ALTHOUGH Volvo reckon the XC60 should be classed as a small SUV, it is anything but.
It may be more compact than its sibling, the XC90, but it still presents a formidable sight on the road and it takes up rather a lot of space on the average driveway.
As with all other Volvos, though, the XC60 is sturdy, well-built and is fitted with a dazzling array of safety measures both as standard or as added extras.
The styling is understated, though it does hint at its all-wheel drive credentials with muscular flanks, broad shoulders and a high driving position.
The rear lamps are especially impressive and give the XC60 a distinctive profile when viewed from the back end.
Our test car came fitted with the 163bhp two-litre, five-cylinder D3 engine mated to a six-speed auto transmission. It’s a very accomplished engine, smooth-running and responsive, and powers the XC60 along with little of the old-style rolling to which the older generations of SUVs were prone.
Indeed, if it were not for the elevated driving position you could be in any executive saloon.
Combined fuel consumption for this engine is stated at 41.5mpg with acceleration from 0–62mph as 10.4 seconds. CO2 emissions are 179g/km
The interior is very driver focused with all the design elements coming together to make it a pleasant place to be.
Just the right number of functions are grouped on the steering wheel – I particularly like the easy-to-use cruise control buttons. Too often they are tucked out of sight on the centre console or on a fiddly stalk which makes them awkward to access when you need them.
SUVs are all about making the vehicle suit your lifestyle and, though most will be used for nothing more arduous than taking the kids to school, manufacturers must at least make an effort to incorporate some useful features.
For example, the boot can be split into two distinct sections, so you can keep your wellies and raincoat away from your shopping, and the powered tailgate is a bonus, especially when your hands are full.
By the same token, Volvos don’t usually spend much time off-road but that’s not to say they are not capable of doing so should the mood take you. The XC60 has an intelligent all-wheel-drive which distributes power to whichever wheel needs it most, plus stability and traction control and hill descent control for navigating steep inclines.
There are a whole lot more gadgets and gizmos available but if you were to add them all the resulting cost would be astronomical, so you’ll have to pick the ones most suitable for your needs.
We’d got the winter pack with active bending lights, heated front seats, headlight cleaning system and lights that expand the range of vision by around 230 per cent.
Although it only seats five, the driver and all passengers will wallow in supreme comfort with loads of room to stretch out.
With the seats folded and the vehicle packed up the roof, a potential 1,455 litres of space is available. With the seats up this is 495 litres.
The on-the road price of the model in question is £33,875 with the options taking it to £37,025. It may be a high price to pay for the luxury and safety of a Volvo but there are plenty willing to do so.