13 Jan 2014

Volvo XC60 D5 SE Lux First Impressions And Gallery

I'm running a Volvo XC60 this week.  It comes in D5 SE Lux guise with a Geartronic gearbox.

Volvo XC60 D5 SE Lux

I'll try and translate that into English.  The XC60 is Volvo's smallest proper SUV - one down from the XC90.  I imagined it would be similar in size to the V60 but in fact it feels a lot larger inside, although the rear seats don't have masses of legroom.

D5 means it's the most powerful diesel engine.  It's a 2.4 litre 5-cylinder with 215bhp and 324 lb ft of torque.  Geartronic is Volvo's name for its automatic gearbox.  In this case it's a 6-speed.

SE Lux is meant to be less sporty than R-Design, but no less luxurious.

Got all that?  In the real world I'd probably go for an R-Design for it's extra cachet but this SE Lux is plenty comfortable.  The test car also has the driver support and Inscription packages.

Driver support adds blind spot warning (good, useful), lane departure (slightly annoying when it beeps but probably useful if you're on the verge of falling asleep) and adaptive cruise control (normally brilliant but it keeps malfunctioning).

ACC operates by way of a radar which is grille mounted on most Volvos but in this case I cannot find the radar anywhere and think it's just ahead of the rear view mirror.  And it keeps throwing an error and refusing to work.

The Inscription package adds oodles of leather across the dash top and seats.  It is top grade stuff and feels lovely.

The engine and gearbox package are almost perfect.  The engine has plenty of poke and sounds good when pushed hard and the gearbox just does its stuff well, without being annoying at all.  It changes gear when you think it should.

The XC60 is typical modern Volvo in that it cossets the occupants.  It feels comfortable and safe but drives pretty well.  I've been impressed.

It is quite expensive though.  Volvo haven't supplied a spec sheet (unusual for them) so I've been running through the configurator.  The base price is £40,230 and driver support adds £1,900 and Inscription £2,500.  I also suspect it has the winter illumination pack which is £675.

The lights are excellent.  I drove 110 miles in the dark using the adaptive main beam and not a single other driver flashed to say I had my main beam on.  You can see the lights moving away from other cars.

The only fly in the ointment is that I think the V60 is the better car.  The XC60 tries to retain a car-like feel and succeeds, but that, for me, makes me just want a car.  The XC90 on the other hand is a fully resolved SUV, or 4x4 as we used to say (and I still do in every day conversation), and is the better for it.

I'll report back with a full review soon.


Stats: Price - £40,230
Engine - 2.4 litre, 5-cylinder, turbocharged, diesel
Transmission - 6-speed automatic
0-60mph - 7.8 seconds
Top speed - 127 mph
Power - 215 bhp
Torque - 324 lb ft
Economy - 44.1 mpg
CO2 - 169 g/km
Kerb weight - 1,864 kg
Volvo XC60 D5 SE Lux

Volvo XC60 D5 SE Lux

Volvo XC60 D5 SE Lux

Volvo XC60 D5 SE Lux

Volvo XC60 D5 SE Lux

By Matt Hubbard