2018 Volvo XC60 review, road test

    Luxuriously appointed, smart-looking and relaxing to drive, the new XC60 is a serious contender in its segment.

    Published on Mar 15, 2018 02:43:00 PM


    Underpinning the XC60 is Volvo’s new large vehicle platform – Scalable Product Architecture (SPA). It is essentially a modular platform where the bits between the firewall and the front axle are fixed, while the overhangs, wheelbase and height are all flexible and modular. This allows for a higher standardisation of components among different vehicles, as well as the possibility of manufacturing different vehicle models on the same line.

    With an eye on the future, SPA has been designed with autonomous driving, hybridisation as well as electrification in mind. All engines will be four-cylinder transverse layouts coupled to either front- or all-wheel drive. And safety being Volvo’s cornerstone, the new platform’s electrical architecture is designed to integrate the rapidly evolving microprocessor, sensor and camera technology to bring in a suite of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).

    Further on the safety front is the use of five different types of steel and aluminium, including high-strength boron steel that Volvo claims gives them the ability to have lighter parts without compromising on safety.

    The flexibility of SPA allows Volvo to create cars that have the right stance and proportions as required by their application. So, while the XC60 is quite easily recognisable as a Volvo, thanks to various signature styling elements, the company has ensured the SUV exudes a character different from its older sibling. Where the XC90’s tall stance and more vertically oriented design comes off as stately, the horizontally inclined design of the XC60 lends it a more youthful persona. In a world of nesting egg designs, this is quite a welcome change.

    From the front, there’s no mistaking this for anything but a Volvo – it’s got the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ DRLs and the large rectangular seatbelt-motif grille with its classy-looking chromed vertical slats. The fog lights are easy to miss, but they are neatly set low and wide into the lowest edge of the front bumper. Moving to the side, the profile is sleek – the bonnet is long, the windscreen is quite steeply raked and the window line smoothly rises towards the rear, where the D-pillar is sharply raked forward. The 19-inch black diamond-cut alloys look nice and seem large enough for an SUV of this size. The signature vertical boomerang-style tail-lights dominate the rear and bracket the Volvo lettering stretched across the center.

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