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Driven: Volvo XC60 checks in

Second coming: The Volvo XC60 is the company’s most successful model and it holds its weight in the segment against quality rivals from Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Latest XC60 set to remain Volvo’s most popular model despite imminent XC40


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12 Oct 2017

VOLVO says its second-generation XC60 mid-size SUV that starts to roll into Australian showrooms this week, will remain the company’s global best-seller, despite the arrival next year of the XC40 into the hot compact SUV segment.

The new-gen XC60 is based on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform as the XC90 seven-seat SUV and the S90/V90 twins, with the next-gen S60/V60 due next year the last models to use the shared underpinnings.

Since its international launch in 2008 (2009 in Australia), the XC60 has steadily grown its sales each year, culminating in a record haul for the ageing high-rider last year of 161,092 units globally, ensuring it was easily the Swedish car-maker’s top model.

In Australia it has been Volvo’s most popular model each year since its launch, except 2009 when it was pipped at the post by the larger XC90 by just 17 units – the XC60 went on sale in February that year.

After peaking in 2012 with 2179 registrations, last year was the XC60’s second best year in Australia, capturing 2134 sales, itself a 24.4 per cent increase over its 2015 result.

So far this year sales have slid by 12 per cent to 1420 sales, but it still makes up about 41 per cent of all Volvo sales in Australia.

It is off the pace of the segment leading Land Rover Discovery Sport (3547), Mercedes-Benz GLC (2879) and BMW X3 (2621), but far from embarrassed in the segment, edging out the Jaguar F-Pace and the GLC Coupe and X4.

Volvo Cars senior product manager Hans Nilsson said the new-gen XC60 was likely to retain the title of the company’s best-selling model, but acknowledged that the forthcoming XC40 crossover could potentially lead its sales.

“It very well could happen that the XC40 is so well received that it becomes bigger volume compared with XC60, but I don’t think they will cannibalise each other,” he said at the Australian launch of the XC60 in South Australia this week.

“So I still think that we have growth to see in XC60 as that is a very fast growing segment.”

Mr Nilsson said a seven-seat version of the XC60 was unlikely, adding that the larger XC90 was the logical step up for buyers needing more room, but he did not rule out more variants joining the line-up down the track.

“That can happen, but right now we are in the process of replacing the cars from the old platform to the new platform and that is a full day of work. And then we also have the small (CMF) platform to develop as well and it is an immense amount of work to put in here.

“Right now it is just to move into new platforms and then it can very well be that we do other variants, but we will tell you we are ready.”

As reported, Volvo has priced the XC60 aggressively, with the new-gen high-rider kicking off from about $6000 less than the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.

It will be offered with five different powertrains – each paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels via the standard all-wheel-drive system – and three specification grades including Momentum, Inscription and R-Design.

The D4 Momentum starts proceedings at $59,990 plus on-road costs, well below the opening price of the Audi Q5 2.0 TDI Design ($65,900), BMW’s forthcoming X3 xDrive20d ($68,900) and the Mercedes-Benz GLC220d ($67,500).

In petrol T5 guise, the momentum is $62,990, while the Inscription runs from $66,990 for the D4 to $69,990 for the T5.

The flagship R-Design is offered with the D5 powertrain at $73,990, the T6 from $76,990 and the plug-in hybrid T8 from $92,990.

The D4 is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine delivering 140kW at 4250rpm and 400Nm from 1750-4800rpm, and has a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.4 seconds, while consuming 5.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the official combined cycle.

The D5 which is only available in R-Design spec gains a second turbocharger, helping increase power and torque to 173kW at 4000rpm and 480Nm between 1750rpm and 2250rpm, ensuring a 7.2s 0-100km/h time and fuel use of 5.6L/100km.

Volvo’s T5 engine is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder unit pumping out 187kW at 5500rpm and 350Nm between 1500rpm and 4800rpm, offering up a 6.8s 0-100km/h time and consuming 7.8L/100km.

The sole T6 adds a supercharger and ups the outputs to 235kW at 5700rpm and 400Nm between 2200rpm and 5400rpm, helping it race from 0-100km/h in 5.9s while drinking and 8.0L/100km.

At the top of the range is the T8 plug-in hybrid, which adds an electric motor to the T6’s twincharged engine, with an additional 65kW at 7000rpm and 240Nm between zero and 5400rpm, for a total system output of 300kW, a 5.3s 0-100km/h time and fuel use of just 2.1L/100km.

XC60s from Momentum up come standard with a 12.3-inch colour driver display, a 9.0-inch portrait colour touchscreen with satellite navigation, digital radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, voice control and 10-speaker/224-watt audio (a more high-end 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins audio is optional).

The Momentum is also offered with dual-zone climate control, leather trim with electrically adjustable front seats including lumbar adjustment and memory settings, an electric tailgate with kick function, full-LED headlights with adaptive cornering lights and auto high-beam that can detect traffic and block out the beam, foglights and 19-inch alloy wheels.

It is offered with a $2500 Lifestyle Package that includes heated front seats and a panoramic sunroof, or a $6500 Sports Package that features heated front seats, a sports steering wheel, Bowers and Wilkins audio and larger 20-inch alloys.

Inscription and R-Design variants include a colour head-up display, four-zone climate control, extra seat movement and adaptive cruise control with Pilot Assist technology that can partially autonomously drive at up to 130km/h, with the Inscription riding on 20-inch alloys and the R-Design on 21s.

The Inscription carries slightly different styling flourishes than the base Momentum, with the gloss-black grille and body colour side cladding replaced with chrome versions, as well as integrated twin exhausts and Driftwood trim in the cabin.

R-Design variants gain a sportier bodykit that includes gloss-black and satin-chrome inserts, Metal Mesh aluminium cabin inlays and sports seats with charcoal headlining.

It also adds a 20mm-lower sports suspension setup, while Active Air Suspension with Comfort and Dynamic adaptive modes are available as an option on both R-Design and Inscription as part of a $7500 Premium Package that combines the Lifestyle Package with an electric-folding rear backrest and headrests, with the option of a tailored, trimmed dashboard on Inscription only.

Standard safety gear across the XC60 range includes City Safety autonomous emergency braking (AEB), Road Sign Information, Blind Spot Information, Lane Keeping Aid, Steering Support with Oncoming Lane Mitigation and Off-Road Mitigation that can guide the steering away from obstacles plus Driver Alert Control, Rear Collision Warning and Cross Traffic Alert with front and rear parking sensors, a 360-degree camera and automatic reverse-park assistance.

2017 Volvo XC60 pricing*
Momentum D4 (a)$59,990
Momentum T5 (a)$62,990
Inscription D4 (a)$66,990
Inscription T5 (a)$69,990
R-Design D5 (a)$73,990
R-Design T6 (a)$76,990
R-Design T8 (a)$92,990
*Excludes on-road costs

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