Car Reviews

2017 Volvo XC60 SUV Review

Carzone drives the soon-to-be-replaced first generation Volvo XC60


Pros: Incredibly comfy seats, smooth ride quality, premium feel

Cons: New second generation model arrives soon, expensive

This is the first generation Volvo XC60 which is soon to be replaced by a sharply-styled and shiny new model. The XC60 has been a popular part of Volvo’s line-up ever since it was launched in 2008, and it has a reputation for being one of the most versatile mid-size SUVs out there. For the purposes of comparison, we took the first generation XC60 for a test drive on Irish roads to see if it remains relevant for 2017 and if it can compete with all-new arrivals such as the new Skoda Kodiaq and updated Audi Q5.

What is it like?

Despite the fact that the first generation XC60’s was launched back in 2008, it’s still a very good looking car. It isn’t as boxy as older Volvo models and offers lots of road presence with a high front grille and substantial ground clearance. That said, the new XC60 which replaces this model is undoubtedly much more stylish and shares a lot of design similarities with Volvo’s range-topping SUV, the XC90. This particular XC60 that we are driving has an R-deign front grille, large 18-inch alloy wheels and matt silver door mirrors for a sportier touch.

The XC60 has a Scandinavian feel as you step inside with a commanding view of the road and ample space to seat five people comfortably. The dashboard design is modern and constructed from high quality materials, but the scattering of buttons in the centre console feels dated and is something that has been addressed in the newly-launched second generation XC60. Our test car has super comfy R Design seats that are some of the best seats you will come across in any SUV on the market right now, while it also has optional dark tinted windows, interior lighting and a rear parking camera which are good, but expensive extras. The XC60’s boot space is definitely a strong point and at 655 litres in size, it’s on par with many larger SUVs.

This is the Volvo XC60 D4 which means it has a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbocharged diesel engine, producing 163hp. It offers very usable power around town and can cover 0-100km/h in just over 10 seconds, while there is also an option of a larger 2.4-litre diesel five cylinder engine known as the D5 that has similar performance and economy credentials. The new second generation XC60 brings an improved range of engines with more power, but the D4 engine in our test car is nonetheless a solid all-round performer. We managed in the region of seven litres per 100 kilometres of driving in fuel economy, and annual road tax for this automatic model comes in at €270 for the year.

Out on the road the XC60 majors in comfort but doesn’t hit the mark where driving dynamics are concerned. The ride quality is incredibly smooth even with these large R Design alloy wheels, while there is minimal wind or road noise at higher speeds. It isn’t the most engaging SUV to drive and tends to wallow through tight corners, which is a sacrifice for the accommodating air suspension setup. Some of its rivals like the new Audi Q5 are definitely more fun to drive, but this shouldn’t worry buyers who prefer to drive reservedly.  

Prices for the new (first generation) Volvo XC60 start from around €40,000 for the base specification model, but as it is soon the be replaced by the new second generation model, there is likely to be great value had on first generation XC60s over the coming months with handsome price discounts. Our high specification R Design SE test car is equipped with a whole host of optional extras and equipment so it warrants a price tag of just over €52,000. Worthwhile options, in our opinion, include the upgraded R Design seats and high performance eight speaker sound system.

Carzone verdict: 4/5

The first generation Volvo XC60 is a solid mid-sized SUV package and offers superb comfort levels, excellent space and a premium feel that few of its rivals can match. Standards in the SUV class have moved on in recent years however and the first generation model now feels dated from a technology perspective, while higher specification models can work out expensive. This is something that is addressed in the forthcoming second generation Volvo XC60 which arrives on Irish shores very soon and we look forward to test driving it very soon.

Test Car Details:

Model driven: Volvo XC60 D4 R-Design SE

Prices from: €39,995

Price as tested: €52,173

Annual Road Tax: €270

Engine: 1984cc four-cylinder turbocharged diesel

Power/Torque: 163bhp

Top Speed: 220km/h

0-100km/h: 10 seconds

Transmission: Automatic

Body style: SUV

Boot Space: 655 litres