Volvo XC60 D5 Power

Pulse AWD

Inscription

Volvo XC60
Volvo XC60, 2017, front, action
Volvo XC60, 2017, front
Volvo XC60, 2017, rear, action
Volvo XC60, 2017, front, static
Volvo XC60, 2017, side, static
Volvo XC60, 2017, rear, static
Volvo XC60, 2017, interior
Volvo XC60, 2017, boot
Volvo XC60, front, action
Volvo XC60, side, static
Volvo XC60, rear, action

YOU have to have some sympathy with designers and engineers at Swedish car company Volvo's Gothenburg headquarters.

Taxed with replacing the best selling ever-popular XC60 model with a new generation car must have meant some sleepless nights.

But the indomitable Swedes pressed on to produce one of the best SUV models in the business. One which can proudly thumb its nose at German badge bearing rivals.

The first XC60, launched in 2008, was a spacious, good looking family car with an abundance of power and good off-road ability but the new model is an even bigger force to be reckoned with.

Visually striking it has clean, simple lines, a more upright stance and some very nice features to set it apart from its competitors.

The car's signature headlights now extend right to the edge of the front grille while the large doors overlap the sills so you don't get mud on your clothes as you get in on a wet night.

Inside too the typical Scandinavian minimalist look creates a refined up-market cabin to relax driver and passengers alike and cocoon them from the motoring world outside.

The dashboard and high rise centre consol have distinctive drift wood inlays set in them and there is a user-friendly centre-set nine-inch touch screen for operating most of the car's on-board features, although voice activation means you can verbally set the temperature, change the radio station or even ask the sat nav to take you to a particular destination.

The Inscription model, tested here, is also equipped with the finest perforated soft Nappa leather sculptured seats which are both heated and have integrated fans, for cooling on the hottest of days.

The seats are electronically multi-adjustable so getting the perfect seating position is not a problem.

High-tech equipment means this car will not only park itself but - using a new system called Pilot Assist - also steer and operate the brakes and throttle as long as you have your hands on the wheel. One more step towards autonomous driving.

The chunky, all-wheel-drive XC60 is powered by a 2.0-litre engine with plenty of power and very lively acceleration.

It zips rapidly through the seamless eight-speed gearbox to keep the revs low and give a supremely quiet, refined ride.

You can alter the driving mode from eco through to normal or even dynamic when you want to press on rapidly. There's also an off-road mode which operates at speeds below 25 miles per hour.

Despite its size the XC60 comes with sportscar-like handling ensuring it's not only comfortable to drive but fun to drive.

My test car came had the optional Active Four-C Chassis, which means adaptive dampers with air suspension to ensure it maintains a constant height no matter how many people are on board.

And being a Volvo it's packed with every safety feature you can think of and many you won't even have heard of.

A power tailgate opens to reveal 550 litres of space and a whopping 1,432 litres with the rear seatbacks folded down.

FAST FACTS

Volvo XC60 D5 Power Pulse AWD Inscription

Price: £44,705

Mechanical: 235bhp. 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 137mph

0-62mph: 7.2 seconds

Combined MPG: 51.4

Insurance Group: 35

C02 emissions: 144g/km

Bik rating: 33%

Warranty: 3yrs/60.000 miles

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