Volvo XC60 2.0 D4 AWD R-Design
- P11D Value/ BIK band: £39,450 / 29%
- 5-door SUV
- 140bhp 2.0 litre, 4cyl diesel/eight-speed auto
- Economy (comb) / CO2: 55.4mpg / 136g/km
- Performance: 8.4sec/127mph
What is it?
THE Volvo XC60 2.0 D4 AWD R-Design is an example of the latest version of Volvo’s best-selling, premium medium-size SUV.
Looking like a scaled-down version of its big brother the XC90, the XC60 is the first of the 60 series models to get the Swedish company’s new design language. It even sits on the same, clever modular Scalable Product Architecture platform.
On top of the new look and platform, Volvo are claiming the SUV brings new levels of connectivity, efficiency and obviously safety to this class.
We got an early UK drive in what’s expected to be the best-selling engine and trim for business buyers, the 2.0-litre D4 diesel in sporty-looking R-Design trim.
- The D4 version of Volvo’s 2.0-litre diesel engine, is impressively smooth, torquey, happy to be revved and has 190bhp, plus 400Nm of torque. Acceleration to 62mph takes 8.4 seconds, with a 127mph top speed. It is well-matched to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission.
- From a distance, you could mistake the XC60 for the XC90, as both share Volvo’s modern and elegant design theme. Longer, wider and lower than the outgoing model, as you get closer there are some key differences with the XC60’s design to make it stand out. At the front, the distinctive ‘Thor’s Hammer’ T-shaped daytime lights now stretch right to the grille, there are also different black grille designs depending on the trim level. The side is more like the XC90, with its smooth surfacing and sculpted lower panels. At the back, there are signature L-shaped tail lights and twin exhausts with different finishers depending on the model.
- Inside, like the outside, the XC90 influence is obvious with the central Sensus 9-inch touchscreen controlling most of this car’s functions, such as the sat-nav, stereo system and the heating and ventilation. This makes for an elegant, button-free dashboard. The dashboard feels high quality, with real attention to detail too. We love the metal detail on R-Design models that curls round the bottom, the metal rotary knobs and the little Swedish emblem fitted in the metal trim – to let it expand and contract with the weather. The sporty R-Design seats are supportive and very comfortable. There’s also a decent amount of seat and steering wheel adjustment results to get a good driving position. In the back the XC60 is equally competitive, with two tall passengers likely to be very comfortable and there’s the practical 505-litre boot.
- On the road, our D4 with optional air suspension struck a good balance between ride quality and body control. The XC60 always feels safe and secure, comfortable even on the standard 19-inch alloy wheels.
- Volvos are known for their safety kit and the XC60 moves on the game again with innovative new safety kit on top of the expected items such as airbags. Go for Oncoming Lane Mitigation and if you move out of your lane into the path of another car – it will steer you back in to your lane. The standard City Safety package now also includes Steer Assist, that will steer you away from objects in the path of the car at speeds up to 62mph. Finally, Pilot Assist offers semi-autonomous driving by accelerating, braking and steering for you at speeds up to 80mph, you just have to keep your hands on the steering wheel.
- Okay, in D4 R-Design trim, the XC60 costs a strong £39,705, but it does come with a comprehensive amount of standard kit including Sensus Navigation, 9-inch centre touch screen, City safety and Steer Assist, Oncoming Lane Mitigation, full-LED headlamps, two-zone climate control, a power-operated tailgate, heated, leather/nubuck trimmed front seats, 19” alloy wheels, keyless go and a multi-function steering wheel.
- This XC60 doesn’t feel 190bhp quick, the engine sounds dull and unexciting too.
- The improvements to the Sensus infotainment system are worthwhile, but it’s still a bit complicated to use on the move – although we’re sure that the longer you spend with the XC60, you’d soon get used to it.
- In R-Design form the XC60 might look sporty, but on the road it’s not that much fun to drive. The steering is too light and lacks feel, there’s also some bodyroll in corners and the eight-speed gearbox, even in Dynamic mode isn’t that swift.
- The XC60 might offer five different drive modes: Comfort, Eco, Dynamic, off-road and Individual, but considering all these modes, there’s no obvious change to the driving experience.
Verdict on the Volvo XC60 2.0 D4 AWD R-Design
If you value comfort and technology wrapped in an attractive, elegant exterior and interior design, ahead of the driving experience – then the latest Volvo XC60 with the D4 engine in eye-catching R-Design trim could well be the car for you – even if it’s had a significant price increase.
So how does it compare to its key rival – the Audi Q5? Closest model is the 2.0-litre TDi Quattro S-Line . The Volvo is looking good from the start as it’s cheaper by almost £1,400.
Although for an SME, the emissions and tax band are going to be key and this is where the Audi is stronger, with its 133g/km emissions versus 136g/km of the Volvo and the Audi has a lower tax band of 28% versus 29% of this Volvo.