If SUVs are a rage in India, their best avatars can be sensed from luxury players. It is in this segment that the competition is at its toughest, as it is hard to say which model of what brand offers something still superior to the others. There is simply zero scope for second best. And yet, Swedish auto legend Volvo has literally been on cloud nine in recent times, as it is solidifying its presence stronger in the Indian market, every time it unlocks an awesome ride.
After the launch of the XC90 and S90 last year, the carmaker has now launched the XC60 2017 model in the country, which will be perhaps among the last few launches of the year, for the company in India. But the XC60 should not be considered as another car on the list, as this is brings in a whiff of speciality and variety to a the segment, yet being one-of-a-kind. Though the look of the car is promising to be a big sports utility vehicle (SUV), but it isn't. It's a smart 5-seater SUV, heavily loaded with comfort and safety features.
You've got the look
The first glance at the XC60 will remind one the dashing SUV Volvo XC90. It appears that the length, width and appealing features have been retained from the other larger model, but the height is where one can sense the compactness of the XC60, in comparison with its larger sibling. The difference is that this is the 5-seater SUV, with very minute changes in the exterior part. Retaining the same LED headlights, embellished with the Thor's Hammer, the carmaker has just modified the tail-light, which is a unique L-shape.
Besides the features of safety and comfort, Volvo has retained its plush, luxurious interiors, which also boast of subtlety and is not in-your-face. The trimmed cabin with minimum luxurious, if not fancy features, will make it a value-for-money proposition, even if it operates in its respective segment. As safety is Volvo's mantra, the company has given the best of even the basic features inside. But it has not compromised in the level of quality. With the usage of top-class plastics and fabric, the makers have given the best finishing for this segment. The rear seat is the place where one can really experience a Volvo.
The seats are extremely comfortable with supreme under-thigh and back support, with good leg space. But the rear seat will give a feel that this SUV is comfortable for four people. The middle person in the rear seat minimum space, as most of it is acquired by the transmission tunnel and hand rest. Neglecting these obstructions, the car can be easily claimed as a 5-seater SUV.
Fitted with Nappa leather and fine wood, the interiors of the car look really sublime. The driver will feel and stay comfortable even on longer journeys. Entry into the back door might seem a little congested, but this is not the same with the front door.
A few relevant comfort features include body massage, front seat heating and cooling, adjustable air suspension, heads-up display, and digital instrument cluster. The 9-inch touchscreen with navigation, Android Auto and Apple Car Play, and others are just the same as with the XC90.
Without the third row seating, the XC60 has more to offer in terms of boot capacity. The 505-litre trunk is spacious enough, as the spare seat also has place of its own.
Safe as always
Retaining many features from the XC90, the makers focus of area is on safety. The safety features are promising enough that the XC60 is one of the safest machines that exists. City safety with steering support, blind spot information with steering assistance, run-off road mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and pilot assist are the key safety features that should be experienced as the driver in the car.
Running on any feature, the car acts as it has a mind of its own. The pilot assistance feature is an outstanding component in the car, as it makes the vehicle be on the lane, even when the driver is likely to lose control.
When the speed was tested, the quick gear transmission was asking the driver for more torque, which made the car to effortlessly touch 200 kmph. However, the car's speed safety alarm was blowing, demanding that the speed be reduced. With the minimum speed, we also tried the working of the censor, which grasped the nap movement of the driver and alerted that the car be brought to a halt. Even in crash detection, the car has good censors that effectively help avoid a crash. So it's best to drive the XC60 in more relaxed speeds. In the safety perspective, the makers have made sure to add these features, however, it's up to the driver to make sure that they are used on the road.
The driver's seating position has enough height with good visibility. The adjustable seats and steering is a common feature that we see in every luxurious car.
Volvo India has retained the same 2-litre D5 engine for the new XC60 too. Though the engine is powerful, producing 235 hp @ 4,000 rpm, the heavily built body of the XC90 was said to be obstructing the pick-up of the vehicle. Compared to the XC90, the new car is 200 kg lighter, and we can imagine the effortless delivery of the speed needed. The real power of the car will be proved, when the driver is actually intent to test the speed.
Producing 480 nm of torque at 1,750-2,250 rpm, and the simultaneous quick response automatic 8-gear shifting, will deliver enough speed to the 19-inches wheels, where the job is done.
The most impressive aspect of the car are the air-springs that are provided in all the four tyres. Be it off-roading or cruising on the highway, the air suspensions are adjustable according to the drive conditions.