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Volvo's first ultra fuel efficient 'DRIVEe' cars were fairly spartan affairs. Not so with the latest XC60, a mid-sized crossover that boasts the outstanding fuel consumption figure of 4.2 litres/100km.
We were prepared for the worst but found the XC60 as pleasant as it is fuel efficient as we headed south on the October long weekend.
Priced from $59,890 our test vehicle the XC60 D4 Kinetic is just $2000 more than the entry level T5 petrol model. The price gets you climate and leather upholstery, plus auto lights and wipers and a rear view mirror that dims automatically, as well as alloys and daytime running lights.
XC60 is a good size, with comfortable seats that offers an excellent view of the traffic ahead from the higher driving position. The boot is generous with a power operated tailgate standard.
The interior is well laid out, with instruments large and easy to use - although it requires digging to find some items in the computer menu system. The interior is bright and inviting, but we're not sure about the burnished "Copper Dawn" finish of the centre console? One of three "themes" can be selected for the main instrument cluster: performance, elegance and Eco - we stuck with performance after finding it offered a large digital style speedo.
Eight-speaker audio and a 7 inch touch screen are standard, with Bluetooth phone and audio streaming. If you want navigation it will cost you another $2950.
ENGINE / TRANSMISSION
The new 2.0-litre, four cylinder turbo diesel D4 Drive-E unit delivers 133kW of power at 4250 revs and 400Nm of torque, the latter between 1750 and 2500 revs. The diesel features world-first i-ART technology with pressure feedback from each fuel injector.
Essentially, each injector has its own intelligent chip that monitors injection pressure. Using this information, the self-adapting i-ART system makes sure that exactly the right amount of fuel is injected during each combustion cycle. Also making its debut is the new 8-speed Adaptive Geartronic automatic transmission.
Coupled with stop/start engine technology the 8-speed shifter has software functions that continuously improve calibration between engine and transmission. This helps cut gearshift response time by up to 50% and optimises fuel consumption in many driving situations.
The XC60 has been awarded a full five stars for crash safety by the Australian ANCAP organisation, with six airbags a swag of active and passive safety features. They include city safety which brakes the car automatically, roll over prevention, trailer stability assist, a reverse camera and rear parking sensors.
The dash from 0-100km/h takes 8.5 seconds
The diesel engine is relatively smooth and quiet. Auto stop-start kicks in and out without the jerkiness of some cars. Fuel consumption is rated at 4.9 litres/100km, with CO2 emissions of just 127g/hm. With a 70-litre tank this gives the car a range in excess of 1400km.
We were getting about 6.4 litres/100km after more than 500km, not quite the promised 4.9 but not bad just the same.The dash from 0-100km/h takes 8.5 seconds and it has a top speed of 210km/h.
With 17 inch wheels the car looks a bit under-tyred and it might be worth spending $1825 on a larger set of wheels (up to 20s available). We could easily live without the metallic paint applied to our test car which is $1750.
Of more concern is the reversing camera which did not activate automatically in our test vehicle. Turns out you can switch it off in the setup menu which to our way of thinking is kind of crazy. We were surprised too to find that satellite navigation was not standard on what is a premium vehicle.
You can't afford to skimp when you're trying to topple some of the bigger names in the premium segment. Put some decent wheels on this car, add navigation as part of the stickered price and the D4 Kinetic would walk out the door.
|D4 Kinetic||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$21,100 – 28,600||2014 Volvo XC60 2014 D4 Kinetic Pricing and Specs|
|D4 Luxury||2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$22,800 – 30,910||2014 Volvo XC60 2014 D4 Luxury Pricing and Specs|
|D5 Luxury||2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$25,100 – 33,330||2014 Volvo XC60 2014 D5 Luxury Pricing and Specs|
|D5 R-Design||2.4L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO||$24,100 – 32,780||2014 Volvo XC60 2014 D5 R-Design Pricing and Specs|