This was a real surprise package as the XC60 all-wheel drive is one of our favourite medium size luxury SUVs. But this one is a front wheel drive and also ushers in a new turbo diesel engine.
XC60 is one of Volvo's most successful models and they are making hay while the sun shines offering a swag of variants to cater for a wide range of tastes and budgets.
ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION
The test car had a 2.0-litre, five-cylinder with 120kW/400Nm output. It joins the larger twin turbo 2.4-litre, diesel five in higher grade XC60s and a raft of other engine choices in the range. It has a six speed conventional auto transmission offering sequential mode on the stick shift as well as a sports function we didn't bother with.
PRICE AND FEATURES
This one kicks off at a relatively accessible $55,490 and is, realistically, all you need in an XC60. Specification is relatively generous with the D4 boasting leather, reverse camera, rear park assist, power tail gate, electric parking brake, electric driver's seat, climate control, pollen filter, cruise and trip computer. Satnav is an option.
The XC60 D4 scores the latest version of City Safety braking system, dynamic stability control, roll stability control, emergency brake lights, multiple air bags and really handy two stage booster cushion rear seats for little kids. They fold into the body of the normal seats.
We drove the car extensively over the holiday period and have to say it was the ideal family wagon suitable for pretty much anything we chose to do. The load space is big and it's a superbly comfortable touring vehicle as we found on a 2000km round trip.
The engine is smooth and quiet and has plenty of pull across a wide operating range. We saw better than 6.5-litres/100km on a trip without driving for economy and four up. Mid-range grunt is strong.
With coil over suspension, ride and drive feel is sporty despite being tallish and weighing in at around 1770kg. Even the turning circle is commendably small and we love the illuminated gear knob.
We reckon no owners would venture any further off road than a trip to the country on dirt roads. The front-wheel drive will do that without any problems. And do it using less fuel and with the same degree of comfort and refinement as more costly variants. It looks a bit Plain Jane compared to higher spec' versions but being at the bottom of the XC60 pecking order mandates some compromises.
The XC60 D4 is a handsome, right size family wagon that we'd own in a blink.
Volvo XC60 D4
Price: from $58,490
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Engine: 2.0-litre 5-cyl turbo diesel, 120kW/400Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto; FWD
Thirst: 6.9L/100km , CO2 182 g/km
Weight: 1770kg approx.