Volvo XC60 D4 AWD

R-Design Automatic

Volvo XC60 R-Design, front
Volvo XC60 R-Design, dynamic
Volvo XC60 R-Design, rear
Volvo XC60 R-Design, interior, rear
Volvo XC60 R-Design, interior, detail
Volvo XC60 R-Design, interior
Volvo XC60 R-Design, boot

WITH the latest figures showing the brand on course for a fifth successive year of record sales, Volvo is on something of a roll.

A key driver behind this strong performance has been the revamped XC60 - the second generation of the upwardly mobile Swedish car maker's mid-size SUV which went on sale last year.

Sitting between the huge XC90 and the compact XC40 it strikes a sensible balance between the former's impressive space and the latter's more city-friendly dimensions while maintaining a strong presence thanks to it's understated but clean and modern lines.

Momentum, R-Design and Inscription variants - all of which can be enhanced by the addition of a Pro package - make up the range with power from D4 and D5 diesel engines and a T5 petrol unit.

A T8 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid is also available which offers incredibly low carbon emissions and the accompanying tax benefits that will appeal to business buyers - but it is the costliest version in every trim grade and isn't available in entry-level Momentum guise.

All versions come with all-wheel drive and a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission and whichever spec you opt for equipment levels are bristling with the marque's latest technology.

The centrepiece of the luxurious cabin is the latest version of Volvo's Sensus infotainment system, with its distinctive nine-inch touchscreen interface set into the dashboard in portrait orientation rather than the more familiar landscape set-up.

Once you're familiar with it, this is an incredibly intuitive and easy way to access and control many of the XC60's standard functions including navigation, DAB radio, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Safety is a key consideration in a family car so it is reassuring to know that the XC60 was crowned the best-performing large off-roader and the car with the best overall performance in the prestigious Euro NCAP 2017 Best in Class safety awards.

The car scored a near-perfect 98 per cent in the adult occupant category and led the way in the Large Off-Road class for Safety Assist with a score of 95 percent, due in no small part to the inclusion of Volvo's latest automatic emergency braking system.

The original XC60 was one of the pioneers of such technology and it now not only offers braking assistance if it detects and imminent collision but also helps take evasive action by, if necessary, adding to the steering input if the driver clearly starts to steer away from an object at speeds between 31 and 62mph.

So, you'll feel pretty safe in the XC60 - and you'll also be comfortable. Head and leg room is generous all round and three adults will fit in the back with little trouble, although the one in the middle will have to straddle a chunky transmission tunnel.

The supple suspension copes well with the vagaries of British roads and negotiates increasingly prevalent sleeping policemen and speed bumps pretty well, so that the ride is settled for the most part even with the firmer suspension on more sportily-focused R-Design models.

While you don't buy a family SUV for its performance prowess all versions of this motor offer enough punch for most people's needs.

The entry level D4 diesel will get you from 0-62mph in a non-too-shabby 8.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 127mph - while a drive mode selector offers the chance to sharpen things up a little in the dynamic setting.

Some body lean in bends is to be expected in a car of this size but otherwise it handles well, offers plenty of grip and, thanks to some light steering, is easy to park and manoeuvre.

A boot of 505 litres, while not best in class, is big enough to handle most family holidays and will easily cope with the weekly shop, while folding down the 60/40 split rear seats creates a flat load area that'll handle most things a trip to Ikea could throw at it.

FAST FACTS

Volvo XC60 D4 AWD R-Design Automatic

Price: £41,570

Mechanical: 190ps, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 8-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 50.4

Insurance Group:31

C02 emissions:148g/km

Bik rating: 34%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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