lux Nav
Mechanical: 220bhp, 2,400cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6speed automatic gearbox
Max Speed: 130mph
0-62mph: 8.1 seconds
Combined MPG: 45.6
Insurance Group: 30
C02 emissions: 142g/km
Bik rating: 27%
Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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