The year is 2023, and we as a county are massively progressing towards mega highways and expressways. There are as many as 25 expressways into making in the country right now which would cover the length and breadth of the country.
With this background, having safer cars is going to be a bare minimum requirement. I remember a decade ago when safety features were neglected and more prominence was given to the luxury/comfort features, but today, buyers are increasingly asking for safety ratings and more and more safety features.
But hold on, why am I even telling you this? Well the reason of talking about safety is because the SUV that we have driven this time around is from a brand which is at pinnacle of safety- The Volvo XC60.
The Volvo XC60 is a compact luxury SUV that has been a staple of the automaker's line-up for over a decade. Since its debut in 2008, the XC60 has undergone several generations of updates and improvements, each building on the success of the previous model to create a vehicle that is stylish, spacious, and technologically advanced. Letâ€™s look at its brief history.
The First Generation (2008-2017)
The first generation of the Volvo XC60 was introduced in 2008 and was designed to be a stylish and versatile SUV that would appeal to drivers who were looking for a vehicle that was both functional and fashionable. The first-generation XC60 was available with a range of engines, including a turbocharged inline-5 and a turbocharged inline-6, and was offered with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive.
The first-generation XC60 was praised for its spacious and stylish interior, as well as its smooth and comfortable ride. However, it was criticized for its limited cargo space and its lack of advanced safety features. Despite these criticisms, the first-generation XC60 was a popular and successful vehicle, and helped to establish the XC60 as a key player in the luxury SUV market.
The Second Generation (2018-Present)
The second generation of the Volvo XC60 was introduced in 2018 and was designed to address the criticisms of the previous model. The second-generation XC60 was available with a range of advanced safety features, including a range of driver assistance systems and a 360-degree camera system. The vehicle was also designed to be more spacious and functional, with a larger cargo area and a more comfortable and versatile interior.
The second-generation XC60 was also designed to be more environmentally friendly, with the introduction of hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains. These powertrains helped to reduce the vehicle's emissions and improve its fuel efficiency, making it a more sustainable choice for drivers who were looking for a stylish and functional SUV.
What I have with me is the refreshed mild hybrid petrol only variant on the XC60 which goes against the rivals like the BMW X3, the Audi Q5, the Mercedes GLC or the Jaguar F-Pace. We are here to see, should you ditch all these cars and get hooked on to the Volvo XC60, is it only about safety or is there more to this Volvo. So let us start with the design language and exteriors first.
The 2023 Volvo XC60 is a stylish and sleek SUV that has been designed with the modern driver in mind. From its bold lines and curves to its sophisticated color palette, the 2023 XC60 is a true work of art.
Starting with the front of the vehicle, the 2023 XC60 boasts a bold and modern grille design that is sure to turn heads. The grille is framed by LED headlights that feature a unique and eye-catching design. The front of the vehicle also features a large air intake that not only adds to the vehicle's aggressive look, but also helps to cool the engine and improve aerodynamics. The Thor Hammer Design is unique and the LEDâ€™s come with auto high beam and anti-dazzle assist. Tapering towards the lower part of the front bumper are equally impressive and extremely sleek LED foglamps, which live up to its job of illuminating the road well, when asked for.
Moving to the sides of the vehicle, the 2023 XC60 features clean and simple lines that give the vehicle a sense of sophistication and elegance. The vehicle's body is framed by 19-inch wheels that are designed to look sleek and stylish, while also providing a smooth and comfortable ride. All the four door handles get smart request sensors, the window line has chrome finishing and overall there is nothing to complain about this clean silhouette.
The rear of the 2023 XC60 is just as impressive as the front, featuring a sporty and modern design that is sure to turn heads. The rear of the vehicle is framed by LED taillights that are not only functional but also add to the vehicle's overall aesthetic. The rear of the vehicle also features a large and functional spoiler that helps to improve aerodynamics and stability at high speeds.
In terms of colour options, the 2023 XC60 offers a wide range of choices that are sure to please even the most discerning of drivers. From bold and bright colours like Platinum Gray and Denim Blue to more subtle and sophisticated colors like Onyx Black, Bright Dusk and Crystal White Pearl.
Overall, we would like to say that the exterior design of the XC60 is very unpolarising and will suit everybodyâ€™s taste.
Step inside and you will notice that the 2023 Volvo XC60 is a luxurious and stylish SUV. From its spacious and comfortable cabin to its sophisticated and elegant color palette, the 2023 XC60 is a true work of art.
Starting with the dashboard and instrument panel, the 2023 XC60 features a sleek and modern design that is sure to impress. The dashboard is dominated by a large and intuitive 9 inch infotainment system that is easy to use and provides quick access to all of the vehicle's features and functions. The system is now powered by Google and hence the Google Maps and all the allied google powered apps are a part of the central screen. Apart from that the instrument panel features a driver digital display that provides all of the information that the driver needs, from speed and fuel level to navigation and audio controls, what is missing however are the options to change the displays, like its competitors or paddle shifters to have some fun behind the wheel.
Moving to the seating and cabin space, the 2023 XC60 offers plenty of room for both passengers and cargo. The vehicle features comfortable and supportive front and rear seats that are designed to provide a comfortable and relaxed driving experience. The front seats are cooled as well as heated and come with massage functions. The vehicle's cabin is spacious and airy, with plenty of headroom and legroom for all passengers. One thing that is a sore miss in the car is the absence of rear blinds, especially in the climatic conditions like ours.
In terms of materials and finishes, the 2023 XC60 offers a wide range of choices that are sure to please even the most discerning of drivers. From premium leather upholstery and high-quality plastics to sleek and stylish metal accents, the 2023 XC60 has something for everyone.
The 2023 XC60 also offers a range of advanced and convenient features that are designed to make the driving experience as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. From a panoramic sunroof that provides plenty of natural light to an advanced Bowers & Wilkins 14 speakers sound system that delivers crisp and clear audio, more on it, in the next section.
On the safety front, The 2023 Volvo XC60 has been designed with the safety of its passengers in mind. From its advanced safety technology to its sturdy and reliable construction. Starting with the vehicle's advanced safety technology, the 2023 XC60 is equipped with a range of features that are designed to keep its passengers safe and secure. These features include a suite of airbags, a reinforced frame, and a range of advanced driver assistance systems. The vehicle is equipped with features such as forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.
Apart from the safety features, the SUV comes with laundry list of comfort, luxury, and convenience features. There are some segment first features too, for example electronic thigh extenders, 4 zone climate control AC, LED Headlights Auto High Beam Assist with Anti Dazzle, cooled and heated front seats and of course ADAS Level II. Check out our YouTube Video for more details on this.
There are audio systems in cars and then there is Bowers & Wilkins, you have to hear it to believe me. We at MWTV only review premium cars, whether it is The 7 Series, or The Defender or The XC40 or The S60, we have not come across anything more superior then the Bowers & Wilkins setup, that Volvo offers in their premium range. The 14 speakers and a Subwoofer pumping out 1100 watts of pure sound, nothing can put that experience in words. There are 3 pre-set settings to choose from- Stage, Studio & Concert, and every pre-set setting is distinct from one another which produces punchier sound. To all the audiophiles reading this right now, we sincerely urge you to experience the sound output in the car.
However, while the audio quality is top notch, the menus in the screen are haywire and not as sleek to use as the Sensus OS that Volvo used to provide earlier. Also, while the car does come with 360 degree camera, somehow it misses out on the crispness that its rivals offer. Probably one of the reason to feel like that could be the fact that entire screen is not getting used as a camera screen while engaging the camera mode.
Volvo offers the 2023 XC60 with just one trim and one variant option, called as B5 Ultimate AWD. Just like VAG, Volvo too has done away with the diesel mills and their entire line up is now petrol only. Infact globally they are committed to go all electric by 2030.
However, coming back to the Volvo XC60, the one that is sold in India comes with a 2.0 litre petrol motor churning out 250 hp and 350 NM of torque and is mated to a 8 speed gearbox. The car that we tested had a growly note to it, possibly may be because the SUV was due for its service.
Initially on paper when we looked at the power figures, we werenâ€™t quite sure if this kind of power could be sufficient to haul an SUV this size and weight. But all those apprehensions were thrown out of the window, moment we floored the pedal. The mammoth SUV moved ahead with certain sense of urgency. Even the 8 speed gearbox was able to keep us with our asks. But floor the pedal and the SUV punishes you with single digit fuel economy figures, but be gentle with the pedal, the SUV rewards you will double digit fuel economy figures. While the car was with us for a week, whenever we pushed her, at the end of the trip, the MID showed a fuel economy figure ranging between 7.9 kmpl to 9.8 kmpl, however whenever we were gentle, the same number would go higher to be around 11.1 kmpl to 12.5 kmpl. Not bad we would say for an SUV of this size. With 70 litres of fuel tank capacity, owners can easily look at roughly 500 kms or range in the city and may be if you are gentle around 800 kms or range on the highways.
the 2023 Volvo XC60 is no slow couch, but it isnâ€™t a BMW either. To all those people who are looking to buy a SUV which can be involving to drive, I urge them to look out for something else. The Volvo XC60 is more so designed to take you from place a to place b in a more hush-hush manner. So there are no paddle shifters, heck it does not even get different driving modes. Yes it does have an artificially induced firmer steering wheel mode, but then thatâ€™s about it. Is it worth the gimmick? Well, truth be told, a straight forward answer to that is a resounding No.
However, what Volvo wants you to do is enjoy the journey and not be in a hurry to reach the destination. The R19â€™s with 235/55 section tires, ensure good grip on the road, and while the tire size is 19 inch, we were expecting the ride to be on the harsher side, but surprisingly the ride was way softer than we expected. While the occasional thuds are heard inside the cabin, however otherwise the overall outside sound insulation in the cabin is impeccable.
Handling of the Volvo XC60 is pretty neutral, it does what it is supposed to do for you daily, that is transport you from place a to place b in utmost comfort and luxury. While the suspension setup is a sweet spot between stiff and soft, there by rending the SUV a more supple ride. However, owing to this there is fair amount of body roll that is experienced while going over uneven surface or in the corners. While it may not be worry some, but some people may feel uncomfortable by going faster over corners.
Engine grunt is phenomenal, that means progress from any speed to any speed can be achieved immediately. There is enough and more torque available at lower band of the spectrum, thus ensuring that drivability on the highways as well as city is equally enjoyable. Features like auto hold and auto start stop come handy in traffic to not only have a relaxed drive but also be lighter on the pocket. The XC60 also comes with mild hybrid 48 volt battery, which powers the electronics when the engine is shut, thus ensuring that the electronics along with the AC are working perfectly fine, even while the engine is shut off for a brief moment.
Overall we would say, if you are not looking to blaze down the road every time you are behind the wheel, the XC60 would do the job for you well. And will not only keep you and your family comfortable, but also safe at all the times.
We started with a question, can you ditch the BMW X3 or the Audi Q5 or the Mercedes GLC or the Jaguar F Pace in favor of the 2023 Volvo XC60?
Well, BMW came up with the LCI of the X3 just couple of months back and it gave a new boost to the SAV, plus it is available in petrol as well as diesel engine options. Drivability is what you are looking for, hands-down, nothing better than the X3.
Audi Q5 has again got MY23 updates which are largely cosmetic and suits those who love last mile attention to detail and top notch quality.
There is a new GLC expected so we skip this one for now and the Jaguar F-Pace, well, you hardly see it on the roads.
That leaves us with the Volvo XC60, so here’s our take on it- If you are looking for more car per car, if you are looking for something more exquisite, if you are looking for safety tech, luxury tech, comfort tech (-1 for not having the rear blinds) in that order, then the Volvo XC60 fits your bill well. And at an ex-showroom price of INR 62.0 lacs, it is priced well too.
What do you think?