Car Reviews

2018 Volvo XC60 SUV Review

The new second generation Volvo XC60 tested in Ireland


Pros: Superb comfort levels, safety-technology, stylish

Cons: More expensive than before, rivals are more engaging to drive

The XC60 Is one of the most popular mid-sized premium SUVs in Europe and it is the latest model in Volvo’s range to undergo a significant overhaul. The new second-generation XC60 went on sale in mid-2017 and it boasts similar interior and exterior styling as Volvo’s range-topping XC90 SUV, which is a great thing. What’s more, the XC60 places a higher emphasis on safety, technology and efficiency than before too. It has an endless list of rivals to compete with, including Audi’s Q5, the all-new BMW X3 and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. We spent a week with the new XC60 recently to see how it has evolved from the first-generation model and if it can continue the success of its predecessor. 

Volvo XC60 Ireland

What is it like?

The new XC60 shares styling similarities with its big brother, the XC90, including a large front grille with integrated Thors Hammer LED headlights, muscular side mouldings and stylish LED brake lights at the rear. As standard, it is equipped with 18-inch five spoke alloy wheels, while the range-topping Inscription model that we tested gains 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and additional technology inside. 

Volvo XC60 Ireland

The XC60 boasts one of the finest interiors in its class. It’s incredibly spacious and mirrors the XC90 but on a smaller scale, with a vibrant nine-inch tablet-style touch screen and a 12.3-inch TFT digital driver’s display on higher specification models. Leather upholstery is standard across the range along with chrome detailing, and the materials are sturdy and of high quality. There is ample room for four tall passengers and knee, shoulder and head room is especially good in the rear seats. The XC60 isn’t available with seven seats unlike the XC90, however boot space is plentiful at 505 litres. 

Volvo XC60 Ireland

The XC60 is available with a comprehensive range of engines. The diesel range consists of a 190bhp 2.0-litre diesel (D4) or a more powerful 235bhp version of the same engine (D5). There is also a 250bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit (T5) and a 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid petrol unit (T8), however the D4 and D5 diesels are likely to be the popular choice here. Both two or four-wheel drive versions are available and there is also a choice of manual or Volvo’s smooth automatic transmissions. We drove the D4 diesel with automatic transmission and all wheel drive and it is very well-suited to Irish roads. 0-100km/h takes 8.4 seconds and low-down torque delivery is strong. We averaged 6.5-litres/100km in fuel economy with annual motor tax listed at €280. 

Volvo XC60 Ireland

The XC60 specialises in comfort and refinement rather than sportiness and driver engagement. It isn’t as responsive as cars like the BMW X3 and the Jaguar F-Pace on twisty roads with considerable body roll, however it is nonetheless reassuring to drive and well-suited to town-based driving. Comfort is superb with an incredibly cosseting suspension setup, and our test car is equipped with adjustable air suspension with different driving modes such as comfort and dynamic settings. The XC60 is one of the most safety-conscious family cars too, with a suite of safety aids including Volvo’s Intelligent Driver Information System.  

Volvo XC60 Ireland

Prices for the XC60 start from €53,950 which is considerably more expensive than the outgoing first-generation model. While the entry price has risen, so too has the level of standard equipment. The base specification Momentum model includes features such as rear park assist, an electric tailgate, LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, the 9-inch infotainment screen and lots more. Prices for the range-topping Inscription model that we tested start from €60,790, adding larger 19-inch alloy wheels with the 12.3-inch Active TFT driver’s information display and Soft Nappa leather upholstery. There is also a mid-range R-Design model which offers a stable middle ground between both the Momentum and Inscription specifications. 

Volvo XC60 Ireland

Carzone verdict: 4.5/5

The new second generation XC60 is a much-improved package and it is one of the best models currently on sale in the premium SUV segment, thanks to its luxurious and well-crafted cabin, economical diesel engines and class-leading ride quality. It leads the way in terms of technology too, with superb infotainment and display screens and an astonishingly high level of safety features that work autonomously. The Xc60 is more expensive than before however and it sits at the high end of the premium SUV scale as a result, while some of its rivals are also more engaging to drive. As a premium SUV package, there are few better options on the market right now.  

Volvo XC60 Ireland

Test Car Details:

Model driven: Volvo XC60 D4 AWD Inscription

Prices from: €53,950

Price as tested: €66,950

Annual Road Tax: €280

Engine: 1995cc turbocharged petrol

Power/Torque: 190bhp

Top Speed: 204km/h

0-100km/h: 8.4 seconds

Transmission: Automatic

Body style: SUV

Boot Space: 505 litres

Volvo XC60 Ireland