Our Fleet Test Drive Review: Volvo XC60 - Final Report
27 November 2009
Author: Tristan Young
|Category:|| Small 4x4|
|P11D price:|| £28,785|
|Key rival:|| Audi Q5|
Our Volvo XC60's been gone a few weeks now and I'm already missing many of the features that made the car a great one to live with for the majority of this year.
When we ordered it at the end of 2008 we were given free range on choice. We plumped for the 2.4-litre D5 manual in SE Lux trim, a well appointed car with plenty as standard. We also added a few options, but the two we most appreciated were the digital radio and comms package.
At £250, the digital radio isn't bad value against rival systems, but it's the improved reception for Radio 5 that was most welcome. I'd also like to think that because the analogue radio transmissions are being switched off in the next few years (end of 2015 to be precise), it will give 'my' XC60 a residual advantage.
The comms package is a hefty £2000 but includes satnav, which we found had great controls, but occasionally random ideas about the 'fastest route' that involved going through town centres rather than using bypasses. But by far my favourite option was the keyless entry and keyless start part of the pack. This meant you could leave the car's key in your pocket and simply pull a door handle to open - incredibly useful if you have small children and associated clobber in your hands.
However, the reason we were running the car was because of Volvo's City Safety system, standard on the XC60, that's designed to eliminate low-speed crashes such as running into the car in front at a roundabout. If you're travelling at 19mph or less then the car will automatically brake and stop before impact. Above this speed it reduces the impact and associated costs.
Fortunately, we never put the system to the test, but like a lot of safety kit in cars we were happy knowing it was there.
Little Volvo touches also impressed, such as the fuel-filler cap that locks five minutes after the doors, allowing you to refuel without someone nicking your possessions from the car, and the power point in the boot that doesn't need the ignition to be on to work (say to charge a phone away from home).
The only thing we'll not miss is the fuel consumption (although Volvo has addressed this with new, more efficient diesel engines in the good-looking small-4x4). Even after we'd inflated our tyres to the higher pressure eco-setting we were still only getting 34.3mpg, and our overall average remained at 32.3mpg. However, a short test in the new Driv-e that proved Volvo could do good mpg stats. We got 42mpg as an average over three weeks, which is much improved.
It's also the way we'd recommend business car drivers went when ordering an XC60 as the CO2 for the Driv-e car came in below 160g/km, the cut off for the more punitive rate of capital allowance taxation.
It's not always the way, but after well-over half a year in the XC60 it continues to be our choice in the small 4x4 sector. Only now it's further ahead of the class than we initially thought.
|Volvo XC60 2.4 183PS D5 SE Lux manual|
|Claimed combined |
|Our average consumption||32.3mpg|
|Model price range||£24,250-£33,740|
|CO2 (tax) ||199g/km/30%|
|BIK 20/40% per month||£132/£264|
|Boot space (min/max)||495/1455 litres|
|Why we’re running it||Best in small 4x4 |
class, City Safety kit
|Positive||Safety, user-friendliness, |
|Negative||Early fuel figures, turbo lag|