Here are my thoughts on the Volvo XC60 R-Design D4 after my week-long test drive.
Day – 1 Volvo XC60 R-Design First Impressions
I have a fair idea of just how good modern Volvos are, and I’m always quite excited to get my hands on the latest model. Waiting for the XC60 to arrive I was reminding myself about the Volvo S60 I drove a couple of months ago and remembering all the great features that these cars come packed with.
The Volvo XC60 arrived and it looked great in Ice White. The model on test is the XC60 D4 with a 2.0-litre engine that creates 181bhp and 420Nm of torque, that power goes through an 8-speed automatic gearbox to the front wheels. This setup will get the car from 0-60mph in 10.2 seconds, and will go all the way up 121mph.
Day 2 – How well does it work in the snow
On my second day with the car I took it out on a photo-shoot with Ross Jukes. However we got a little bit a of different look than we had anticipated the previous evening when talking about the shoot, as there was sudden down pour of snow fall whilst we were out.
This gave me a rare opportunity to test the car out in the snow. Bear in mind that Volvo sell the XC60 in front wheel drive and all wheel drive options. The model I had in the snow was the front wheel drive option, so it wasn’t as ideal as it could have been. The Volvo was using Pirelli P-Zero Rosso tyres, which weren’t a winter tyre either. But never the less the XC60 did OK travelling around the roads of Birmingham. Traction control was kicking in now and then limiting the wheel spin and ABS was used on multiple occasions to limit the wheel lock-ups under braking.
Inside the car I felt very comfortable and shielded from the elements. With the heaters blowing through the dash, heated seats and the instantly warm heated steering wheel, I was nice and toasty enjoying a wintry drive through the deserted streets of Birmingham.
Day 3 – Volvo’s Styling of the XC60
I really like the styling of the XC60, it looks great wherever you take it. On day 3 we were in town with the car, photographing how it looks as an urban explorer. The overall design concept of the XC60 is pretty sharp and in Ice White the design looks as crisp and clean as they come. Take a look at the video below and let us know what you think.
Day 4 – Bumper to bumper traffic
Driving the Volvo XC60 to the office through the busy city of Birmingham is a great opportunity to see what it is like living with this car in a normal every day environment. Firstly, as mentioned, in the middle of winter the heated seats and heated steering wheel were a great comfort, especially on those bitterly cold mornings. Taking the car into the city, straight away we were in solid traffic; a prime time to test out the XC60’s stop/start technology. This feature will turn the engine off when sat at a stand still. The stop/start system worked brilliantly through the 50 minute journey across Birmingham and doesn’t cause any complications to driving the car normally. I was actually quite happy knowing I was only burning fuel when I needed.
While sitting in solid traffic, you are also able to read the owners manual or economy driving tips from the cars infotainment system on the dashboard, which was a nice novelty for my trip.
One of my absolute favourite features of the interior of this car is the Harman Kardon sound system. I connected it up to my phone and the sound quality and volume through the premium sound system is exceptionally good. I can’t recommend this option enough for anyone buying an XC60.
Day 5 – Lets hit the motorway
I got to test out the car on the motorway doing a 40-mile trip down to Stratford. This was a great opportunity to test out the adaptive cruise control system, which will keep a safe distance from the car in front, up to the maximum speed you set. If the car in front of you slows down or comes to a complete stop the Volvo will safely control the speed of the car to keep you at a safe distance. This system works flawlessly and can really make a long motorway journey a complete delight.
The adaptive cruise control will also work at much slower speeds, for example whilst in heavy traffic. So if you are caught in crawling traffic you can allow the car to do the thinking for you and keep the car safely moving along.
Day 6 – Country Exploring
The weekend was upon us and we had an early start to try and capture the test car in the best light. My Saturday started at 5.30am washing the car at 0 degrees Celsius to make sure it looked its best on this icy morning.
As we had captured some city landscapes in the week we took the car out into the countryside to capture a different perspective. Unfortunately the sunrise was completely blocked out by cloud, so there was no showing the car off in dramatic light, but we did take the opportunity to capture some long exposure pictures of the car just at the break of sunlight. Quite a nice setting if you ask me.
Take a look at the video below, which shows the highlights of the car as a country explorer. You will get some ideas of where we went on our travels and how practical the car is on the slippery and demanding country roads.
Day 7 – Fully Tested and Approved
After a week with the XC60, I feel I have been very well treated by the car, and with 340 miles completed I have only used half a tank of diesel. The Volvo has been very comfortable and easy to drive, and I was very impressed with how technologically advanced its features are. I was very sad to see it go and can highly recommend the car to anyone looking for a mid-sized SUV.