Home / Reviews / First Drive / Volvo XC60 D5 AWD First Drive Review – Safety Meets Luxury


We were in Spain for a first drive in the new Volvo XC60. Here is how it went.

Story: Aspi Bhathena
Photography: Volvo


Luxury car manufacturers are known for the type of cars they make. Whereas BMW are known as a sporty drivers’ car brand, Mercedes are famous for their luxury. While Audi seek to strike the right balance between sport and luxury, Volvo are known for making the safest cars. The Swedish car-makers were not known to make good-looking cars in the past, but that changed with the new XC90 and the S90. Now Volvo not only make safe cars but cars that are well-designed and luxurious.

The new XC60 is built on the new SPA (scalable product architecture) platform and shares its underpinnings with the XC90 and S90. The Thor Hammer LED headlamps merge into the wide chrome grille and the sculpted lines on the bonnet start from the grille and merge into the A-pillars. The flared wheel-arches along with the low, wide look at the front give the XC60 an aggressive and sporty stance.

The tornado line starts from the Thor Hammer headlamp and runs along the wheel-arch, the front and rear doors, and over the rear wheel-arch to merge into the bracket rear tail-lamps. The flared rear wheel-arches, low roofline with the spoiler and bracket LED tail-lamps along with the twin rear exhaust give the rear a wide and sporty stance and the SUV good proportions.

Volvo XC60 - Web (6)
The interior design is similar to that of the older sibling, XC90. The inside of the car feels nice and airy thanks to the panoramic sunroof. The big touchscreen is flanked by vertical air vents at the centre of the dashboard. The brushed aluminium finish strip runs along the width of the dashboard along with a band of driftwood, giving it a sporty look. The quality of soft-touch plastic and switches is high-class. The moment you get inside, grip the leather steering and adjust the seat according to your stature and driving position, you can feel the comfort and luxury of the leather seats and the cabin. The longer wheelbase of this SUV allows the rear seats to be pushed back, thus liberating more leg-room for the rear passengers. The extra leg-room and the plush leather rear seats give the rear passengers a luxurious experience.

Volvo XC60 - Web (4)
The Sensus in-car infotainment system in the XC60 is based on control, entertainment, navigation and native applications. The B&W (Bower and Wilkins) music system sounds as if you are listening to a live concert. The navigation is very user-friendly and easy to use. The radar-based driver assist is the closest you can get to autonomous driving. Once you select the self drive mode, all you need to do is place your hands lightly on the steering wheel and the SUV drives itself: from maintaining the cruising speed that you have selected on the cruise control to maintaining the distance between you and the vehicle in front. The lane assist turns the SUV and keeps it in the lane up to 130 km/h; however, for this you need roads that have proper lane markings. Incidentally, Volvo are the only premium car manufacturers in India to offer radar-based driver assist.

Volvo XC60 - Web (2)
The trend in high-end cars and SUVs is the use of aluminium in the body-shell and monocoque construction, but Volvo have taken the opposite route by using more high-tensile steel in the monocoque construction because it is stronger than aluminium. This makes the monocoque stronger and prevents it from flexing under extreme load conditions.

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About the author: Online Car India



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