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NORDIC AND NICE (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
The Volvo XC60 makes sense in D4 diesel guise. Jonathan Crouch drives it.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 52
Volvo's elegant and beautifully crafted second generation XC60 offers proof that in Sweden, they build SUVs just a little differently. Safe, efficient, clever, practical and stylish, it's yet another model that re-establishes this Scandinavian maker as a credibly prestigious automotive brand. Most customers choose the D4 diesel version; let's find out why.
Backgroundword count: 170
Think of Volvo and perhaps you still think of a car maker primarily specialising in spacious estates and solid, safe saloons. It isn't true any more. True, the brand still builds cars of that sort, but today, the majority of its business is done in selling SUVs - cars like this XC60. This is the second generation version and it builds upon a success story than made its predecessor the best selling Volvo model ever. It'll certainly need to be good, given that the premium-badged segment of the mid-sized SUV market has changed beyond all recognition since the original XC60 model was launched. Now, as then, BMW's X3 and Audi's Q5 remain the default competition, but in more recent years, other desirable brands have piled into this segment and cars like the Mercedes GLC, the Jaguar F-PACE, the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the Lexus NX and the Alfa Romeo Stelvio all represent tempting alternatives in this class. So what can this Volvo offer to set itself apart? Let's find out.
Driving Experienceword count: 281
If you were to place entertaining driving dynamics as a priority for your premium-badged mid-sized SUV, then let's be honest, this Volvo probably wouldn't be the first model you'd turn to. But you shouldn't gauge from that an expectation that this XC60 will be a complete duffer when the road turns twisty. It's very far from that, this model described as 'confident and predictable', which is what we've found it to be and precisely what most likely buyers will want it to be. There's unruffled poise and exemplary refinement, plus you get supple standards of ride comfort from the multi-link rear suspension and there's the option of an 'Active Four-C' adaptive damping and air suspension package if you want it. A standard 'Drive Mode Settings' driving dynamics system allows you to tailor throttle response, steering feel and shift timings from the standard 8-speed auto gearbox to suit the way you want to drive. If you do decide to push on a bit, grip and traction are actually quite impressive, even though the 190hp D4 we tried now can't be had with Volvo's AWD system. For that in a diesel XC60, you'll need the brand's B4 and B5 mild hybrid variants. And cornering body roll is also decently well controlled. All the engines on offer in this model line are of a 2.0-litre, four cylinder configuration and come bolted to the same stiff, sophisticated 'SPA' chassis that underpins Volvo's larger XC90 model. The D4 volume variant offers most of what potential buyers will want: a decent 400Nm slug of torque to facilitate a 2.4-tonne braked towing capacity. And more than adequate performance that sees 62mph reached in 8.4s en route to 127mph.
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Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s
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