Volvo India has been on the right path lately bringing in all its latest products to the sub continent. They first got the revolutionary XC90, but they really caught hold of the Indian audience’s attention since the launch of the S90 sedan last year. They also got the V90 Cross Country to India, completing their 90 series lineup here. But what’s next? The 60 series cars that Volvo was selling in India, were getting a bit long in the tooth lately. The XC60 to be specific, needed a model refresh and company has done so with the launch of the 2018 XC60 at a tempting price tag of Rs. 55.90 lakhs. We got a chance to drive this very car around Chennai for a brief while. Here’s our take on the brand new 2018 Volvo XC60.
Volvo has been pretty liberal with us and has offered the XC60 in its top most trim level in India. The Inscription trim gets a whole load of goodies to begin with, which is the best part about it as this is the only variant that will be sold in India. Volvo India says it might bring in lower variants in the future, but the current demand for trims on its other cars has made them take this decision. So it’s a win-win for the co and co (company and consumer). The 2018 Volvo XC60 is based on the SPA platform just like all the new generation 90 series cars. The company has spent nearly 11 billion dollars on developing these new platforms (including the CMA platform), taking into consideration the safety, scalability and alternate drive train options like hybrids, EVs and autonomous vehicles. The Volvo XC60 features some semi autonomous features as well. Let’s take a closer look at this SUV in a nutshell.
The design language on the new XC60 takes inspiration from the bigger XC90 and other 90 series cars in general. Compared to the older XC60, the new one is longer by 44mm, wider by 11mm and sees a decrease in height by 14mm, giving it a planted stance. The front has that similar looking multi-slated grille and the adaptive full LED headlights. There a slight difference with the headlights though; the Thors Hammer LED DRLs now extend till edge of the front grille. The sides get a well-proportioned silhouette along with large 19-inch wheels. They are wrapped by Michelin Latitude Cross 3 tyres. The rear too has a very familiar air about it with the vertically-mounted LED taillights. Overall, you know this is a Volvo from miles away and yes those mini XC90 looks definitely work in its favour.
The interiors too, look way too familiar, which is a good thing actually. Most of the features that you find on the bigger XC90 are present here on XC60. The digital instrument cluster, 9-inch infotainment system, heads-up display and the brilliant Bowers and Wilkins audio system are taken from its big brother. The car gets Nappa leather upholstery, while a major highlight on the dashboard is the part of matte wood panel that is not lacquered nor veneered, to give it a classy look.
The seats are very comfortable, and offer a wide range of adjustments for the driver and the passengers too. The rear seat offers good legroom and thigh support is great too. They can be folded down electrically to increase your loading area. The tailgate is powered and opens up a rather generous boot area. The overall feeling of space in this cabin though isn’t as much as you will find on, say a Mercedes-Benz GLC. What it has in spades though, is the feel good factor with its rich cabin and although plastic quality isn’t as good as the 90 series cars, it feels premium enough to justify its price tag.
The Volvo XC60 is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine that develops 235 HP and a massive 480 Nm. It is mated to a 8-speed automatic gearbox that’s made by Aisin Japan. Now to how this engine exactly feels. It has loads of power, but does not show it. This is the same engine that comes with the XC90 and V90 CC, but in the XC60 it has to deal with a lot less weight. So acceleration is brisk and you get dialled to some serious speeds in quick time. The car feels calm and composed while doing all this, with no hint of road or wind noise. The engine gets the Power Pulse technology that eliminates turbo lag normally associated with diesels.
Handling is predictable with good overall stability. There are various drive modes one can choose from that alters the way the engine, gearbox and suspension respond. The Volvo XC60 comes with air suspension at all four corners, making it the first car in its class to do so. This gives the car an amazing ride quality that can only be associated with this suspension type. Sharp bumps do send a harsh thud inside the cabin, but comfort is top notch.
Safety is an aspect where we can go on and on about the Volvo XC60. To begin with, the SUV is equipped with RADAR sensors that help give it some semi autonomous features. Starting with the Adaptive Cruise Control. This system works flawlessly and detects even bikes in its path. Next is the Lane Keep Assist that helps keep the car in a straight line on a well marked highway. This system can also steer the car through corners, although it doesn’t work flawlessly on our roads. You will find the car not holding to a lane by itself sometimes, if it does not detect lane markings.
Another one is the BLIS or Blind Spot Information System. This system basically alerts driver for any other car in its vicinity with a red signal integrated into the ORVMs. Last but not the least, is the City Safety 2 system, which automatically brakes the vehicle if the driver is inattentive to the car ahead of him. Some of the other features include a 360-degree camera and an auto parking feature for parallel, as well as perpendicular spots and works while parking in or out.
The Volvo XC60 is a beautiful little SUV. It is loaded with features and comes with class leading features as well. Features like air suspension and RADAR based utilities are first in class. The semi autonomous features can act as a luxury on its own, reducing travelling stress by that much more. Volvo currently has a winner on its hands but the XC60 is soon going to face some tough competition from the likes of the all new Audi Q5 and the 2018 BMW X3. The competition in this segment is set to only get hotter.