Launched in the Middle East just weeks before Volvo’s official re-launch in the Jordanian market, the new XC60 is the latest in the Swedish manufacturer’s aggressive product offensive.
By Ghaith Madadha
The XC60 is stylishly designed, ergonomic, comfortable, and well-equipped. It is expected to be a particularly popular model in the ever more crowded yet fashionable premium midsize SUV segment. It has a distinctly Scandinavian design sensibility, approach to luxury and charisma.
The third model line built on Volvo’s versatile and new Scalable Product Architecture platform, the XC60 features stiffer yet lightened construction, and rides on sophisticated double wishbone front and integral-link rear suspension, with optional adaptive air suspension, as tested. It features short overhangs, rearwards cabin, and a big footprint like its XC90 SUV and S90/V80 saloon and estate stable-mates for better stability, cabin room and elegant aesthetic. Powered by compact forced-induction four-cylinder engines, the XC60 line-up includes range-topping T8 hybrid, entry-level T5, turbo and supercharged T6 version, as featured.
It is longer, lower, and wider than its predecessor, and it radiates presence and momentum, and features a broad, upright and jutting grille, long bonnet and rakish A-pillars. Its slim and browed headlights are bisected by Volvo’s current ‘Thor’s hammer’ LED signature, while its jutting tailgate is framed by slim vertical lights. It looks classy and substantial, yet urgent. Optional R-Design specification further emphasizes its sportier side, with beefier bumpers, quad tailpipes, and both body color and contrasting detailing.
Powered by a 2-liter four-cylinder engine, with mechanically-driven supercharger for immediate response from standstill, the XC60 T6 is also equipped with a turbocharger for muscular mid-range pull and top-end urge. It develops a mighty 316 BHP at 5700 rpm and hammer-of-Thor-like 295 lb/ft torque throughout 2200-5400 rpm. Meanwhile, tenacious four-wheel-drive traction and a smooth and swift-shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox with aggressive lower gearing and relaxed higher ratios, contribute to swift 5.9 second 0-100 km/h acceleration, 230 km/h top speed, and comparatively frugal 7.7l/100 km fuel efficiency.
The XC60 T6 is stable and reassuring at speed, and tidy and capable through switchbacks. Fitted with 30 percent stiffer springs and thicker anti-roll bars in R-Design guise, the XC60 well-manages its height and weight and delivers taut body control through corners. Optional adaptive air suspension feels smooth and refined, and keeps it level when cornering. Meanwhile, its four-wheel-drive allocates power between front and rear to provide reassuring road-holding.
Comfortable and fluent on smoother road segments, the R-Design’s optional 255/40R21 low profile tires however are slightly firm on rougher rural road segments during test drive of various XC60 models in southern Turkey. Much better suited to such conditions, similar to Jordanian road textures, were the slimmer 235/55R19 R-Design tires. Perfectly mated with the XC60’s air suspension, the slimmer tires provided supple comfort over the roughest patches. Meanwhile, better steering road feel and communication instilled more driving confidence, and compensated for less outright grip than the wider tires.
The XC60 is also refined, classy and elegant inside, with distinct design, attention to detail, and luxury materials. Sportier inside in R-Design spec, it features darker tones and contrasting metallic trim, supportive and comfortable sports seats and a chunky contoured steering wheel.
Standard and optional features include a nine-inch smartphone-integrated, voice-activated infotainment system with cloud-based apps and wifi hotspot. Meanwhile, extensive safety and semi-autonomous assistance systems include Pedestrian, Cyclist, Large Animal Detection, Run-Off Prevention, Blind Spot Information System with Steer Assist and Oncoming Lane Mitigation for preventing head-on collisions. Other systems include Steer Assist, which works with City Safety systems and can initiate steering input to avoid collisions at 50-100 km/h, while simultaneously braking individual wheels to maintain stability.
Engine: 2-liter, supercharged & turbocharged, 4-cylinders
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel-drive
Power, BHP (PS) [kW]: 315 (320)  @5500 rpm
Torque, lb/ft (Nm): 295 (400) @2200-5400 rpm
0-100 km/h: 5.9 seconds
Top speed: 230 km/h
Fuel consumption: 7.7 liters/100km
Length: 4688 mm
Width: 1902 mm
Height: 1658 mm
Luggage, min/max: 505-/1432 liters
Suspension, F/R: Double wishbones / integral-link axle, active air suspension
Tires: 255/40R21 (optional)